Ecclesiastes: Wisdom for Life
Feb 11, 2022 · Courtney Jacob
What is the meaning of life? Does anything matter? Is there anything of lasting value in this life? We’ve all asked existential questions similar to these at some time in our lives. We want to find wisdom, we want to contribute something of value to our world, and ultimately, we desire to live meaningful lives. If we desire wise answers to these tough questions, we can confidently turn to Scripture. Turns out, the writer of Ecclesiastes—known as the Teacher—sought to find meaning and lasting value in life too. Join Groundwork as we study the Teacher’s wisdom in our series, “Ecclesiastes: Wisdom for Life.” Together, we’ll examine the major themes of Ecclesiastes, we’ll discuss what we can learn from the Teacher, and we’ll see how he helps us evaluate life through the context of our faith.
When seeking wisdom, it makes sense to start with wisdom literature. The book of Ecclesiastes is one of the Bible’s five books classified as wisdom literature. (The other four are Psalms, Proverbs, Job, and Song of Solomon.) While the author of Ecclesiastes is technically unknown, the book is often attributed to King Solomon.
In Ecclesiastes, the Teacher explores the meaning of life and searches for lasting value in this life. He considers wisdom, knowledge, pleasure, work, and time, but comes away from his search with a cynical and unsettling view: life is meaningless. However, if we read closely, nestled in among the Teacher’s discouraging prose about the meaninglessness of life we’ll find the importance of motivation, we’ll discover valuable wisdom for issues we continue to struggle with today, like our priorities, work/life balance, and finding joy in life. We’ll also see his firm encouragement to ground ourselves first in our faith and in relationship with God.
Old Testament Wisdom in Light of Christ
Much of what the Teacher writes makes life seem utterly hopeless. And yet, throughout Ecclesiastes, there are glimmers of hope whenever he talks about God and about faith. As Christians, we know that hope comes from our salvation in Jesus Christ. This is wonderful knowledge the Teacher did not yet have, so together we’ll draw connections between the Teacher’s wisdom in Ecclesiastes and the hope we now have because we know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
Discover Wisdom for Your Life
If you’d like to discover God’s meaning for life and glean biblical wisdom for your own walk, I invite you to join us for our Groundwork series, “Ecclesiastes: Wisdom for Life”:
- When Life is Meaningless -Ecclesiastes 1-2, 5:18-20
- A Wise Perspective on Work - Ecclesiastes 4:4-8, 5:10-15, 9:7-10
- Finding Meaning in Life and the Passing of Time- Ecclesiastes 3:1-11, 12:1-14
...and together we’ll discover biblical wisdom that helps us create balance and find joy in this life, and ultimately, align our priorities with our faith in God.