What have you been trying to get out of life? What has life been throwing at you? “The Preacher” (as he is called in Ecclesiastes) spent his time examining life in this world. When he writes, he writes about the reality of life in this world. The Preacher doesn’t pull any punches when he opens the book with the phrase, Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. It’s all absurd. What does he mean? He wants us to take a good, hard look at the observable world that we live in and examine what we are living for “under the sun.”
Yesterday I made a start on a series of posts in which I will blog through the book of Ecclesiastes (so Dad will have something to read on my blog!). I recently started teaching through the book in one of our adult Sunday School classes, and I preached on Ecclesiastes 1:1-11 on January 2, so I thought I would post some entries on what I am learning.
Ecclesiastes points us to Christ by showing how absurd life can be when we strive to make it through our own toil under the sun, without consideration of God. The Preacher uses the word vanity (ESV), which I would translate along with Fox as absurdity, 34 times in this book. And he uses the phrase under the sun or under heaven 29 times in this book, to communicate his perspective on life. His use of these concepts frequently is meant to illustrate what he has discovered through experience – there is no hope without God.
That might sound pretty discouraging, but not when you consider the converse, that there is hope to be found in God through Christ The book of Ecclesiastes can give us great hope and encouragement through the Preacher’s honest, realistic reality check.
So this is my invitation to join me because, as we study what he searched and discovered, I believe we will be surprised by what we learn, as God prepares us for the realities of life. Join me as we see how Ecclesiastes can point us to Christ.