When a book opens by telling us that any quest for meaning or satisfaction will face many frustrations the skeptics amongst us think… “yep, that is about right”. Some Christians wonder why this film-noir book is in the Bible but others are grateful that it is. Here is guidance on how to live in the world as we experience it under the sun. [Audio | Video | Notes]
Ecclesiastes 1:1 – 2:26. Michael Flynn
For further thought.
An outline of Ecclesiastes 1 & 2 could take the format of a science experiment report thus:
Synopsis | Method | Experiment – parts A, B, C | Results | Conclusion
The teacher gives a summary of his experiment with meaning at the opening of the book. The word translated in the NIV as ‘meaningless’ is the word that means mist-like, passing, temporary. For those who like irony, it is the name Eve gives to her second son, Abel.
Q: What is the scope of the teacher’s experiment in Ecclesiastes?
Q: The teacher gives us detailed conclusions for each experiment that he runs. What are the good and not so good things he has discovered?
Q: How is the teacher trying to protect us from despair in his conclusions about finding joy?
Q: What attracts you and what disturbs you about these chapters of this book?