I feel like I’ve been banging on about Ecclesiastes on the blog for a while now. It was my ‘wellies’ Bible book a couple of terms ago (and if that makes no sense, have a read of this post), which in turn led to us preaching through it in South Barrow during Lent this year. Ecclesiastes manages to be at the same time densely rich, intriguingly beautiful and undeniably brutal. And overall I’ve found spending time with God in Ecclesiastes has been like a breath of fresh air.
Anyway, along the way I wrote a series of sixteen daily devotions going through the whole of Ecclesiastes – and you can pick them up in the July-October ’17 edition of Explore, a set of quarterly dated Bible-reading notes which aim to “help you read, understand and apply the extraordinary truths of God’s word, every single day.”
I think Ecclesiastes is a book with a bit of a reputation – and sadly that can often stop us from opening it up. And yet it has such a life-giving message (albeit one that surprises us and confronts us too).
If that’s whetted your appetite at all, you can pick Explore up from The Good Company here. You get ninety-two daily reflections for just £4.49 – bargain! – and as well as covering Ecclesiastes, this edition also looks at Luke’s gospel, Ezra, Philemon, Psalms, Titus and Micah. Or download the app and pay through that.
I’d really love to get your feedback – especially if you’re not familiar with Ecclesiastes. I’d love to hear how God speaks to you through this portion of his Spirit-breathed word. Why not join the Explore Facebook group to share your thoughts, encouragements, questions and prayers?
Of course, as the Teacher in Ecclesiastes is keen to remind us, there’s nothing new under the sun. Personally, I’ve really been helped in my own grappling with Ecclesiastes by David Gibson’s excellent book, Destiny (my review here), Iain Provan’s commentary, Barry Webb’s Five Festal Garments (a fab introduction to Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and Esther), as well as three talks I heard by Brian Elfick at a North-West Partnership Ministers’ Day.
If you’ve not come across Explore before, it’s well worth checking out. Spending a little bit of time reading and praying through the Bible each day is a brilliant rhythm to get into – even if it’s just five minutes. There are lots of ‘daily Bible reading notes’ out there, but one of the things I love about Explore is that its big aim is to push you into the Bible, rather than just skimming along the surface. Anyway, that’s what I’ve valued about Explore in the past – I hope this doesn’t tarnish that reputation!
You can hear a bit more about the vision behind Explore from Carl Laferton, the Senior Editor, here: