Ecclesiastes 7:29 reads, “Lo, this only have I FOUND, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions” (KJV). In order to understand this verse, we need to also read verses 27-28, “Behold, this have I FOUND, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to FIND out the account: which yet my soul SEEKETH, but I FIND NOT; one man among a thousand have I FOUND; but a woman among all those have I NOT FOUND.” Solomon was a SEARCHER. Throughout this book he recalls a time in his life when he was SEARCHING TO FIND meaning and purpose in life. He actually gives us the conclusion of this search in 1:12-14, “I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I gave my heart to SEEK and SEARCH OUT by wisdom concerning ALL THINGS that are done under the heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, ALL IS VANITY AND VEXATION OF SPIRIT.” In short, Solomon’s search ended with a miserable conclusion: Everything is as useless as chasing after the wind! He FOUND that there was nothing “under the sun” (i.e. here on earth) that could satisfy the human heart and give it real purpose.

In Ecclesiastes 7:27-29 he searched for an UPRIGHT PERSON; that is, someone who could be respected and admired for their righteous life and their walk with God. Among all those with whom he was acquainted (family members, servants, wives & concubines, and friends), he could only find one upright person among men and none among his wives and concubines (See 1st Kings 11:1-3 as to why he never found a righteous woman).

His conclusion on this subject is found in the verse under consideration. He concluded that God had made man upright, which speaks of God’s creation of Adam. Adam was indeed a righteous man, for he was created in perfection. Genesis 1:26 & 27 bears this out, “And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…so God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (NKJV). What does it mean when it says that man was made in the “image and likeness of God?” It means that he was created to REPRESENT God on earth and thus with SIMILAR ABILITIES. He gave man the power to think, communicate, and design things, and He gave them a moral and emotional nature so he could appreciate and love God. This truly “made man upright” and allowed him to have fellowship with God and to be His representative on earth.

Yet man was not created in HOLINESS, but in INNOCENCE, which means he was still capable of sinning against God. God gave man one supreme test to see if they would continue to love Him and obey Him. That test is seen in Genesis 2:16-17, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” We know that Adam (and the woman) failed that test, for in Genesis 3:6 we read, “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, SHE took of its fruit and ATE. She also gave to her husband with her, and HE ATE.” At that very moment they DIED SPIRITUALLY, which means they were now SEPARATED FROM GOD SPIRITUALLY. Their appreciation and love for God died in that fatal moment and they passed on their fallen, sinful nature to their children, grandchildren, and to all generations. See Genesis 5:3, Psalm 51:5 and Romans 5:19. Because man was no longer UPRIGHT, his sinful nature led him to “seek out many INVENTIONS.” The word “inventions” has also been translated “schemes” or “devices” which means that man is constantly “seeking new ways” to entertain themselves in order to fill the void in their hearts and without any thought of God. This is what we see all around us, is it not? (338.1) (DO)