Wednesday Bible Study - Ecclesiastes
March 1, 2017
Today we continued our journey through the Old Testament focusing on the book of Ecclesiastes. This book, located between the book of Proverbs and the Song of Solomon, is written by God through king Solomon. Solomon is the Preacher (1:2).
Remember who king Solomon is. He is the son of David and the third king of Israel. He became king as a very young man. When God asked what He could do or give to Solomon, Solomon asked for the widsom to properly rule God's people Israel (2 Chronicles 1:7-12). God is so impressed that Solomon didn't ask for the normal things young kings ask for, such as wealth, honor, the life of his enemies, or for a long life for himself. God gave Solomon great wisdom, greater than anyone had ever witnessed. God also gave Solomon all the other things that he thought Solomon would have asked for. So, king Solomon is the wisest, richest, most honored person in the world before God and man.
Solomon has everything a man could desire, and yet he is not content.
Solomon writes Ecclesiastes as complaint. He is not content with his life. Solomon's wisdom will die with him. His wealth will be divided up and lost among foolish people after he dies. His honor will be forgotten.
The message of Ecclesiastes is that without Christ all ambition and goals are chasing after the wind. Vanity. Meaningless. Purposeless. Creation is distorted and corrupted. All that you gain will be taken from you.
God's good and holy Law in this book should give you a good does of depression until you despair.
Where is the Gospel? You salvation is a gift. There is nothing you can do to earn it. The harder you work toward you salvation the farther you drive yourself away from God. The only to be saved from a corrupted creation and even your own corrupted nature, is to receive a good gift from God.
Jesus was sent to bare your corruption. Jesus had no corruption of His own rather He is holy God in assumed human flesh. Jesus' life and death is vanity if He did it for Himself. Rather, He takes on your corruption so you may have the fullness of His life.
Jesus delivers His uncorrupted life to you using common things found in His creation. First, preachers give solemn proclamation of God's Word. Today, king Solomon is our preacher. This book is Solomon's sermon to you. Better than that, this is God's sermon to you. It is God's message to you. A message that delivers meaning to your life through the death and resurrection of Jesus. And by hearing your belief.
Jesus delivers His uncorrupted life to you by adding His Holy Word to common water. Your Father no longer holds your corruption against you. He promises to restore this corrupted, meaningless creation to its original corruption including raising your glorious body from the dead.
Jesus delivers His uncorrupted life to you by adding His Holy Word to common bread and wine. Eat and drink His body and blood for the forgiveness of your corruption.
So what is Preacher Solomon saying to us who trust the Messiah who has come and is the Christ who is still among us?
With the Gospel firmly in view, Solomon gives some advice in Ecclesiastes 12: 13.
First, fear God. This means trust no one else by the God who created everything under heaven, which means all creation. This is faith. When God accuses you with His good and holy Law, say Amen, you are correct O Lord. When God proclaims you forgiven of all sin and corruption, say, Amen, you are correct O Lord. Keep hearing both these messages and keep adding your amen. Don't listen to anyone else. This is the fear of God.
Second, keep His commandments. How does a Christian keep God's commandments? In Christ. When He says be baptized in my name, be baptized. When He says be instructed in all the things I have said, read the Bible and sit at the feet of someone who understands it better than you. I once heard a Mormon missionary say, 'Every verse in the Bible has a hundred interpretations.' Then I heard another gentleman rightly say, 'Yes, and one is correct and 99 are wrong'. When He says be forgiven in My name, be forgiven in His name. When He says eat and drink My body and blood, given and shed for you, which is in, with, and under the bread and wine for the forgiveness of your sins, then eat and drink. And where there is the forgiveness of sins you will also find salvation and eternal life.
Close with the Lord's Prayer
Song of Songs is next week. God bless.