Week 21: Ecclesiastes

Prepare these questions for Sunday, August 18, 2013.

The name Ecclesiastes is generally thought to mean "teacher" or "preacher" and this book is written as though a teacher is giving advice.  The author may have been King Solomon, but that is not certain and it could just be a collection of teachings from several people.  This small book is not a story or history, but rather advice about how to pursue meaning in a broken world.

1. Chapter 1 includes two famous lines that are often quoted even in non-religious settings. Read verse 2 ("meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless) and verse 9 (there is nothing new under the sun). What do these verses mean and why would they resonate with so many people?

2. Chapter 3 begins with a beautiful poem (which also happens to be a song released by the band The Byrds in 1965). How could this "circle of life" concept be comforting? What other reactions or feelings does it inspire in you?

3. Read Chapter 5: 8-20. What is the main idea of this passage? How can you apply this advice to your own pursuits and desires for your life?

4. Ecclesiastes can be a depressing read (there is a lot of "meaningless" talk), but it can also be encouraging. It presents an uncertain world where hard work does not guarantee success or wealth, but where relationships (with friends or in marriage) are a source of real joy. How might the world be different if loving your friends and fearing God were the most valued priorities instead of the pursuit of wealth, power, or fame? How might your life be different if you focus on those priorities?

No comments:

Post a Comment