Ecclesiastes provides life wisdom and apologetics guidance for the believer facing the circumstances of the world.
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 1:1-11
- As we enter a new year, the world faces security, economic and social problems; in the face of uncertainty and insecurity, man offers solutions based on his own wisdom.
- Ecclesiastes provides life wisdom and apologetics guidance for God’s people as they face the circumstances of the world.
- We enter a new year with faith and hope, but the world is not safe; we live in a fallen and broken world filled with vanity, meaninglessness.
- History is the theatre of our testing, our proving as we seek a building whose maker is God.
- God’s wisdom is transforming us in the totality of our lives; the effects of the curse are being undone.
- The last Adam, Jesus Christ, is defeating sin and death progressively as His people live renewed lives.
- As we observe a sin-sick world, we must learn to identify God’s programmatic kingdom prescriptions.
- It was probably King Solomon who authored Ecclesiastes.
- The book strikes us as being cynical and skeptical. This is a device used by the Teacher to instruct his students.
- The text is not immediately appealing to many readers; it doesn’t seem positive or uplifting. But it comes to us as God’s Word.
- The words of the wise are like goads; they prick us and make us uncomfortable.
- The teacher exposes the world as it is under the sun, without sanitizing or glossing over the messy parts.
- We cannot be positive and constructive until after we have been negative and diagnosed the true condition of the world and ourselves.
- Ecclesiastes doesn’t take the perspective of ancient cynics or modern skeptics, but it recognizes their problem.
- Paul likewise takes the worldview of the skeptic as a starting point for his apologetics, infusing it with biblical truth and meaning (Acts 17:16-34).
- The pathos of Ecclesiastes helps man to identify his lot under the sun.
- The only route to recovery of a sin-filled world is in God and His abiding covenant Word.
- Fallen man is imprisoned in darkness and ignorance. Pascal said man doesn’t know the place he should occupy; he searches in the face of darkness.
- In a world that has violated the everlasting covenant, the preacher seeks to impress upon us the centrality of God.
- The author of Ecclesiastes is a Hebrew who assumes that all of creation needs redemption and renewal by God. This is the context when he says life is transitory, passing, futile.
- Ecclesiastes is an assault on all the wisdom and ideals of man. The problem of futility cannot be solved by man’s resources.
- Man’s present condition under the curse of God is abnormal, something to be thrown off. But man cannot reverse the curse by his own resources.
- Despite all man’s labours for the good society, we cannot rescue ourselves; we are confronted with our need and the burden of sin upon our lives.
- God alone is the One in whom we can put our trust. The only source of meaning is found in the covenant of grace.
- The themes of Ecclesiastes are humbling but we can face life and its challenges in the power of God.
- What is the author’s purpose in Ecclesiastes?
- How should we understand the negative, cynical tone in Ecclesiastes?
- What is the Christian response to the “messy” aspects of the world?
- How does studying Ecclesiastes impact our attitudes and piety?