Summer Under the Sun: Ecclesiastes 1-4

posted by Bethel Group Life | Aug 4, 2021

Summer Under the Sun

Aug. 8-14 (Ecc. 1-4) 

Chapter 1

  1. What are your first impressions of this chapter?

Vss. 3-4 “Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.”

  1. Have you ever found yourself in a similar state of despair where your life felt pointless? What was going on at that time in your life? What helped you endure the trials?

Chapter 2

Vs. 11 “Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.” See also vss. 17 and 26, as the statements are very similar. 

Now look at vss. 24-25 which say, “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?”

  1. What does each statement mean in the context of each other? In the context of the whole chapter?

  2. How do we find joy and meaning in our work and daily lives?

Chapter 3

Vs. 1 says “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” The following 7 verses lay out contrasting seasons that will happen in our lives. This helps us see that we cannot truly control what happens in our lives. We can influence what happens but oftentimes things will happen whether we want to or not. We are only ever truly in control of ourselves and how we respond to our circumstances. In this, the only way to find true joy is to let go of trying to control our lives and seek to find joy and satisfaction in the Lord no matter what our circumstance.

  1. When was a time where, no matter what you did, things just went wrong? 

  2. What are some promises from the Lord that you can hold on to when times like these come? (if you’re struggling look at the Beatitudes)

Chapter 4

Vss. 7-12 help us see the importance of being in community. If you are alone all of your work is simply for yourself. This is a miserable way of life as God has designed there to be joy and blessing in generosity and putting others needs before your own (Philippians 2:4). Along with this, it is dangerous to be alone as having others with you will significantly increase your chances of succeeding.

  1. Are you consistently putting your needs first and seeking to serve yourself before anyone else? Who is someone that you can seek to serve this week?

  2. Are you consistently seeking out community to keep you accountable in your Christian walk? 

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