The Book of Ecclesiastes

Two Are Better Than One.

Solomon's examination of the apparent anomalies and contradictions that confront our lives every day continues in Ecclesiastes 4. Walter Kaiser describes the progression of thought from chapter 3 to chapter 4 as follows:

God’s Wisdom in the Natural Rhythms of Life.

We have divided the third chapter of Ecclesiastes into 3 sections.

  • God's Providence in the Natural Rhythms of Our Life
  • The Perspective of God's Wisdom
  • The Plain Truth of Applying God's Wisdom

This week, we will examine several plain truths to apply God's wisdom to our lives.

God's Wisdom in the Natural Rhythms of Life.

God has a personal plan for each person within His larger plan. Sometimes this truth is hard to believe when we go through confusing or difficult circumstances. Just as there is a purpose for each piece within a large model of a plane or ship, there is purpose in every aspect of your life.

A Joyful Disposition Regardless of Life's Circumstances.

The next section of Ecclesiastes that we will study is chapters 3-5. First, we look at the summary at the end of the section, Ecclesiastes 5:18-20. Notice the multiple synonyms Solomon uses: rejoice, enjoy, and gladness. Those who are walking with God will be known for their joy. Those who are not walking with God will be known for grumpiness.

The Only Life Purpose that Truly Satisfies

The Pitfalls of Finding Satisfaction in Just Having Fun.

Finish this statement for yourself: "I would be happy if I had _________."

We know already from our study of this book that nothing created can satisfy the immaterial part of us, our souls, because we live in a fallen world. The Lord wants us to pursue knowledge of all kinds, although knowledge alone will not leave us ultimately fulfilled.

The Finite Influence of Human Wisdom.

We are expected to pursue human wisdom and enjoy that pursuit while understanding that only God's wisdom will satisfy us in Jesus Christ.

Philosophical Diversions that Impede Living Life on Purpose.

Human wisdom robs our joy. Left to our own thinking, life doesn't make much sense. Lived with God's wisdom, life can be enjoyed.

Four Philosophical Diversions that Impede Living Life on Purpose.

Ecclesiastes 1:3-11 could be interpreted quite negatively. If the purpose of the book is to help us know how to live with joy, this cannot be the ultimate interpretation. This passage exemplifies 4 thought patterns that can rob our joy. Unbelievers can approach these negatively or positively. How should believers respond to these thoughts?

Four Philosophical Diversions that Impede Living Life on Purpose.

In every period of time, God gives His people time to stop, worship, and celebrate. Nehemiah 8:1-12 shows one of those occasions. The nation of Israel was back from exile, rebuilding Jerusalem, and celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles. Scholars tell us the book of Ecclesiastes was usually read publicly at this festival. Nehemiah's admonition to the people to rejoice, not grieve, is a similar message to Solomon's. The best way to enjoy life is to enjoy it with God, by living according to His Word. Conviction should be a quick work, with grace then bringing joy.