Monday, April 16, 2012

Ecclesiastes 1:1 - 10:7

Study 1 – Ecclesiastes 1 and 2

  1. Those things in this passage that Solomon views as monotonous actually demonstrate the stability and unchangeable nature of the Lord. The sun continues to rise and set, the wind never fails to blow, and the waves continue to crash on the sea. Granted, our lives have no effect whatsoever on this. This may illustrate that our impact on the Kingdom, no matter how much effort we put forth, will not be as powerful as the things that God accomplishes every day without fail throughout eternity.

  2. While wisdom and pleasure may bring temporary relief and comfort, in the end the result for everyone is the same. We all die. Fool and wise, depressed and joy-filled all die and are forgotten by most.

  3. We all die. Everything that we have acquired falls apart or rusts away. Apart from the blessings of the Lord there is nothing worth living for.

Study 2 – Ecclesiastes 3:1 – 4:8

  1. The best attitude toward life is to take it as it comes and realize that things will change. There will always be another day. Some will be filled with blessing while others will be filled with challenges. Enjoy the good time and don’t forget that during the bad times that they most certainly will not last forever.

  2. In this life wickedness trumps justice; the oppressed are overpowered by the oppressor; most of what we struggle to obtain does not matter; and all of the honors and achievements in the world don’t amount to much of anything in the end. Since you have to go through all of this anyway you need to be sure that you don’t go through it alone.

Study 3 – Ecclesiastes 4:9 – 6:12

  1. Friendship helps us make it through the tough times that are inevitable in this life.
    This is why prayer and worship were meant to be done in community rather than alone.

  2. We need to take God seriously. We need to approach Him with our ears open and our mouths closed and be very careful not to make promises to Him that we have no intention of keeping.

  3. Money doesn’t necessarily bring evil, but it certainly can’t keep it from happening. Whether or not one can enjoy their wealth in this life is dependent upon the Lord. More often than not the wealthy are never satisfied and lose sleep over how to acquire more and to keep that which they already have. In the end a stranger is going to end up buying something of theirs at the estate auction anyway for a twentieth of what you paid for it in the first place.

Study 4 – Ecclesiastes 7 and 8

  1. The only things that should truly concern us in life are those things that we want to be remembered for in death. To help find the balance one need only keep the fear of God as their central focus.

  2. We need to be careful about reacting to quickly to our circumstances. Sometimes it is best just to hold steady and wait for things to turn around on their own rather than taking matters into one’s own hands. Always look to those in leadership around you and follow their advice even when you think that quick action is needed.

    The fact that life isn’t always far is a stark reminder that when you can enjoy times of joy and feasting – do it! The time will come when the feasting will end. Life isn’t about the party of course, but enjoy the parties that you can have along the way. The ultimate party is yet to come!

Study 5 – Ecclesiastes 9:1 – 10:7

  1. The Christian can look beyond the grave because of the hope that we have in a risen Christ! Yes, we do face the common end of the wicked in that we stand in judgment awaiting our fate before a holy God. But, beyond that the path of the wicked and the righteous are no longer the same. The eternal end of the righteous is radically different from that of the wicked due to the assurances secured for the believer in the resurrection of our savior.

  2. Natural talent needs to be taken advantage of but is no guarantee of success. Luck has a lot to do with it. The wisest are not always the wealthiest or those in position of power. Many were merely born at the right place at the right time and new the right people. Often times their servants are more qualified to rule than they are. Such is life. Do the best you can with it. In the end the playing field gets leveled at the cross!

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