Step 1: Opening and Introduction to the lesson – Personal Testimonies from last week’s study and Reflection: Who was the wildest classmate when you were growing up? What has happened to that person? On a scale of 1 (Ignorant) to 10 (painfully aware), how well do you see the consequences of your actions? Give an example of underestimating the consequences. As you get older, which do you want to hold on to the most: Youthful body, Y…mind; or Y…heart? What will you be like at 100?
Step 2: Hear – Read: Remember Your Creator While Young. Ecclesiastes 11:07 –12:08.
Step 3: Explore – Discover the Passage
- What are the days of darkness (11:8) and why does the teacher want us to remember them? What light do the other exhortations to remember (12:1,6) shed on this?
- What does the teacher encourage in 11:9-10? What qualifies the joy we experience? How are youth and vigor meaningless?
- What does the long sentence in 12:1-5a describe? What sort of description is this: Positive, negative, or neutral? Realistic or imaginary? Vain regrets or pipe dreams?
- What event is described in 12:5b-7? Is this akin to the Christian hope of eternal life? Or is he speaking merely of finality? Which fits the book as a whole? In 12:8 the motto is repeated (see 1:2). What does this signal? What does it reveal about any chance of perspective by the teacher?
Step 4: Connect – Apply the Passage:
- How much do eternal concerns affect your daily decisions? Which areas of your life are least influenced by your faith in God? Which are most?
- How free do you feel to be happy and enjoy life? How can you remember your Creator in the days of your youth? How can you help children do so?
- How has your faith in God affected your outlook: On aging? On dying? On death? Which do you fear most? Or do you truly yearn for one of these? Why?
Step 5: Reflect: Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, I find no pleasure in them …and desire is no longer stirred.