Ecclesiastes "The Grasshopper Shall Be A Burden"


"The Grasshopper Shall Be A Burden"

Context: The preacher in Ecclesiastes warns against vanity; all of this life is sheer vanity, he says: "Vanity of vanities . . . vanity of vanities; all is vanity." The search after wisdom or pleasure, fame or wealth, leads but to the grave for each and every generation. He sees that the worthy are defeated, and that the wicked prosper in this life. But some peace we may have, he suggests, and he advises that we subscribe to charity, duty, and faith. These will bring some measure of peace, even though in this life man is condemned never to understand the ways of God. To obey God, not to understand Him, is the lot of man: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." The writer of Ecclesiastes advises the young person to rejoice in his youth, but also to remember God the Creator and the judgment of life that must come. The time will come, he warns, when the spirit of man must return to the Creator:

And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;
Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:
. . .
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.