A Time to Tear Down
I. DECONSTRUCTING our Pursuits of FULFILLMENT (1:2-3)
A. The MYTHS that we LIVE by
1. MATERIAL Fulfillment (2:1-11; 6:1-12)
2. INTELLECTUAL Fulfillment (1:12-18; 2:12-16; 8:16-17; 9:13-16)
3. OCCUPATIONAL Fulfillment (2:17-26; 4:4-8; 5:13-17)
4. RELIGIOUS Fulfillment (7:15; 8:14; 9:1-3)
B. The EXPOSING Power of DISAPPOINTED Expectations
C. Re-SETTING our PERSPECTIVE (1:1-18; 12:8-14)
II. Everything is MEANINGLESS? The Imagery of HEVEL
A. The FLEETINGNESS of it all… (6:12; 9:9; 11:10)
B. The ENIGMA (or ABSURDITY) of it all… (2:15,19,21,23; 3:19; 4:7-8; 6:2; 7:15; 8:14)
C. Putting a FACE to the NAME (Gen. 4:1-12; Ecc. 2:1-11; 8:14)
III. Sitting in SHAMBLES at the TEACHER’S Feet
A. REORDERING our MYTHS (7:29)
B. SHIRTING our HOPES (12:13-14)
Questions for Further Reflection:
1. Kid’s Question: When has life seemed unfair? How did that make you feel? Who could you talk to about it?
2. If you’re really honest with yourself, which of the myths of self-fulfillment do you gravitate towards the most?
3. When have your disappointed expectations revealed to you that you had expectations to begin with?
4. What expectations of God have you had that were false? How were those expectations exposed?
5. Which concept from the image of Hevel do you connect to the most? Is life fleeting or an absurd enigma?
6. Reread the story of Cain and Abel. In what ways do you see overlap between their story and the experience of the teacher in Ecclesiastes?
7. As an exercise, try to make a list of the things that your hope is built on. If these things were taken away, if they were exposed as hevel, what would happen? Take time to pray this week, asking God to help you place your hope solely on Him.