Step 1: Opening and Introduction to the lesson – Personal Testimonies from last week’s study and Reflection: What is your most valued possession? Who would you like to leave it to when you die?
Step 2: Hear – Read: Toil is Meaningless. Ecclesiastes 2:17-26.
Step 3: Explore – Discover the Passage
- Why did the Teacher hate life? Who is said to be the real beneficiary of someone’s work (vv. 18-21)? Why is that? To what extent does a man’s status in life determine his degree of contentment
- How do verses 24-26 contrast with the preceding? What does it mean to please God in this context?
- What does God have to do with satisfaction in work?
- Who is the sinner? Why does God favor the one over the other?
- What is man’s relationship to the creation? Why does man seem to have lost his enjoyment of the creation? What moral element must be reckoned with?
Step 4: Connect – Apply the Passage:
- Why do you work? When do you most feel like not working?
- Do you see your work as a gift from God, as drudgery, or both? Does that make you grateful, even for the drudgery, or hateful? Why?
- Consider the question, where does real contentment come from? To what extent is throwing yourself into your work, intellectual areas, the arts, etc., the answer?
- How does this passage speak to the quality of the work done? How do you react if something doesn’t turn out well? Does that deter you from doing or attempting other projects?
Step 5: Reflect: A man can do no better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work… to the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness…