Ecclesiastes | Day One
By: Taylor Cage | A Life Worth Living
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The book of Ecclesiastes is the book about life, human life. It’s for everyone who has ever asked the question, “Is life really worth living?”
This is the book that reminds us that life is fleeting and it’s far too easy to waste.
Ecclesiastes is full of wisdom. Most biblical scholars agree that it was written by King Solomon, one of the wisest men in all of the Bible.
In fact, this book is titled after the author. The word “ecclesiastes” is a translation of a word that means “Teacher” (or “Preacher” in the ESV.) And “teacher” is what King Solomon uses to refer to himself in this book.
So before we begin our study of Ecclesiastes, let’s take a look at the life of the teacher, King Solomon, and how he became such a wise king.
Read 1 Kings 3:3-14.
Now think for a second. If God asked you what He could give you, what would your answer be? Would it have been the same as Solomon’s?
Why do you think God was so pleased with Solomon’s answer?
What did God give to Solomon in addition to wisdom?
So, to sum it up, the book about life--which we’re about to read together--was written by a guy whose wisdom literally comes straight from God and who has been given pretty much every earthly thing that anyone could possibly want. I’d say that sounds like some advice worth taking! So let’s pray and ask God to prepare our hearts before we jump into Scripture today.
Read Ecclesiastes 1:1-11.
What point is Scripture trying to get across here?
This may feel silly, but try to rewrite a few of those verses in your own words. Try to get Solomon’s point across the way you would say it to one of your friends today.
Essentially, Solomon is asking that essential question, “Is life really worth living?” What do you think that his answer is here at the beginning of the book?
Take a moment and read this passage in The Message version of the Bible. Here’s one of my favorite verses from that translation:
There’s nothing new on this earth.
Year after year it’s the same old thing.
Does someone call out, “Hey, this is new”?
Don’t get excited—it’s the same old story.
Solomon is showing us the limitations of human creativity. Nothing is new under the sun, the Scripture says.
And yet, we are a people who are obsessed with new. The new iPhone, the new song, the new Netflix show, the new trendy shoes, we want all of the new.
But how long does it take for the new to become the same old, same old?
Think about the last time you bought a new pair of shoes. And what about those shoes now? Do they still feel special? Are there newer shoes you wish that you owned? Of course! Nothing new stays new for very long. In fact, maybe nothing is ever new in the first place. What if new is a lie? Certainly Solomon thinks so. But if new is really a lie, it must be a powerful lie. One we’ve all bought into.
List some of the ways that we are slaves to “new.”
So if Scripture says there is nothing new under the sun because it’s already existed in the ages before us, what does that mean?
See, what Solomon is telling us is that there’s nothing new anything in this world can offer to you.
Everything “new” is telling you the same story, that it can fulfill you. But the world has no new solutions to offer your flesh. Our desires, they’re the same old, same old. And yet the lie of new tells us that there’s something out there that’ll meet all of your desires better than ever before.
But only one thing has ever been new on this earth and only one thing can satisfy all of our desires and that’s Jesus Christ.
So take some time and ask God to speak to you about your love for the new. Ask Him to open your eyes to ways that you can start meeting your desires in Christ rather than in the next new thing.