“Seeking Wisdom: Job and Ecclesiastes”
written by Rev. Dr. George Estes
The Summer quarter takes us into the deep waters of two books from the Old Testament, Job and Ecclesiastes. Along with Proverbs and some of the Psalms, these books form the Wisdom Literature of the Hebrew Bible. Readers of Encounter are familiar with the gripping story of Job, and perhaps with the famous third chapter of Ecclesiastes that notes “there is a time for every matter under heaven.”
Delving into questions of the meaning of life, the nature of divine justice, God’s purpose for all things, and the finite capacity of human beings to find answers to such questions, these writings challenge us intellectually, spiritually and emotionally. We will discover that these two books in particular took issue with the prevailing theological perspectives of their day, not content with pat answers to life’s difficulties. In that way, we may detect hints of the gospel, though by no means the full flower of Christian faith. What we have in these books is an invitation to ponder the imponderable with these ancient yet mysteriously up-to-date writers.
The writer for this material is Rev. Dr. George Estes
Rev. Dr. George Estes
An honorably retired minister of Presbytery del Cristo, George R.
Estes. D.Min., continues to serve the church in pulpit supply, writing
and teaching as opportunities are available. He is caregiver for his
wife Janie, who suffered a stroke in 2017. They reside in Germantown,
Each lesson is introduced with a discussion question. Then we follow the prescribed method of study of our Confession of Faith.
The lessons model our Confession of Faith 1.07:
In order to understand God’s word spoken and through the scriptures, persons must have the illumination of God’s own Spirit. Moreover, they should study the writings of the Bible in their historical settings, compare scripture with scripture, listen to the witness of the church throughout the centuries, and share insights with others in the covenant community.
The Encounter study revolves around these principles of scriptural study:
1. Introduction to the lesson
2. Exploring the Scripture: Historical Setting
3. Digging Deeper: Comparing Scripture with Scripture
4. Learning from the Scripture: Listening to the Witness of the Church
5. Applying the Scripture: Sharing Insights in the Covenant Community
Our goal is to provide Biblical context and content for the Christian education of our churches.