Step 1: Opening and Introduction to the lesson – Personal Testimonies from last week’s study and Reflection: What job have you tackled by yourself that you should have asked someone to help you do? How do you react to a guest preacher vs. the regular pastor? What hasty promise did you later regret making?
Step 2: Hear – Read: Friendlessness, Advancement, Stand in Awe of God. Ecclesiastes 4:7 – 5:7.
Step 3: Explore – Discover the Passage
- What is the status of the man in verse 8a? How materially successful is he? At what cost? What is he questioning? Why does the Teacher see the business in verse 8 as meaningless?
- What are the benefits of two in verses 9-12? How is the proverb in 12b a fitting conclusion?
- Sections 4:13-16 and 5:1-7 focus on our relationship to lordship. What type of lordship is the focus in the first? In the second? In 4:13-16, why is the old king so unpopular? The successor so popular? Why are those who come later displeased with the successor (4:16)?
- In 5:1-7, what is the fool’s error? What is meant by the exhortations to listen, keep silent, and not delay? What are the potential results of quick mouths? How does verse 7 summarize the message of 5:1-7? How does verse 7 summarize the message of 4:13-16?
Step 4: Connect – Apply the Passage:
- For whom (yourself, God, others) do you toil in the different areas of life (work, home, school, church)? How much satisfaction do you derive from your toil and your companions? How easy is it for you to allow someone to help you? Or to let someone know that you need help?
- Where would you be spiritually were it not for the help of others?
- Facing poor or evil leadership in a particular group, when are you most patient? Most prayerful? Most pushy for change? Most quick with your mouth? How do you become part of its solution instead of the problem?
- What do you do when you make a hasty promise you cannot keep?
Step 5: Reflect: Guard your steps when you go to the house of God…let your words be few…when you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it.