Ecclesiastes forces us to face death and chance and the challenges they pose to a naive belief in God’s goodness.
The book of Ecclesiastes is the critic's response to Proverbs, which states that we live a good life when we fear God and follow wisdom.
Can you trust God’s wisdom?
The narrator of Ecclesiastes, referred to as the teacher, believes that life is hevel, temporary and fleeting like smoke or vapor. Humans try to build meaning and purpose in life apart from God, investing in pursuits and things that have no lasting meaning, but time marches on, we all die, and bad things happen to good people.
It's a little depressing, but what the teacher makes clear is that the key to contentment comes from wisdom, accepting hevel, fearing God, keeping his commandments, and putting our trust in him. We remain puzzled by life's mysteries, but God will bring true justice that fuels our ability to live lives of honesty and integrity.
The author of Ecclesiastes believes that life is *hevel* — beautiful and mysterious but unclear, confusing, disorienting, and uncontrollable like the fog.
March of Time
Our existence is like a blur or the blink of an eye, and it passes as a shadow compared to the longevity of God's creation and timeline.
We All Die
No matter what we do or who we are, we will die. Death is the great equalizer that renders most of our daily activities meaningless.
Life's Random Nature
Life is unpredictable, out of our control, and nonsensical. Good people suffer while evil people live long. We will fail if we try to master life.
Life is mysterious, but we can fear God, keep his commandments, enjoy the moment, and trust his judgment because one day he will clear *hevel*.
3 Episodes •
A quick study through the book of Ecclesiastes.
Ecclesiastes Study Episode 1
This is the first in a series of three episodes on the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. This is a really unique book of the Bible. It contains some of most skeptical wisdom in all of the Scriptures, sometimes scandalous and always fascinating.
Ecclesiastes Study Episode 2
In this episode, we explore how how acknowledging that all of life is "vapor" (Hebrew "hevel") can lead to the enjoyment of the small and simple delights we encounter in day to day life.
Ecclesiastes Study Episode 3
The Limits of Labor
This is the final episode of a three-part series on the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, a truly unique book of the Bible. In this book the teachers shows how most of our daily time and energy is spent on things that are totally meaningless, which should motivate humility, integrity, and enjoyment of the simple things in life.