Sunday Bible Study – Riches are Meaningless

Step 1:  Opening and Introduction to the lesson – Personal Testimonies from last week’s study and Reflection:  What was the most physically exhausting job you ever did?  What effect does your work have on you:  Invigoration?  Frustration?  Exhaustion?  Boredom?  What pleasure in life do you not get enough time for?

Step 2:  Hear – Read:  Riches are Meaningless.  Ecclesiastes 5:8 – 6:9.

Step 3:  Explore – Discover the Passage

  1. What is the reason for the oppression in 5:8-9?  Why should we not be surprised by this?  Why do the 3 proverbs (5:10, 11, 12) prove to be meaningless?
  • What about money is he bemoaning here:  The addiction to money?  Its emptiness?  The swarm of hangers-on?  The indulgence of money?  What is the grievous evil of 5:13-15?  Of 5:16-17?  How do wealth hoarded and wealth lost (5:13-14) fit into this observation?
  • What isn’t right about going out as naked as we arrive?  Is the teacher asking of life more than it can ever give?  In 5:18-20, what does the teacher conclude is good and proper?  Why (see 2:24-26)?  Why is it a blessing not to reflect with the mind but to enjoy with the heart?  What might the teacher be saying about himself here?
  • What is the other evil in 6:1-2 and 3-6?  What belief influences the teacher’s conclusions (v. 6b)?  How does 6:7=9 continue the thought of the preceding?  What is better (v. 9)?  Why is that? 

Step 4:  Connect – Apply the Passage:

  1. Do you view the person at the top of your organization as getting rich off the others down below?  Where are you on that corporate ladder – getting richer or getting poorer? 
  • What priority does the pursuit of wealth and work have in your life?  Is this necessary?  What are you expecting your life’s work will give you in the end?
  • Are you more inclined to help the poor and needy when your situation is similar, or when you have more money to make a bigger difference?
  • How much gladness of heart do you presently experience in your labor under the sun (5:20)?  What would help you enjoy your work more?  In the Old Testament, the dream of a lifetime was hundreds of children and thousands of years on earth (6:3,6).  What is your life’s dream?  When might you enjoy your life’s attainments?

Step 5:  Reflect:  Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and to be happy in his work – this is a gift of God.  He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.