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Seeking Answers. A Study in Ecclesiastes. Lesson 23 – Seeking Honesty…Finding Hope – Hear the Conclusion of the Whole Matter Brian K. Davis February 19 , 2012 . Perspective of the Book of Ecclesiastes. Life Happens in Real Time. We Cannot Know How Life is Going to Turn Out.

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slide1

Seeking Answers

A Study in Ecclesiastes

Lesson 23 – Seeking Honesty…Finding Hope–

Hear the Conclusion of the Whole Matter

Brian K. Davis

February 19, 2012

slide12

Perspective of the Book of Ecclesiastes

  • Life Happens in Real Time
  • We Cannot Know How Life is Going to Turn Out
  • We Cannot Change the Past or Control the Future
  • Life Has Meaning with the Proper Perspective
slide13

The Author of the Book of Ecclesiastes

  • Solomon as the Author brings a number of perceptions about this book:
    • Bitter, Old Man
    • Wisest Man Who Lived
    • His Apostasy
    • Other Considerations – Uninspired writing, etc.
  • Set aside Solomon as the Author to change the perspective of this book:
    • Qoheleth or Preacher is Speaking
    • This is a “Preacher’s Story”
    • Technique of Inductive Reasoning Used to derive an answer to the question of life - “What value or purpose is there for living?”
    • Pessimist view, Optimist view or Realist view – You decide?
slide14

Perspective: The Tone is Pessimist - Half Empty?

  • The Author’s Theme – “All is Vanity” – Remember the key at the front door and at the back door – Ecclesiastes 1:2; 12:8
  • Vanity - means uselessness; it occurs 35 times in 29 verses. Sets a tone for the entire book sans the last few verses
  • But a key phrase is “under the sun” - it is found 29 times in 27 verses. Sets the place of consideration sans the last few verses.
  • Consider the following:
    • Human labor is troublesome – 2:18
    • Severe evil - Riches kept… owner’s hurt – 5:13
    • Men and Beast have the same fate – 3:19
    • Recommending death over life – 4:2
    • Wickedness overruns righteous – 8:14
    • Sorrow and sickness and anger – 5:17
    • Grieved, burden and restless with life – 2:23
  • Is the Preacher hopeless? Is there no value in his message?
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Perspective: The Preacher a Realist When Dealing with a Meaningless Life?

  • What he shares is based upon his observations and experience when dealing with life ‘under the sun’
  • “Scared-Straight” approach – The author is frank when dealing with a person who chooses to live life ‘under the sun’ – a life without God!
  • Is the preacher credible and trustworthy in what he says about a life without God? - Read Ecclesiastes 12:9 – 14.
    • He followed the path of wisdom – Moses, Solomon and Ezra – Deut 6:1-9; Proverbs 1:7; Ezra 7:10
    • His personal experience with emptiness of worldly pursuits – ‘knowledge’ implies more than just facts – 12:9
    • He pondered and sought out – left no stone unturned – 12:9
    • His word are the words of the ‘one Shepherd’ – Psalm 23; Ezekiel 34:1-10 – ‘goads and well-driven nails’
    • The Words of the Shepherd is Sufficient – 12:12 – II Timothy 3:16-17; Matt. 4:4
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Perspective: The Preacher is an Optimist for those who ‘Fear God and Keep His Commandments’

The Preacher was pessimistic about a life without God and he was certainly a realist when it came to a life with God. In his realism, the preacher revealed his optimism. (Gleaves, p. 107)

This book is a call to action for those who are living life ‘under the sun’! And, for those who are on a Heavenly journey, it should serve as a reminder of the blessed life in having a relationship with the Creator! (Notes of Davis)

At the close of this book, the author reminds the ‘hearers’ that there is a judgment to come – with that consideration in mind, how should we conduct ourselves?

For Wednesday night, please re-read the book of Ecclesiastes with an unbiased view (e.g. an open mind) and determine has your perspective of the book changed.