Midweek Bible Study Questions
Lesson for 11/20/13
“Enemies” Read Ecclesiastes 9-10
From the Commentary
“I’m not afraid to die,” quipped Woody Allen, “I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” But he will be there when it happens, as must every human being, because there is no escaping death when your time has come. Death is not an accident, it’s an appointment (Heb. 9:27), a destiny that nobody but God ran cancel or change.
Life and death are “in the hand of God” (Eccl. 9:1), and only He knows our future, whether it will bring blessing (“love”) or sorrow (“hatred”). Solomon was not suggesting that we arc passive actors in a cosmic drama, following an unchangeable script handed to us by an uncaring director. Throughout this book, Solomon has emphasized our freedom of discernment and decision. But only God knows what the future holds for us and what will happen tomorrow because of the decisions we make today.
“As it is with the good man, so with the sinner” (Eccl. 9:2 NIV). “If so, why bother to live a godly life?” someone may ask. “After all, whether we obey the law or disobey, bring sacrifices or neglect them, make or break promises, we will die just the same.”
—Be Satisfied, page 124
- Review Ecclesiastes 9:2. If this is true, why bother to live a godly life? What is Solomon’s greater point here?
More to Consider: Read Romans 6:23; John 11:25-26; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; and I Corinthians 15:51-58. How do these verses give believers confidence about the future? What do these verses tell us about the nonbeliever?
- Choose one verse or phrase from Ecclesiastes 9-10 that stands out to you. This could be something you’re intrigued by, something that makes you uncomfortable, something that puzzles you, something that resonates with you, or just something you want to examine further.
Lesson for 11/13/13
Dead End? (ECCLESIASTES 6)
From the Commentary
Is life a dead-end street? Sometimes it seems to be, especially when we don’t reach our goals or when we reach our goals but don’t feel fulfilled in our achievement. More than one person in the Bible became so discouraged with life that he either wanted to die or wished he had never been born.
Perhaps the basic problem is that life confronts us with too many mysteries we can’t fathom and too many puzzles we can’t solve. For life to be truly satisfying, it has to make sense. When it doesn’t make sense, we get frustrated. If people can’t see a purpose in life, especially when they go through deep suffering, they start to question God and even wonder if life is worthwhile.
—Be Satisfied, page 88
- Read about these biblical characters who at one time wanted to die or wished they’d never been born: Moses (Num. 11:15), Elijah (1 Kings 19:4), Job (Job 3:21; 7:15), Jeremiah (Jer. 8:3; 15:10), Jonah (Jonah 4:3), and Paul (2 Cor. 1:8-11). What led to each of these people’s struggle? How were their struggles similar to what Solomon was exploring in Ecclesiastes 6?
- Choose one verse or phrase from Ecclesiastes 6 that stands out to you. This could be something you’re intrigued by, something that makes you uncomfortable, something that puzzles you, something that resonates with you, or just something you want to examine further. Write that here.
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