Since that conversation I have repeatedly found myself turning to Ecclesiastes and pondering its message. I too have become intrigued with and often puzzled with Solomon's expression of wisdom.
A couple years ago Brother Ron Courter held a meeting at my home congregation and spent several nights teaching from Ecclesiastes. He printed his notes in a booklet and we are happy to offer those notes in our bookstore through the link below.
Other than Brother Ron's notes, I have never found any outstanding material that really helped to unlock the message of Ecclesiastes in a way that made it's message come to life in both a practical and preachable way. That is until I read Living Life Backwards by David Gibson.
Here is the synopsis from the back cover:
Only by keeping the end in mind can a person truly learn how to live in the here and now. Living in light of our death reorients us to our limitations as creatures and helps us see God’s good gifts right in front of us—enabling us to live wisely, freely, and generously. Drawing on wisdom from the book of Ecclesiastes, David Gibson teaches us to embrace this countercultural mind-set and live life backward: to take the one thing in the future that is certain—our death—and work backward when it comes to our priorities, goals, desires, and decisions. If we do this, we'll learn that only with a proper perspective on death can we find meaning and satisfaction in life—and see just how great God is.
I highly recommend this book and believe it to be the best introduction/overview of Ecclesiastes available. It is engaging, practical, challenging, and reflective. It will punch you in the gut with its boldness and challenge you to reconsider both your priorities in life and your purpose for living. This book is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for those who are resistant to change. Grab a copy and discover (perhaps for the first time) Solomon’s message of wisdom for modern man.
Reading Level: Moderate