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Ecclesiastes: Two Ways of Living
There are two ways of living: “under the sun” or in the fear of the Lord. Life under the sun is ultimately meaningless. Although human beings can accumulate many things, experience great pleasure, accomplish much, and achieve great wisdom, these are without profit and are ultimately pointless unless one has lived in reverence and obedience to God.
A Brief Introduction to Ecclesiastes
- Author: The Preacher (Likely Solomon)
- Date: Around 935 BC
- Recipients: Israel
A Brief Introduction to Ecclesiastes: Purpose
Ecclesiastes answers the question, “What is the meaning of life?” It shows us that a life lived apart from God (life “under the sun”) is ultimately meaningless. Wealth, possessions, achievements, physical pleasures, knowledge and wisdom under the sun fail to satisfy and are ultimately futile from the perspective of eternity. The meaning of life cannot be discovered by man — it has been revealed by God. God has revealed that the
meaning of life is to know Him. We must fear God and keep His commandments since He will judge everyone and everything.
Understanding the Text
- All is vanity (Ecclesiastes 1:1-2)
- We are here today and gone tomorrow (Ecclesiastes 1:3-7)
- There is no meaning or satisfaction in creation itself (Ecclesiastes 1:8)
- There is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10)
- Fame and glory are fleeting (Ecclesiastes 1:11)
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
Applying the Text
- Are you living life under the sun, or in fear of the Lord?