Writings – Ecclesiastes Everything is WHAT? Ecc. 1:1-2:26 July 1, 2018
I. Some KEYS to READING this book. (Ps 119:97-99)
A. TWO different VOICES. (1:1; 12:9-14)
B. One of three ANGLES on WISDOM.
1. Proverbs – HOW things WORK. (Prov. 3:5-6)
2. Ecclesiastes – SOMETIMES they DON’T. (Ecc. 9:11-12)
3. Job – TRUSTING the One BEHIND it all. (Job 42:5-6)
C. UNDERSTANDING ‘hevel” – “MEANINGLESS” (1:2)
So just so we are clear, sermons should be only a small amount of your exposure to the Bible. Today we start our summer series with the book of Ecclesiastes. There are some keys to help in understanding what this book is communicating so that as you read it at home you can better understand and apply it to your own life.
1. Does the way Jeff shared that Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job work together make sense to you? Why or why not?
2. Have you ever felt that things were meaningless? What caused that? How has that or has that) changed and why?
II. The EXPERIENCE of the TEACHER. (1:1-2:26)
A. The TENACITY of TIME. (1:1-11)
B. WISDOM actually deepens SORROW. (1:12-18; 2:12-16)
C. PLEASURE doesn’t bring MEANING. (2:1-11)
D. WORK is eventually UNDONE. (2:17-26)
The first 2 chapters of Ecclesiastes share the experiences that this wise teacher has had over the course of his life. He has noticed some things – some truths that are heavy and that make life more difficult to understand. He’s taking off the rose colored glasses and looking at reality as it is.
3. What is your initial reaction to the first 2 chapters of Ecclesiastes? How do they make you feel?
4. How has your experience in life been like that of the teacher? How has it been different?
5. Do you disagree with the ideas presented in the first 2 chapters?
III. WHAT do we do with THIS?
A. Be CAREFUL with easy ANSWERS. (Prov. 25:20)
B. Don’t be AFRAID of HONESTY. (Ps. 10:1; Ps. 42:9)
C. Faith is a RELATIONSHIP, not a SYSTEM. (Jn 5:39-40)
D. It’s a LIMITED view “UNDER the sun”. (1:3,9,14; 2:11,17,18,19,22)
You’re probably thinking, “Thanks Jeff. These 2 chapters have weighed me down. What a nice way to head into summer.” But let’s not stop here…the writer of Ecclesiastes doesn’t. What can we do with what we see in chapters 1 and 2. There are several things that we can take away from this and ask God to embed within our lives.
6. When has someone given you an “easy answer” in a difficult situation? How did it impact you?
7. Why do we tend toward easy answers instead of difficult honesty?
8. Do you see faith as relationship or system? How can you tell?
For an excellent start in grasping how the Bible’s wisdom books work together go to https://thebibleproject.com/explore/wisdom-series/.