Thursday, March 27, 2014

Names and Descriptions of God: Ecclesiastes

Because of the way my brain is wired, the book of Ecclesiastes has always been a little challenging for me.

Reading through it looking for names, titles and descriptions of God has given me a different perspective.

A wise woman who has studied Hebrew told me that in the Old Testament when you see the name GOD, that refers to the Creator.  When you see the name LORD, that is a reference to the Creator with whom you have a personal, covenantal relationship.  That has been interesting to think about as I have walked through this project.

As I was reading through Ecclesiastes I realized that throughout the entire book, God is referred to primarily as GOD. There are a few other descriptions such as Maker (which goes along with the name God), Giver, Eternal, Judge, The One to be Feared, and Creator.

For twelve chapters, this is not very many names!

We go through the whole book and these are the only ones I was writing down.  Until I got to Chapter 12.  In Chapter 12 (the final chapter of this book), the Preacher wraps up the book and suddenly you begin to see a gleam of hope in what can seem (to me, anyway) a rather hopeless book.  Here are the last six verses in the English Standard Version:

Besides being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs with great care. 10 The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.  11 The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. 12 My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.  13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

There.  Did you catch it?  Right there in verse 11   (I added bold and italics to help you see it).

Suddenly, unexpectedly, Solomon refers to God as the ONE SHEPHERD.

Think on that a while.

No comments: