Step 1: Opening and Introduction to the lesson – Personal Testimonies from last week’s study and Reflection: What clothing was in style when you were 13? Would you be caught dead in it today? What was the first large thing you saved your pennies for?
Step 2: Hear – Read: Everything is Meaningless: Ecclesiastes 1:1-11.
Step 3: Explore – Discover the Passage
- What do we know about this book? The word for meaningless can also mean breath or vapor. What then is meant by the motto, everything is meaningless? What does the phrase under the sun (vv. 3, 9) tell you about the perspective of this thesis?
- How does mankind’s labor compare with the earth’s cycle (vv. 3-7)? What problem does verse 8 point out? What’s the theme of verses 9-10?
- What qualifies as something new by this Teacher’s definition?
- In verse 11, what tone of voice do you hear? What logic do you see? Is verse 11 the logical extension or inevitable conclusion of careful reasoning? Or is this an emotional lament of an embittered old man?
Step 4: Connect – Apply the Passage:
- What areas of life do you take too seriously?
- What parallel do you see between this passage and Christ’s saying, “What does it profit a man…” (Mark 8:36)?
- For what have you spent your life laboring? What do you have to show for it?
- For what would you like to be remembered after you are long gone?
Step 5: Reflect: All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.