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1. As you grow older, which do you want to hold on to most?
- youthful body
- youthful heart
- youthful mind
2. What do you imagine you’ll be like at age 100?
3. Who was the wildest classmate when you were growing up? What has happened to that person?
4. On a scale of 1 (blissfully ignorant) to 10 (painfully aware), how well do you see the consequences of your actions? Give an example of underestimating the consequences.
5. What are the “days of darkness” (chapter 11 verse 8) and why does the Teacher want us to “remember” them? What light do the other exhortations to “remember” (chapter 12 verses 1 and 6) shed on this?
6. What does the Teacher encourage in chapter 11 verses 9 and 10? What qualifies the joy we experience? How are youth and vigor “meaningless”?
7. What does the long sentence in chapter 12:1 – 5a describe? What sort of description is this: positive, negative or neutral? Realistic or imaginary? Vain regrets or pipe dreams?
8. What event is described in chapter 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?
9. In chapter 12:8 the motto is repeated (see chapter 1 verse 2). What does this signal? What does it reveal about any change of perspective by the Teacher?
10. 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?
11. How free do you feel to “be happy” and enjoy life?
12. How can you “remember your Creator in the days of your youth”? How can you help children do so?
13. 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?
The last post for Ecclesiastes will be published on Monday September 1. Solomon’s reign as king has ended. And just as Solomon experienced a rise to unprecedented heights of personal prosperity and security, only to fall victim to moral weakness and political conflict, so too his kingdom, in the hands of his son Rehoboam is headed toward certain disaster.
On Tuesday September 2, our study will take us to the beginnings of the division of the kingdom. 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles will be our Scripture texts.