Life’s Pursuits
STEVE McKENZIE
ECCLESIASTES 1:1-11
Life’s Pursuits

 

AUTHOR

  • Solomon “Son of David, King in Jerusalem…”
HEVEL (הֶבֶל)
  • Translated as ‘vanity’ in the ESV, ‘meaningless’ in the NIV, the word means vapor or breath, giving the idea of fleeting, without substance.
  • The term hevel is also used to describe idols in the Old Testament (Jer. 16:19, Zech 10:2)
  • This same word can also be found in Romans 8:20, “for creation itself was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it…”
  • Futility is a result of the fall in Gen. 3
ALL IS VANITY
  • We see the totality of vanity in verses 5-7
  • The sun rises and falls (east to west), the wind blows north to south, and streams never fill up the oceans. This shows the completeness of everything being vanity.

 

ONE SHEPHERD
  • Ecclesiastes cannot be understood accurately without constantly lining up each passage against the backdrop of the conclusion in Ecc. 12:8-14.
  • “One Sheperd” is only used in three other places in the Bible and each time it refers to the Messiah (Ezek. 34:23, 37:24, John 10:6). This means that Ecclesiastes is a messianic book that points to and longs for the Messiah to come and to order his kingdom according to his wisdom.
  • Jesus is the true son who perfectly obeys God commandments
  • Jesus died and rose from the dead, so that life under the sun (natural life) is not the end.
  • God will judge everyone in the end (Hebrews 9:27).

 

COMMUNITY GROUP QUESTIONS
  1. What are some activities you engage in that seem monotonous and unending?
  2. What things do you or people you know look to as a means of relieving the redundancy of life?
  3. What does the term, ‘hevel‘ mean and why is this important as we study Ecclesiastes?
  4. How does Jesus bring significance and meaning to all of our actions, including the ones that seem mundane?
  5. As we begin this new series, we are praying for 1) Thankful Contentment (able to give thanks with a content and satisfied heart for all that God has provided), and 2) Joyous Freedom(uprooting idols from our hearts as we grow in our affections for Jesus in all of life). How can we pray specifically for each other toward this goal?