Preaching Pointers from Ecclesiastes
Don’t miss the Application
The book of Ecclesiastes contains application upon application for today’s society. With topics ranging from individualism, idolatry, consumerism, suffering, temptation, injustice, competition, poverty, oppression, and more, the preacher can become overwhelmed with material that applies to their congregation. Therefore, one would be amiss to assume that the book of Ecclesiastes does not apply to today’s congregation and miss preaching the application.
Don’t miss the Mood
The book of Ecclesiastes is a unique book in the sense that the mood of Ecclesiastes is different than any other book of the Bible. Ecclesiastes is written in a pessimistic tone that is not transferrable into any other book of the Scripture. Therefore preaching Ecclesiastes requires a different tone than any other book of the Bible. When preaching through Ecclesiastes, the preacher must be able to convey the hopeless attitude of the “preacher” in regard to the vain pursuits listed in the text.
Don’t Miss the Point
The book of Ecclesiastes is written for a purpose and preachers must be diligent to preach for that purpose. Solomon uses the book of Ecclesiastes to demonstrate the foolishness of idolatry. One by one the “preacher” sets up idol after idol in order to show how pointless and profitless they are. Systematically each idol is stripped of its perceived worth and revealed as harmful to those who indulge. While preaching through the dangers of idolatry can be difficult, preaching boldly about the destructive nature of idolatry is necessary for pointing people to Christ.
Don’t Miss the Conclusion
Ecclesiastes is a book of testimony for the “Preacher.” As the “preacher” contemplates the meaning and purpose of life, he looks back to realize the “vanity” of pursuing the things of the world for emotional and physical satisfaction. The “preacher” thus concludes that we must all face death and none of these pursuits are beneficial in the sense of eternity. The conclusion is then presented; the only pursuit in life worth pursuing is knowledge of the Lord. Therefore when preaching through Ecclesiastes, preachers must diligently preach to this end. A sermon preached from the book of Ecclesiastes would miss the point if it did not preach the immeasurable joy that is found in pursuing the Lord.
Don’t Miss the Christ
The whole Cannon of Scripture points to Jesus Christ and the book of Ecclesiastes is no different. Therefore the preacher must readily point to the Savior in the Scriptures when preaching through Ecclesiastes. This may be accomplished through redemptive-historical progression, promise-fulfillment, typology, analogy, New Testament references, or contrasting applications. Regardless of the method, Christ must be preached when preaching Ecclesiastes.