In Ecclesiastes 7:20, Solomon said, “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.” As he continued his quest for truth, he discovered the same was true for women. It’s in verse 28 of chapter 7 that 26 imagehe says that in his quest for a righteous person there is not one righteous woman in a thousand. He is commenting on both genders to make his point regarding the pervasiveness of sin. He makes this clear in Ecclesiastes 7:29. It’s almost like he is saying that after all his searching the primary truth that he discovered is that man cannot find God or meaning in life by searching. The only thing he is sure about is that he’s not sure about anything. But he is sure about one thing. He says, “See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.” Even the best of both men and women is nothing more than a sinner saved by grace. This is a broad stroke against humanity as a whole as well as every man and woman in particular. Charles Bridges called this a “humbling testimony to the universal and total corruption of the whole race of man.” Sin, in every generation, is the great equalizer. Paul sums it all up for in Romans 3:23; “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Ecclesiastes 7:29 is a very important verse for Christian doctrine. It tells us two things. First, “God made man upright.” In Genesis we see that God created us in His own image. After He had created things in each day of creation He declared that they were good. After he created mankind we read in Genesis 1:31, that “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” This is the doctrine of “original righteousness.” The second truth is that following in the footstep of the first man and the first women, we all find ways to make bad what God made good. This is called “original sin.” Solomon said in an earlier passage that man cannot straighten out what God has twisted. Although this is true, we certainly can twist what God made straight: ourselves! To come from “the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said C. S. Lewis, “is both honor enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on the earth.”

William MacDonald wraps up these two truths by bringing Jesus into the picture. He writes, “Even in his fallen condition, man still has an intuitive hunger to find perfection. He goes through life looking for the perfect partner, the perfect job, the perfect everything. But he cannot find perfection in others or in himself. The trouble is that his search is confined to the sphere under the sun. Only one perfect life has ever been lived on this earth, that is the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. But now He is above the sun, exalted at the right hand of God. And God satisfies man’s hunger for perfection with Christ—no one else, no other thing.” We are all partakers of original sin. Only Christ can restore us to “original righteousness.”