Study of Ecclesiastes

Interactive Questions

Those at home can send questions and comments by email to bibleclass@riverchasechurch.org or by text to 334-703-3494 (Tom’s cell) during class and during the week. Comments and questions may not be included immediately but may be included in future lessons.

Interactive questions will be asked during class. You can participate by logging into https://pollev.com/audiovideode449 or text the word “AUDIOVIDEODE449” to the phone number 22333. This information will be available during class time.

Ecclesiastes Chapter Two Study Questions -October 25

  • Who is the richest person you have ever met? What were they like? What did they achieve? Do you remember something impressive about them?
  • What were Solomon’s specific achievements in this chapter? Which ones impress you the most?
  • How many times is the personal pronoun, I used in this chapter? How many times is God referred to?
  • Can you think of a time when you found joy in the accomplishment of a simple necessary task? Cooking a meal? Mowing the yard? Why does it seem pleasant to focus on a task and enjoy its fulfillment? Does Solomon say that the goal of life is to live a simple life and enjoy it? Why or why not?
  • What do you think he means that God gives a person the ability to enjoy experiences and their station in life? Do some people find joy in everyday living while at the same time others experience frustration in the same level or achievement or financial status? What factors could be at play here?

Questions for Week One:  Ecclesiastes 1:1-18  October 18

  • Are you a spiritual optimist, pessimist or realist?  Does this passage reflect spiritual optimism, pessimism or realism?
  • Summarize the essence of this passage in a couple of sentences.  Use your words to describe the mood of this passage?  Does it fit 2020? What could be the benefit of studying such a negative passage?
  • Have you ever felt that life was “meaningless” / vanity / empty? 1:2 Describe the difference between being “depressed” and feeling that life is essentially, empty. Have you felt life was meaningless then recovered a sense of purpose?
  • What is meant by “all the rivers run into the sea but the sea is never full”?  What aspects of life seem cyclical and seemingly endlessly repetitive?  1:7
  • Have you ever experienced, “the more you know, the more you feel pain”? Would you share that experience? 1:18
  • Do you agree that there is “nothing new under the sun?  1:9 Give an example Why or why not? Is Covid-19 new?  .

Questions: Ecclesiastes 2 October 25

  • Who is the richest person you have ever met? What were they like? What did they achieve? Do you remember something impressive about them?
  • What were Solomon’s specific achievements in this chapter? Which ones impress you the most?
  • How many times is the personal pronoun, “I,” used in this chapter? How many times is God referred to
  • Can you think of a time when you found joy in the accomplishment of a simple necessary task? Cooking a meal? Mowing the yard? Why does it seem pleasant to focus on a task and enjoy its fulfillment? Does Solomon say that the goal of life is to live a simple life and enjoy it? Why or why not?
  • What do you think he means that God gives a person the ability to enjoy experiences and their station in life? Do some people find joy in everyday living while at the same time others experience frustration in the same level or achievement or financial status? What factors could be at play here?

Questions: Ecclesiastes Chapter 2, Part 2 November 8

  • Have you ever worked hard to accomplish something only to be “let down” after you have finished it or achieved it?  How about the opposite, you have been elated? Why do you think Solomon describes all his accomplishments as vanity?
  • Can you think of a time when you found joy in the accomplishment of a simple necessary task?  Cooking a meal? Mowing the yard?  Why does it seem pleasant to focus on a task and enjoy its fulfillment?
  • Does Solomon say that the goal of life is to live a simple life and enjoy it? Why or why not?
  • What do you think he means that God gives a person the ability to enjoy experiences and their station in life?

Questions: Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, November 15

  • Background to Ecclesiastes:  2 Chronicles 1-9; Proverbs (Chapter 10 for example), Song of Solomon
  • Do you ever write poetry? Read poetry? Have an appreciation of poetry? Do you have a favorite poem? What is it? Do you find poetry hard to understand? Do you hate poetry? How does this passage grab you as a poem?
  • Name some of the happiest experiences you have had in life. Now name some of the most difficult or hardest.
  • What’s the difference between saying, “Good luck!” and “May God bless you!”
  • If life is a tapestry woven by God, how and when do you see the pattern?
  • Be prepared to sing, Turn, Turn, Turn in class!

Questions: Ecclesiastes Chapter 3:9-22, November 22

  • How does Solomon feel about life after death in Ecclesiastes 3? Why does he feel this way?
  • This world or other world: Is the Christianity of today more focused on making this world better or preparing for the next world? What about the Christianity of the past? What should be the ratio of time and effort spent on each one?
  • How do you feel about this sort of “Godly hedonism”? i.e. “Enjoy each day”, sort of a “Carpe Diem for believers”. To what extent do you practice it?
  • Compare and contrast Ecclesiastes 3 with John 14. How is the approach to life and eternity different?

Questions: Ecclesiastes, November 29

  • What are the roots of justice in society?  Where does justice come from?  Law?  Individuals?  The character of the people?  God?
  • What is the proper balance between trying to teach salvation and personal redemption versus helping the poor and the needy with their physical needs? Can we become over concerned about one aspect or another?
  • What scares you about the final judgment before God?  How do you picture/imagine that scene?  How does the idea of justice play out in the final judgment?

Questions: Ecclesiastes, December 6

  • Have you ever been envious of or competitive with a neighbor, particularly of their possessions? Did it motivate you in a good or a bad way?  What item caused you to envy?  What did you do about it?
  • What practical advice do you have for keeping a proper balance between overwork and laziness?
  • When have you been blessed by a three-fold cord of relationships?

Questions: Ecclesiastes 5, December 13

  • How strongly do you think of the church building as the “house of God”? What is the difference between a church auditorium/worship center and a temple?
  • Can you think of a time when someone made a fool of himself or herself by talking too much? Can you give an example of a time someone (you?) was talking or making claims about something and it was “out of place” or inappropriate? Why was it inappropriate?
  • What does your family do to prepare for worship? How well do you worship on your own in terms or pray, praise, song? Worship is also “service to God” but the question centers on adoration, etc.
  • What does it mean to, “Guard one’s steps” when going to the house of God? What are some specific suggestions? What are we guarding against? How can we/do display arrogance toward God?
  • Name a time when someone made a promise to you and kept it / didn’t keep it?
  • What was the last promise you make that you kept? That you didn’t keep?

Questions: Ecclesiastes 5, December 20

  • Guard Your Steps: What are you doing / What have you done to prepare for worship this week?  (Follow up)
  • Check Your Vows: Can you remember a time when you kept a promise that proved very costly to keep?
  • Watch Your Mouth:  Can you think of a time when someone made a fool of himself or herself by talking too much?  Can you give an example of a time someone (you?) was talking or making claims about something and it was “out of place” or inappropriate?  Why was it inappropriate?

Questions: Ecclesiastes 5, December 27

  • What is the difference between a vow, a goal and a resolution?
  • Have you ever made a vow to God?  For example, “If you will do, _______, God I will do ________ for you”.  We often make these kinds of vows when someone we love is very ill or in a difficult situation.
  • How does it affect you when someone breaks a promise to you?
  • Do you plan to make resolutions for the year? Are any of them spiritual?

Questions: Ecclesiastes 5:8-6:12, January 3

  • How much money is enough? Ecclesiastes 5:8
  • What advice would you give a younger person about finding the balance between working hard / being diligent and not getting caught up in the love of money or achievement?  Ecclesiastes 5:18
  • How good are you at “stopping to smell the roses” along the way?
  • How satisfied with your current economic status / lot in life?  Ecclesiastes 5:19

Questions: Ecclesiastes 7, January 10

  • How well do you like or appreciate the Book of Proverbs? Is it one of your favorite books?
  • Do you have a favorite (or top five?) Proverb? What is it?
  • How can it be better to go to the house of mourning than the house of feasting?  Ecclesiastes 7:2
  • How could the end of a thing be better than the beginning?  Ecclesiastes 7:8
  • Do you think the ‘good old days” are better than today?  Ecclesiastes 7:10

Questions: Ecclesiastes 7:15 to 8:17, January 17

  • What is wisdom? How do we recognize wisdom today? How would you define wisdom? Who would you consider a “wise person” if you needed advice?
  • How many upright people would you expect to find in 1,000 today?
  • Do you believe capital punishment serves as a deterrent to crime? Why or why not?
  • Have you heard the saying, “There is a time and place for everything?”  Do you agree?

Questions: Ecclesiastes 9:1-10, January 24

  • What does it mean to be “always clothed in white”?
  • What ordinary, special activities do you and your wife particularly enjoy?
  • Does talking about death make you anxious or depressed?
  • Why do you think we have such an incredible instinct to “keep on living” even when life is difficult?
  • Have you made any special plans or arrangements since we have the fear of death due to Covid-19?

Questions: Ecclesiastes 9:11 – 10:9, January 31

  • Do you believe in “Luck”? Or only in the Providence of God? Or only in human effort?
  • What advice would you give to a young parent about how to teach wisdom to their children?
  • Have you ever been caught in an avalanche of bad luck in your life?
  • Wisdom is better than strength. Do you agree or disagree?

Questions: Ecclesiastes 10 and 11, February 7

  • Why do proverbs repeat, that is, say the same thing twice?
    ***Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.  Ecclesiastes 11:4 NIV
  • Money is the answer to everything.  Ecclesiastes 10:19
  • Whoever digs a pit may fall into it.  Ecclesiastes 10:16
  • What do these “pearls of wisdom” mean?  How do they apply to your life?

Questions: Ecclesiastes 11:1 – 12:1, February 14

  • What are the benefits of living a good life?
  • What do you like about the good ol’ days?
  • What do you like about today’s world?
  • Things you did/do for fun when you were/are young?

Questions: Ecclesiastes 12, February 21

  • In what ways do you “feel your age”?   How did you notice the change to your next age group?
  • What did you think of Dear Abby’s definition of middle age?   About six years older than I am now until about sixty—then, about my age more or less.  Would “maturity” be a better description than middle age?
  • Do people feel that they are “entitled” to seventy or eighty years of life?
  • How much (what percentage?) of our emphasis should be on making this world a better place and what percentage should be on preparation for eternity?  Can we do both equally? What is the criteria for your answer?

Questions: Ecclesiastes, February 28

  • How would you summarize the message of Ecclesiastes in a few sentences?
  • To what extent do you agree or disagree with the teacher’s phrase, “Vanity of Vanity” (KJV), “Meaningless, Meaningless” (NIV).
  • What is your favorite section or passage in Ecclesiastes?
  • What difference in your life or attitude has studying Ecclesiastes made?
  • How would you contrast the attitude of the Teacher with the teachings of Jesus?