Ecclesiastes | Day Seven
By: Taylor Cage | Peace That Surpasses Understanding
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Read Ecclesiastes 8:1-9. How does wisdom affect a person?
Consider the difference between a shining face and a hard face. How can wisdom be the difference between the two?
A wise heart knows that there is a proper time and a just way for everything. What would it look like not to know those things?
Read verse 8. Again, the scripture mentions the inevitability of death. Why is it wise to consistently be reminded of your fragility of life?
Read Psalm 90:12. What would it look like to number your days? Are you living with your days numbered or are you taking your life for granted?
What did Solomon learn while applying his heart to understanding all that is done under the sun?
Read Ecclesiastes 8:10-13.
He says that he saw the wicked who were buried once go in and out of the holy place and be praised. What is Solomon suggesting about the wicked?
Is it possible to be praised for goodness and yet be wicked in your heart? How so?
What does this passage say about the longevity of life and punishment? Is it related or unrelated to a person’s deeds?
Why will it be well for those who fear God?
Take a moment and consider what it means to truly fear God. Jot down a few synonyms for the word “fear” in this context.
Fearing God means respecting God. A healthy fear of God does not make us afraid of Him but it leaves us in awe of Him.
In order to fear God we have to continually remind ourselves that we are not like God. He is so much higher than us and His ways are so much higher than our ways. And that’s why the wise man is the one who fears the Lord.
Read Ecclesiastes 8:14-17.
Consider verse 14. “There are righteous people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked.” Here scripture acknowledges the fact we all know to be true; bad things don’t just happen to bad people.
Why is this so difficult for us to swallow?
Perhaps even more difficult for us is the inverse of that. Why does God allow good things to happen to wicked people?
Read Matthew 5:44-46. What does it mean for the rain to fall on the just and the unjust?
Read verse 15 again. Take a moment to go back and count how many times that this same sentiment has been expressed so far in the book of Ecclesiastes. Why do you think this is repeated again here in chapter 8?
Finally, in the final verse of this chapter Solomon concludes that no matter how wise a man may be and no matter how hard he works, he will never be able to understand and discern the work of God.
God is simply beyond our understanding as human beings.
And yet, we still try to understand Him...
Think of ways that you try and fight to understand God. What do you forfeit when you try to constantly understand God?
Read Philippians 4:7. God’s peace surpasses understanding. Don’t allow yourself to focus so much on trying to understand the work of God that you miss out on the peace that He offers.