Our autumn Sunday morning studies are from the book of Ecclesiastes. It is one of 5 books in the Bible that are described as ‘wisdom literature’. It contains teaching that will remind us of Proverbs, or the Psalms. It will explore aspects of life that are also explored in the Song of Songs and in Job. The writer will make use of metaphor and poetry as he considers life as he sees it from the perspective of earth. All with the intention that we take on the wisdom found in following God. For this “life lived under the sun” is fleeting like a breath, vapor or mist.
Commentators traditionally have taken King Solomon to be the author and that what he is writing about is akin to an autobiography of his life. We cannot be certain that Solomon is the author and the book never confirms this. Rather we are introduced to a strange and untranslatable title for the author ‘Qoheleth’ which we can simply understand as ‘The Preacher’.
Who he is, doesn’t particularly matter. This Preacher has a message to bring, one of raw honesty about life’s experiences that we will find empathy with. His teaching will challenge our assumptions about how life should be lived. In the glimpses he brings of God’s character we will learn what is the right perspective on life: God’s perspective.