This can be a very depressing book depending on how you read it. All is vanity-- work, pleasure, knowledge, things, etc. Our ultimate end is death--and Solomon (who many believe wrote this book) seemed to think that the ending (death) is better than the starting (birth) because everything in life is vain-empty-futile.
What’s missing? This is good to ponder. I think--perspective. I don’t see an acknowledgement of God’s goodness and gifts--or a personal relationship with God as David had. God gives pleasure (though there are proper boundaries), God gives knowledge--though we’ll never know/understand all we can, He gives beauty (music, people, creation). And God gives things--though we should not hold onto them for satisfaction over the Lord--they won’t last or satisfy long term.
Indeed, there is futility in life (at least at some level) when God is not the center--when He is not our first satisfaction and enjoyment. I’m not sure I see Solomon enjoying God as his father David did. Where was the break down between father and son? Was there something David did not do so that Solomon caught this? Just food for thought.
When the Lord is the center, then we enjoy Him, and we can better and freely love others and enjoy them.
Birthmother Social Worker