Life Lessons from Ecclesiastes
The “Preacher” introduces his book by describing the vanity of life and the dead ends on the road to “the good life.” In doing so, he prepares us to learn that life is gift, not gain.
- List three things you would like to change about your life and three things you would like to stay the same.
- Can you think of instances when you felt you had "gained," only to find that in time you were dissatisfied again?
Sermon 2 - "Busyness" - Ecclesiastes 1:12-2:26
Life under the sun is busy with things that don’t last. The Preacher of Ecclesiastes encourages us to trade busyness for appreciation and abiding.
- What do the lives of people you know reveal about what they think will make them happy?
- How would you describe "true joy" to a friend who knows nothing of this?
We are creatures of time. Though God has put eternity into our hearts, there will always be a sense that we’re not there yet.
- What parts of your life could you receive as gifts from God, thanking him and enjoying them for what they are (rather than for fleeting gain)?
- What act of service to others could fuel joy in your life this coming week?
With all the swirl of current events, the oppression, the cynicism of fools that may be hard chargers or lazy bums or lone misers, where should our hope be?
- How many benefits can you think of that come from friendship/companionship in addition to what is found in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12?
- Consider the different pictures presented in Ecclesiastes 4:4-8. Do you tend toward any of these types of characteristics? How should you respond?
When coming to the house of God, the Preacher of Ecclesiastes encourages each of us to watch our step, watch our mouth, and stand in awe.
- In what contexts might we be at risk of being quick with our mouths and hasty in heart before God?
- "God is in heaven"; Why is it so easy to lose this perspective and this attitude?
Time flies when you are caught up in the joy of what God has given you to do in the present.
- Are there expectations you have politically or financially that need to be adjusted?
- Are there situations in your life you can find joy IN rather than simply waiting for joy on the other side?
There are limitations that have been placed on us, limitations that we can’t do anything about: the limitation of death and the limitation of wisdom.
- How does being aware of death help us live life?
- Which of the wisdom sayings stands out to you? How does it apply in your life right now?
These days feel especially uncertain. We need to come to grips with the uncertain, so that we can deal with what is certain: the realities of death, of our present circumstances, and of God himself.
- Which of these are you most likely to rely on to find a sense of security: your righteousness, power, or wisdom? How?
- How does the fact that you live "in the hand of God" affect the way you face uncertainty?
Final words from the Preacher of Ecclesiastes: Rejoice and remember your Creator. Fear God and keep his commandments.
- If you are young, how can you "remember your Creator?"
- If you are old, how can you rejoice in God's gifts and be thankful for gifts past?