Life is a perplexing paradox,
an enigma whose meaning and depth cannot be analyzed—
Life is a perplexing paradox, an enigma whose meaning and depth cannot be analyzed or measured,
or even understood fully. Indeed, the small child at innocent play seems to know
as much about life as the man who has lived a lifetime of ninety years.
Neither can really explain the meaning in living.
If you want to know how to live, it is here in this book. All your philosophy, all your psychology, all your wasted moments of trying to make sense out of the senseless cannot measure up to what you will find in Ecclesiastes. Here is God’s commentary on life. Here are the goads and nails, the words that prompt us into action and the words that hold things together— “The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd” (Eccl. 12:11). Here is that which is secured with nails and on which we can hang things. Here is that which will direct and goad us in the right direction so that we do not take the wrong paths. Here is bedrock.
In our future studies we will look more closely at what Ecclesiasts has to say. We hope you’ll go on this journey with us. Maybe this book will become one of your favorites. I hope so. May you live all the days of your life. I wish you that.
Questions just for you
- Why is life difficult to understand?
- Compare a child with an old man. How are the child and old man alike? How are they different?
- What happens to us when we lose the magic of childhood, the magic of being young?
- Can we die before our time? Have you ever seen people who were old at thirty?
- What does Ecclesiastes actually say about life? Why is that claim astounding?
- Is the answer to my life in psychology? Can psychology help me, though? Can psychology sometimes hurt me?
- Is the answer to my life in a fortune-teller? Why do people even go to fortune-tellers? Even if I knew the future, would that help me live better? By that I mean, if you knew the day you would die, would that help you live, or hamper you from living?
- What is a goad? How are goads used to direct animals? Why do we use nails? How are these two metaphors, nails and goads, to be understood in Ecclesiastes?
- Is money the answer to life? How does money make your life easier? How does the lack of money make your life harder? If you had all the money you could ever spend, would that make your life even one day longer? If you wanted to buy tomorrow, how much would it cost?
- Is it possible for me to be so concerned about money that I lose my life? What makes a house a home? When will you begin to live life as God intended for you to live?