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.
David Gibson (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is minister of Trinity Church in Aberdeen, Scotland. Previously he served as a staff worker for the Religious and Theological Studies Fellowship (part of UCCF) and as an assistant minister at High Church, Hilton, Aberdeen. Gibson is also a widely published author of articles and books such as Rich: The Reality of Encountering Jesus and Reading the Decree: Exegesis, Election and Christology in Calvin and Barth.
“The past two decades have witnessed quite a number of popular expositions of Ecclesiastes—and this one by David Gibson is the best of them. It follows the line of the book in a believable and compelling way. Its applications and reflections are cogent and telling, and the writing is characterized by grace and verve. Moreover, the questions found at the end of each chapter make this volume suitable for small-group Bible studies. Highly recommended.”
D. A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; cofounder, The Gospel Coalition
“David Gibson’s expositions of Ecclesiastes are like Ecclesiastes itself: sometimes shocking, often tantalizing, always refreshing. He deftly combines serious stuff with a light touch, clear style, and gospel relief. You will repeatedly run into ‘think-stoppers’; he will make new grooves in your grey matter that weren’t there before, and you will often admit, ‘I wish I’d have thought to put it like that!’ I think the writer of Ecclesiastes would be pleased with David’s work.”
Dale Ralph Davis, professor emeritus of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary
“Too many view Ecclesiastes as merely the gloomy ruminations of a cynical pessimist. No wonder the book has fallen into neglect; we don’t need more of that today. But David Gibson blows away the dust and cobwebs by demonstrating that while Ecclesiastes is indeed skeptical about finding a meaningful and satisfying life without God, it’s also hopeful and optimistic about finding joy in an ordinary life with God as its center and aim. We can’t get enough of that today.”
David Murray, pastor, Grand Rapids Free Reformed Church; professor of Old Testament and practical theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary; author, Jesus on Every Page and Reset