Ecclesiastes 7:15-29

I found this passage to be the most difficult to interpret thus far in the book of Ecclesiastes. When we find a text that is hard, we need to exercise care not to avoid the difficulties it presents, for there may lay the heart of its message. At the same time, we want to be careful to interpret the passage within the context of the Scriptures as a whole, and to look for its connection to the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Ecclesiastes 2:12-26

Many students of Scripture see the book of Ecclesiastes falling naturally into four sections: 1:1-2:26; 3:1-5:20; 6:1-8:15; and 8:16-12:14. This first section has been a relentless destroying of all claims that lasting joy can be found in the pursuit of what this earthly life can offer us. In these final verses of this section, Ecclesiastes will challenge the value of human wisdom itself and confront us with the terrible reality that undoes every earthly hope. Remarkably, however, the Preacher will end this section with an unexpected message of grace. 

Ecclesiastes 1:12-18

Pastor Gordon Hugenberger says of Ecclesiastes: “It’s not that the conclusions don’t harmonize with what is taught everywhere else in the Bible. It’s rather that we’re just not used to this much honesty. We much prefer religious platitudes, the kind of feel-good aphorisms that you can stick on your refrigerator and get inspired for the day. But Ecclesiastes won’t have it–his is high octane Christianity, soul searching insights, and convicting observations.” (His excellent sermons on Ecclesiastes can be found on the Park Street Church web site, 

Ecclesiastes 11.7-12.14

Concluding a series of sermons on the Bible's teaching concerning itself, this message looks at the literal interpretation of Scripture: how the Bible transforms us, reveals to us truth, and unites us as the people of God. The book of Ecclesiastes provides a text that is as beautiful as it is true, or, we might say, it beautifully communicates truth. As we appreciate that beauty and acknowledge that truth, God's Word is a source of life for us.