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We're exploring three books in the Bible known as the wisdom literature
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Job
and they're all asking the question what does it mean to live well in this world
So we looked at proverbs who you could think of as a bright young teacher
She's all about pursuing wisdom an attribute of God that's woven into reality
and she's optimistic that if you use wisdom you will build a successful life
but then we come to Ecclesiastes who's more like the sharp middle-aged critic and he says
You think using wisdom will bring you success
You'd better think again because life here under the sun is meaningless
and that's a phrase you use a lot in this book
but to understand this book we have to realize first that we're hearing two voices
So first there's the teacher and we've been calling him the critic
He's the main voice in the book
but he is introduced to us by another figure the author
and he's the one who's collected the critics words
and then at the end of the book summarizes everything and gets the final word
So why does the author wants to hear from the critic?
He wants to turn your view of the world upside down
and he's gonna let the critic explore three really disturbing things about the world
and we should warn you these are pretty intense
Yeah! So the first is the march of time
whereas the critic says
Generations come and generations go
but the earth it's been here long before us and we'll be long after
No one remembers people from long ago and all the people yet to come
They too will be forgotten by those who come after them
and so on a cosmic scale, you and I, we are just ibilik
stars are born and then they die and form planets with orbit new stars
and those planets they change over time and eventually burnt up
And admits this cosmic backdrop, my entire existence is like a blink in time
which leads to the critic's second disturbing observation
that we are all going to die
Humans face the same fate as the animals
Death, all people, the righteous and the wicked
The good and the bad
Those who offer sacrifices to God and those who do not
They all share the same destiny
all this activity and madness then we all join the dead
Man! This book is depressing
and so is the final disturbing thing for the critic
and that is life's random nature
So in Proverbs, life isn't random
There's a clear cause-and-effect relationship between doing the right thing and being rewarded
But the fact is that life doesn't always work that way
The critic has observed a glitch in the system
He calls it, Chance, or in his words
The race doesn't always go to the Swift
nor the battle to the strong
nor does food always come to the wise
or wealth to the brilliant
or favor to the educated
time and chance happen to them all
So his point is that you can't really control anything in life
It's just way too unpredictable
so if i want to master life
then you're setting yourself up for a fall
Now throughout the book, the Critic uses a metaphor to tie together all of these disturbing ideas
Nearly 40 times he says that everything in life is "Hevel"
it's a Hebrew word that means smoke or vapor
Like smoke, life is beautiful and mysterious
It takes one shape and before you know it
It takes a new shape
and smoke look solid but try and grab it it will slip right through your fingers
and when you're stuck in the thick of it like fog, it's impossible to see clearly
Now our modern translations have lost the metaphor
and they usually translate "Hevel" as meaningless
but if you read closely the critic isn't saying that life has no meaning
but rather that its meaning is never clear
Like smoke, life is confusing
It's disorienting and uncontrollable
So what are we supposed to do with all of this?
Well! Surprisingly, the critic first of all acknowledges the perspective of Proverbs
He says it's a really good idea to learn wisdom and to live in the fear of the Lord
Really?! I mean he just said that doesn't guarantee success
but he knows it's the right thing to do
but secondly and more often he says that since you can't control your life
You should stop trying
Learn to hold things with an open hand because you really only have control over one thing
and that's your attitude towards the present moment
Stop worrying he says and choose to enjoy a good conversation with a friend
or the Sun on your face
or a good meal with people that you care about
The simple things in life
Yes and both the good things and the bad because both are rich gifts from God
and that's the surprising wisdom of ecclesiasticus
Listening to the critic is painful
and can lead you into some dark places
and that's why the author speaks up at the end of the book
He doesn't want you to lose hope
He wants to make you humble
Into someone who trusts that life has meaning even when you can't make sense of it
that one day God will clear the Hevel and bring his justice on all that we've done
and so he tells us that the proper response to all of this is to fear the lord
and keep his Commandments
and that's the book of Ecclesiastes
Now there's one more voice in the Bible's wisdom literature
and that's the book of Job
and he will bring us the final much-needed perspective on our journey into wisdom
Hey! Thanks for watching this video
We make a lot more videos like this one here on our youtube channel
so check them out
We believe the Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus
and has wisdom to offer the modern world
so we're making videos that explore all the books of the Bible
Their main ideas and their unique design
We're also making videos about key themes that run through hole biblical story
there's a lot more videos and series planned
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The Book of Ecclesiastes

542 Folder Collection
sophia published on November 22, 2016
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