What is the purpose of life? The preacher in Ecclesiastes, just like many today, is in search of life’s meaning. But as they look through their limited worldview all they find is “vanity, vanity”. Pure emptiness! They are in search for something which will have eternal value. To find it, we need to look beyond ourselves. This is what the preacher discovers; that man is powerless, yet God has a design and purpose for all things. He is the giver of all life. Ecclesiastes gives teaching on doctrines such as man, salvation and future judgment.
“As Gleason Archer put it, the author of the Book of Ecclesiastes writes ‘to convince men of the uselessness of any world view which does not rise above the horizon of man himself.’” (Page 14)
“‘since the future is hidden even the most senseless actions may turn out well, and equally the most prudent ones may lead to disaster.’19 Knowledge of our ignorance forms the basis for a realistic outlook that depends upon a sovereign, omniscient God.” (Page 187)
“In view of the recurrence of such terms, a better choice for a theme consists of the good which God gives to mankind for enjoyment ‘under the sun.’” (Page 12)
“He ordains each and every event in a person’s life” (Page 61)
“However, all of them do express the inability of mankind to fully understand these realities of life. Such realities produce frustration, puzzlement, and vexation, but they do not make life meaningless.” (Pages 32–33)
Before joining The Master’s Seminary faculty in 1997, Dr. Barrick served with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE). In 1981 he and his family moved to Bangladesh. In that ministry Dr. Barrick served as the Exegetical Consultant for Bible translation projects, theological consultant for the Literature Division, and adjunct faculty member of the Baptist Bible Institute of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Theological Seminary, and Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary Extension Program (Singapore). Prior to joining ABWE in 1979, Dr. Barrick had been Professor and Chairman of the Old Testament Department at Denver Baptist Theological Seminary from 1972 to 1978. Beyond his teaching and Bible translation work, Dr. Barrick has been active in a variety of ministries including three years as Director of Church Planting in Chittagong, Bangladesh. He has also had a varied writing ministry from scholarly journals to adult Sunday School materials. Dr. Barrick has been writing in the areas of Bible and theology for forty years. His writings range from adult Sunday school materials, in-house library publications, and newspaper editorials to technical journal articles in English and a commentary on the book of Daniel in Bengali. In addition, as a result of his fifteen years of Bible translation ministry in Bangladesh, he has participated in the production of Bibles, New Testaments, and Bible sections in six different languages. While in Bangladesh he participated in the editing of over twenty books and tracts, including a Bengali translation of Unger’s Bible Handbook. During his doctoral studies he worked as a phototypesetter and proofreader for the first fascicle of The Hittite Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and a number of other major volumes. Dr. Barrick has been involved in writing or contributing to 24 books, and has authored over 120 periodical articles and book reviews. Dr. Barrick has been married to his wife Barbara for 42 years. They have four married children and fourteen grandchildren. He is currently Professor of Old Testament and Director of Th.D. Studies at The Master’s Seminary.