Want to learn more about Ecclesiastes? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.
This week we begin the study of a new book of the Bible
– Ecclesiastes! I am excited to be studying this book because it has
so much practical and interesting advice for us. We realize that the
Bible teaches us in different ways. Sometimes it lays before us the
errors of others – not to give us an example, but rather to give us
an illustration of what not to do. Other times, the Bible gives us
direct advice on how to live. Our challenge in Ecclesiastes will be
to separate what the Holy Spirit led Solomon, who had one of the
greatest minds, to record as the depressed thoughts of a man who
realizes that he has wasted part of his “God-potential,” from those
thoughts inspired to give us direct, positive advice for living.
Let’s jump right in!
My boss for the last 30 years continues to work even
though he is over 80. I am confident he does not work because he
loves or needs money. Instead, he works because that is his
preference. Have you ever considered what activities in your life
give you the most joy? For some time now, I have been giving thought
to this and considering whether the choice my boss made is the right
choice for me. One of the things that gives me the most joy is making
a difference, being meaningful to others. Solomon wants to convince
us that nothing in life is meaningful. Is he right or is he
depressed? Let’s dive into our study and decide!
Can you remember a time when you said to yourself, “I
just want to have some fun?” If so, how did you go about finding fun?
If you did not have fun, do you think being the richest fellow around
would make having fun a little easier? What if you could have
everything you desired? This week we follow King Solomon’s thoughts
as he describes what he did to have fun, and how it all turned out.
Let’s jump right into our study!
My wife and the Holy Spirit sometimes seem to be
partners! For example, when I drive to church to teach this lesson,
I will be anxious to take as little time as possible. I leave my home
on time, but I want to move right along. If two drivers slow me down
by (for example) driving beside each other so no one can pass, this
irritates me and I will have something important to say to improve
their driving manners. If the traffic lights are not timed, I’ll
talk about that too. As my wife points out, only she gets to hear the
lecture on driving manners, timed lights and the relative
intelligence of other drivers – and she has heard the same lecture
too many times to count! Why do I do this? As my wife points out, it
makes no sense. What my wife and the Holy Spirit are working on is
my misguided sense about time. Hurry up with everything! Our lesson
this week is about time, so let’s clock in!
Have you noticed in American politics that everyone –
even those who have been at the seat of government power their entire
life – like to run for office as if they were an “outsider?” “I
promise to bring fresh air and a new perspective to the government!”
How many times have you heard that? Well, proving that he is right
that nothing is new, we hear that same thing from King Solomon!
Let’s plunge into our lesson and learn more!
How do you like your job? How much would you like to
get rich? Would you like to know just the right thing to say at all
times? How much time do you spend thinking about the past and how you
could have done things better? How do you retain your wealth? Let’s
work ourselves into our lesson this week because Solomon discusses
these things and more!
What do you most enjoy in life? What, for you, makes
life worth living? Do you enjoy your prosperity? King Solomon is
again ranting about how sad life can be, but our goal this week is to
consider what Solomon says and uncover what we can learn from it to
improve our life and our outlook on life. Let’s dive right into our
When is the last time you took a good, hard look at
your life? I’ve just about finished a book about a middle-aged man
who essentially looked at his life and tossed out a great deal of it.
Funerals tend to make us look at our life. So does a series illness.
Solomon invites us this week to look carefully at our life and
consider what we see. Let’s jump into our lesson!
How smart are you? Smart enough, right? Are you smart
enough to want to be wise? Smart enough to consider whether there is
any benefit to wisdom? If so, what is the benefit of wisdom? Would you
agree that it helps us to live better lives: not only in keeping out
of trouble, but in helping us to get through trouble when it comes?
This week King Solomon gives us a peek into his view of the benefit of
wisdom. Let’s wisely dive into our study!
Have you thought much about your own death? A few years
ago, I had some medical reason to believe that I might die in the
near future. Although the thought I would die shortly was not
pleasant, it was a very valuable learning experience. This week
Solomon directs us to a consideration of our own death. In my case it
turned out I did not have a fatal medical condition, but we all have
the “medical condition” that we are mortal. Let’s dive into our study
and see what we can learn about living by contemplating our death!
Last week, we ended our study with the story of the man
who saved the city against a great military power. The people of the
city forgot the man because he was poor. His wisdom was not valued by
them. This week, Solomon continues to urge us to consider the
importance of wisdom in our words and in our work. Let’s wisely dive
into our study!
If you look at the “self-help” shelf in the bookstore
you will find books on getting along with your co-workers, living
well and getting rich. Solomon has been giving us advice on being
good workers and getting along with others. Would God also give us
directions on how to get rich – given Jesus’ comment in Matthew 19:24
that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than
for a rich man to enter into heaven? Surprise! This week Solomon
seems to be giving us rules for getting rich. Let’s dive into our
study of the Bible and see if you agree!
So many times in this series of studies we have worried
that Solomon’s advice was not exactly right because he seemed to
leave God and eternal life out of the picture. This week, in the
concluding chapter, King Solomon strongly appeals to us to remember
to put God in the center of our thinking and planning. Let’s dive
right into our study!