In this episode, we see how the two conclusions to the book of Ecclesiastes are invitation to gain a far greater perspective on our lives than what we have simply through our own experiences and deciding our own meaning and purpose. The book of Ecclesiastes shows us, in Ecclesiastes 12:8, that our experience of this fallen and flawed world is “vanity.” But it also shows us how to respond to this reality in Ecclesiastes 12:13 — “fear God and keep his commands.” Ecclesiastes gives us two conclusions, therefore, about our lives: the first is descriptive and the second prescriptive. Though our lives are described as vanity, what is prescribed is faith, to learn to see with the eyes of faith that go beyond the walls of this world. While everything appears to us to be vanity or meaningless, That we can know and obey God gives us solid reality to build our lives. That he judges everything means that everything matters (12:14). So Ecclesiastes ends with good news: everything we do actually matters even if our experiences don’t match our longing for meaning and purpose. Ecclesiastes wants us to recover our purpose, then, by being reconciled to God.
Recovering Our Purpose
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