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Life Under the Sun

10/15/06 CC/PM

Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

Introduction: Do you see the glass half empty or half full?  Either answer is correct, it is just a matter of perspective. (I see the glass as half full, but I see my gas tank as half empty)!

As we begin our study tonight in the book of Ecclesiastes, we might see it as a rather pessimistic book. On closer inspection we will see that from the viewpoint of the author, there is reason for such an approach. 

Solomon is writing the book as it related to his experiences as he walked away from the Lord and tried to make sense out of life from that vantage point.  It is life under the Sun (used 29 times) but not life under the Son!  Solomon shares his experiences and observations about life lived under his own power apart from the influence of God and trying to find satisfaction and meaning in life?  Under the direction of the Holy Spirit, he records for us some valuable lessons that would be easiest learned by reading of his mistakes.

1. What would make you think that people need the message of Ecclesiastes today?

The popularity of The Purpose Driven Life, is one indication that we need this information.

The popularity of suicide is also an indicator.

2. Why would the wisest man who ever lived go off the deep end and live apart from God and seek things that would not bring satisfaction even in his latter years in life?

3. What does that tell us about our own vulnerability?

4. What does verse 2 tell you about his overall view of life?

5. How would you define the word vanity?  (bursting bubbles, meaningless)

6. In verses 3-11, what are some things that bother Solomon?

a.    What gain,(leftovers, benefits that truly last, profit) does man get from all his efforts?

b.   The natural order of things is that they are in a never ending cycle.  Nothing is really ever completed.

c.    Nothing ever satisfies to the point which there is enough.  (you might eat at Taco Bell and say you are full, but you will want to eat again soon enough)!

d.   Things never change!

e.    Nothing is new!

f.     The significance of what has been accomplished in the past is soon forgotten.

7. How many of those things can you relate too?

8. Do you ever feel like what’s the use, nothing will change, I don’t really matter, life is not worth the effort?

9. A verse to remember to for those living under the Son would be:

1 Corinthians 15:58 (NASB95)
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

10. How does that make all the difference in the world?

In the weeks ahead we will look at the experiences and the conclusions of Solomon.  He tried to find satisfaction the same ways that people try it today.  We might even as Christians experiment with these things to try to make sense out of life.  We should be those that learn the easy way, from the experiences and the wisdom of others, but will we?

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