Step 1: Opening and Introduction to the lesson – Personal Testimonies from last week’s study and Reflection: If you compared your life to a catalog product, which item is most like you: Power tool; Sofa; lawn ornament; pajamas; other? Would it be the good, better, or best model? Who in your family is the most accomplished funeral goer? Who was the last person to tell you off? If all goes well, what do you predict for yourself next year?
Step 2: Hear – Read: Wisdom. Ecclesiastes 6:10 – 7:13.
Step 3: Explore – Discover the Passage
- In 6:10-12, the teacher gives some observations and questions that introduce the next section. What are the observations? The questions?
- In 7:1-12, how does the teacher go about searching for answers to his question, “What is good”? Is anything absolutely good, or are some things only relatively better?
- In each of the couplets or comparisons in 7:1-4, which is the better thing and why? What is the reason behind the advice given in verses 5-7?
- Why is the question in verse 10 so unwise (see 7:8-10; and 1:9)? In 7:11-12, what is meant by comparing wisdom to an inheritance? To a shelter? How does wisdom preserve life?
Step 4: Connect – Apply the Passage:
- How sincere is your quest for the good things God provides in life? How do you recognize them?
- When you are confused, how do you decide who to listen to? How do you know when to give advice? Rebuke? Praise?
- As compared to dwelling on the past or longing for the future, how much do you live in the present? How much do you enjoy it? What can you do to enjoy the here and now more?
- Would you say these days are good times or bad times for you? Is your answer based on nostalgia (for the past) or hope (for the future)?
Step 5: Reflect: The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.