Digging Deep - Sundays @ 8:50 AM

Digging Deep is a study group that focuses on in-depth textual study. They meet slightly earlier than most of our Sunday morning study groups to allow for more time to study.

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Current study: Ecclesiastes

Even though the book of Ecclesiastes is never quoted in the Newer Testament, there is an allusion to the message of the book in Romans:

I consider our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God (8:18-21).

The word translated "futility" (mataiotes) is the word used in the Septuagint (Greek version of the Older Testament) to translate the motto word of Ecclesiastes, "meaningless" (hebel). While the narrator, Qohelet (preacher, philosopher, teacher) sounds non-orthodox in the light of the rest of the scriptural canon, he presents a true assessment of the world apart from the light of God's redeeming love. His perspective on the world and life is restricted; he describes it as life "under the sun," that is, apart from heavenly realities, apart from God. In other words, his hopelessness is the result of the curse of the fall without recourse to God's redemption.

Qohelet sounds modern because he so vividly captures the despair of a world without God. The difference, though, is that the modern world believes God does not exist; Qohelet believed God existed but questioned his love and concern (4:16-5:6). As a result, nothing had meaning for Qohelet, not wealth, wisdom, or charity. After all, death brought everything to an end. Qohelet is preoccupied with death throughout the book (2:12-16; 3:18-22; 12:1-7) because he sees nothing beyond that point. He often concludes “life is useless.”

While the book of Ecclesiastes is “old”, the message it provides challenges us in our 21st century daily struggles. Join us on Sunday mornings beginning 8 September 2019 at 0850 to explore the depth of the Qohelet’s message to his readers.