Day 165 – Thru the Bible
Today we finish Ecclesiastes! Here’s another video explains the Wisdom Literature side of Ecclesiastes.
Video – Wisdom: Ecclesiastes
How does this video help you understand Ecclesiastes place in the Wisdom literature?
Ecclesiastes 9 – This typifies the positive refrain of Ecclesiastes (2:10, 24–26; 3:12–13; 5:17–19; 8:15; 9:7–9; 11:7–10), which involves the enjoyment of food and drink as the provision of God in an otherwise undependable world that is beyond human control, understanding, or anticipation. Such gracious provision comes to its richest fulfillment first in the earthly ministry of Jesus (who alone has mastery over the earthly elements).
One thinks of His miracle at Cana (John 2:1–11), His dining at Matthew’s house (Matthew 9:10–15), the feeding of the multitudes (Matthew 14:14–21; 15:32–38), the Last Supper (Mark 14:17–25), or the post-resurrection breakfast on the beach (John 21:12). Finally, we reflect on the future wedding supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9), which we anticipate each time we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, “proclaiming the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).
Knowing your future is secure in Jesus, how does that help you help others enjoy the provision God gives you each day?
Ecclesiastes 10 – The “right hand” is often associated with strength in the Old Testament. The Preacher is probably referring to the left to indicate weakness.
The Preacher is aware that the poor can possess wisdom and that the wealthy ruling classes can be corrupt.
The various disasters described in vv. 8–11 are all accidental, so the one who digs a pit is not necessarily intending to cause harm.
The fact that no man knows what is to be does not prevent a fool from making many unsupported predictions A fool’s toil in the fields is more tiring than others’ because he is unaware of things that would make his work easier.
Bread . . . wine . . . money. The Preacher comments favorably here on each of these. Money answers everything in that it can influence a situation to produce the result one desires.
What wisdom do you see in these Proverbs?
Ecclesiastes 11 – Cast your bread upon the waters is a difficult expression. Various scholars have suggested it could refer to (1) maritime commerce; (2) diversifying one’s financial resources; (3) giving to the poor.
It is wise to have many ways to make a living and invest resources.
Too much time spent trying to “read the skies” will only distract one from the work that needs to be done. Those who always wait for the perfect time to begin a project will not sow and will not reap.
Proper enjoyment of life is possible only within the moral boundaries established by God. He will evaluate all human deeds according to His righteous judgment.
How do you enjoy all God has provided?
Ecclesiastes 12 – There are many connections between Ecclesiastes and Genesis (e.g., creation and curse—see Ecclesiastes 7:29). Yet this reminder to depend on our Creator for solace in a broken world will ultimately move us forward in our search for wholeness to the culminating truths of salvation history revealed in Jesus (John 1:1–3; 20:17, 30–31). For it is in Jesus that we see God’s promise of abundant life (John 10:10) and the renewal of all things (Revelation 21:5).
Like “the Preacher” of Ecclesiastes, Jesus is a wisdom teacher, surpassing even Solomon in his wisdom (Matthew 12:42). He also lived a life of wisdom. From the cradle to the cross, He walked the way of wisdom. Denying Himself the usual rewards of godliness—long life, good reputation, strong marriage, healthy children, material prosperity—He submitted to the wise will of His Father, enduring a humiliating death, so that in His sufferings He might become for us the very wisdom and power of God (1 Corinthians 1:24).
If the writer is borrowing from the language of Ezekiel 34:23–24; 37:24–25, the reference to “one shepherd” serves as an anticipation of the coming Davidic shepherd King. The New Testament identifies this as Jesus (Matthew 25:31–46). Jesus called Himself, “one shepherd” (John 10:16), as well as “the good shepherd” who laid “down [His] life for the sheep” (John 10:14–15).
In Matthew 10:28, Jesus likewise combines the themes of fearing God and judgment—“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
If you have yet to realize that God is the Ruler of this exceedingly complex universe and that therefore you are not, then the door to the kingdom of heaven and a meaningful life remains closed. To you, this verse serves as a final warning with the weight of the warning falling on the words “every” and “secret.” Each and every word, action, and thought will be judged by God (Romans 2:16).
However, if you have come to Jesus in faith and are thus willing to live in dependence upon His wisdom, provision, and grace, then this verse serves as a reminder of the comfort that will come when Jesus balances the scales of justice on the last day. On that day He will vindicate those already declared righteous by Him. He will also condemn the wicked who by rejecting Him will have every deed, including every secret thing, taken into account (Matthew 25:31–46; 2 Corinthians 5:10).
Above all, Ecclesiastes is a call to entrust yourself to God, the only solid truth and reality in this universe. Everything “under the sun” will finally disappoint. But trust in God gives us an “above the sun” perspective that acknowledges the harsh realities of this fallen existence while retaining hope. God will one day cleanse this world and reinstate Eden. In Jesus, this new world has already dawned.
How does this great news about our future encourage you today?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
Videos produced by www.TheGospelProject.com.
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