Navigating Life In A World That Has Been Scarred By The Fall: Reflections On Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 And Living In A World Of Suffering -- By: Robert V. McCabe
Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 17:4 (Winter 2013)
Article: Navigating Life In A World That Has Been Scarred By The Fall: Reflections On Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 And Living In A World Of Suffering
Author: Robert V. McCabe
SBTJ 17:4 (Winter 2013) p. 56
Navigating Life In A World That Has Been Scarred By The Fall: Reflections On Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 And Living In A World Of Suffering
Robert V. McCabe is Professor of Old Testament at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary in Allen Park, Michigan where he has served since 1983.
He received his Th.D. from Grace Theological Seminary in 1985. Dr. McCabe has regularly contributed academic articles and book reviews to the Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal. He is also the author of a chapter in Coming to Grips with Genesis (New Leaf Publishing Group, 2008).
Qohelet’s1 world, like ours, is marred by the curse and suffering. As he takes us on a journey to discover meaning and purpose in life, he observes many results of the Fall, such as suffering, tragedy, and death. In 4:1 he notes an example of suffering: “Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them.”2 This situation is so gripping that Qohelet responds to it by extolling the dead who had already died as “more fortunate than the living who are still alive” (4:2). Another result of the curse is the tragic situations that weigh heavily on Qohelet. He observes, in 7:15 and 8:14, that sometimes the righteous receive what the wicked deserve and vice versa. Further, death entered the created realm with the curse in Genesis 3. This prominent intruder has a major impact on Qohelet’s worldview. In a different context than 4:2, Qohelet pictures this invader in 9:4 like this: “he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion” (also see 2:14-17; 6:6; 8:8; 9:2-3, 5-6; 12:1-7).3 While everyone faces suffering and tragedy in varying degrees, all encounter death.
With the dialectical design of Ecclesiastes serving as a reflection of the nature of this world, suffering and death are contrast...
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