Living Life on Purpose.

We have spent the first part of this year studying how to walk in a way that pleases God by living His character. The next book we will study as a church family is one that shows us how to do this.

Through the complicated twists and turns of life, we want answers to the question "Why?" In the absence of details, we know that God's sovereign hand directs all events. He is always good whether or not we comprehend. He is our infinitely reliable and trustworthy Creator (1 Peter 5:6-7, 4:19).

Knowing that God has a purpose and He is faithful enables us to live faithfully regardless of anything. The message of Ecclesiastes could be simply put: Life is short; trust God. Some things may seem useless, meaningless, or "vanity," but they have a purpose in God's plan.

"The message of Ecclesiastes had its origin in the One Great Shepherd, the Lord God Himself, who graciously revealed His upright and true words (12:10,11) to the Preacher for man’s good. This book declares the philosophy of life, the world view, that ought to govern the life of every believer and attract every sinner to the Lord. Unless man, whether saint or sinner, understands and implements this message, the real meaning and purpose of life will remain a mystery, with frustration and despair ruling. To seek satisfaction and contentment in the things of life is to look in the wrong place. The message of Ecclesiastes constantly points to the Eternal God who only can satisfy man and requires that the 'stuff' of time be evaluated and used in light of the certain reality of eternity. How we view the Lord determines how we view life. How we view life is a mirror of how we view the Lord. Recognizing and submitting to the Lord God is essential to a Biblical philosophy of life."

The Author of Ecclesiastes

The author of this book is identified in Ecclesiastes 1:1. The son of David who was king in Jerusalem before the division of Israel was Solomon. He describes himself as a preacher or teacher of wisdom 7 times in the book. In 1 Kings 3, God answered Solomon's prayer for wisdom by surrounding him with godly people, giving him resources, and an immediate opportunity to apply wisdom to a situation.

The books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are the result of God's answer to his prayer. Solomon draws wise conclusions from God and life lessons. His final verdict is to fear God and keep His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Ecclesiastes 3:11 gives us a theme for the book. People innately know that death is not the end. God does not want us to live in fear of death. Religion can never give peace in the face of ultimate questions. Christ is the source of peace.

Ultimately, the author of the book is divine (Ecclesiastes 12:11). "Shepherd" is a synonym for Jehovah, the personal name of God to Israel.

Application Points

  • Some things may seem useless, meaningless, or "vanity," but they have a purpose in God's plan for you. Often it is a gift of grace not to be able to know why. You can trust that God is always good, whether or not we can comprehend the details.
  • The book of Proverbs is the result of God's answer to the prayer of the wisest man who ever lived. Read a chapter every day for 6 months. It will change your life!
  • Intellectual knowledge of God is not enough. You must own Christ.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2 – How can we walk in a way that pleases God?