There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

Preacher, don’t hold back

The Preacher cuts right to the chase, does he not? (1:1-11)

Vanity of vanities, all is vanity…

Part of our task Sunday will be to get a handle on what he means by “hevel” the Hebrew word translated as vanity in the ESV (with a nod to the KJV) and meaningless in the NIV (and other translations). And then we’ll have to flesh out on what basis he makes that sweeping claim….he appeals to several sources

and then, if his claim is valid and his evidence substantive, then what are you and I to make of it? How then do we take the preacher’s notion that this life, as it is, is meaningless?

so, some get-you-thinking questions:

if you had to substantiate the Preacher’s claim that all is meaningless, what evidence would you put forth?

of what value is there to considering the brevity of your life (as one nuance ‘of meaningless’)?

“there’s nothing new under the sun”: agree or disagree?

thoughts anyone?

1 Comment»

  John wrote @

Meaningless evidence
What one person or a group has invested vast amounts of time and energy into can be eliminated suddenly by a hurricane, fire or bomb.

Archeologist dig up the ruins of cites in the Middle East. They find lots of broken pottery. They use the shapes of the pottery to determine when it was made. On the same location they may dig five to fifteen feet deep ditches. These span many hundreds of years because when a city was conquered or destroyed they just built on top of it. What about the lives of the thousands of people that had been there and now all that is left is broken pottery?

Archeologists have found all kinds of monuments all over the planet. In many cases there are pictures and writings that they cannot understand at all. Those monuments meant much to the people of the time but nothing now.

What people value highly today in terms of fashion, computer programs and entertainment they will sacrifice much to buy. But it will get old, out dated, boring, displaced and become trash someday.

Value of considering the brevity of life
Young couples that go to the international mission field often report that this is a wise investment in the light of eternity. They see the end of their life and look back to recognize that it will be worth it.

New under the sun
Human nature has not changed. The sin nature in every human is present. It is more or less evident but never totally absent. Long ago there was a list made of the seven deadly sins. And they are lust, gluttony, greed, anger, laziness, wrath, envy and pride.

All of these are present in our society yet called anything but sin. They are present in individuals and can lead to criminal or addictive behaviors.


Putting a man on the moon and bringing him back safely never had occurred before.

The exact way that the waves were hitting the beach on Daytona Beach today at exactly noon was totally unique. The exact shape of the beach and waves was different one second later.

The wedding I attended last week was unlike any other in many details.–>

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