The Bible book of Ecclesiastes bemoans the useless futility of everything in life. “All is vanity” is its chorus. Wisdom is futile, for the wiser you are the more you see life’s miserable destiny. Self-indulgence is vanity, for nothing satisfies. Hard work is senseless, for the next generation neglects it all again. Wealth and honour are merely ways to increase your worries. All men die; nothing lasts; all of life is destined for an inevitable end; that is the message of Ecclesiastes.
But, hidden in the pages of Ecclesiastes are the most glorious expressions of joy, pleasure, and fulfilment. The first hidden pleasure in Ecclesiastes is true worship, the fear of the LORD. Enjoy what God gives you, fear Him and do what He says, and yes, even this useless earthly life will be full of pleasure and purpose for you.
The other true pleasure hidden in the pages of Ecclesiastes is that of marriage.
Eccl 9:9 “Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun”1
And what book follows Ecclesiastes in our Bibles? Song of Solomon. The unsurpassable wisdom of King Solomon put on grand display in the book of Ecclesiastes, is succeeded, and appropriated dwarfed by the Song of Songs; the song that surpasses all other songs. According to 1 Kings 4:32, Solomon wrote 1005 songs. And this one tops them all.
Ecclesiastes says life is futile – the only real pleasures are true worship and marriage. And then Song of Solomon, assuming you’ve got your worship sorted out, rings the wedding bells loudly for all to hear. Song of Solomon celebrates marriage as the highest and most noble of earthly realities. Even after all the sin since Genesis 3, God’s published view of marriage is that marriage is the greatest earthly reason for celebration.
The simplest summary of the Song of Solomon, yes simple enough even for your children to understand, is this:
To be married, is very, very special.
For us Christians, be you married or single, marriage must evoke praise. Make your marriage, or if single, your view of marriage, a loudspeaker of God’s design of marriage. Hebrews 13:4 asserts: “Let marriage be held in honour among all.”