The Conclusion of the Matter (Ecclesiastes 12:9 – 14)

Scripture Text:

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Ecclesiastes 12:9 – 14

1. Name one of the best books you ever read. Why did you enjoy it? What is one of the worst?

2. Who is speaking in 12:9 – 14?

3. How is the Teacher described (verses 9 and 10)? What work has he done?

4. What do verses 11 and 12 warn against? Who is the “Shepherd” in verse 11?

5. How does the speaker summarize his interpretation of the book (verses 13 and 14)? How does this compare to the teachings in the rest of the book?

6. In retrospect, how do you respond to the reflections in this book? What do you feel about its author?

7. Which discussion had the most impact on your thinking? How do you think its author would want you to apply his work to your life? How do you think God would?



Remember Your Creator While Young (Ecclesiastes 11:7 – 12:8)

Scripture Text:

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Ecclesiastes 11:7 – 12:8

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?

Important Note:

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.


Bread Upon the Waters; Diversify Your Investments (Ecclesiastes 11:1 – 6)

Scripture Text:

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Ecclesiastes 11:1 – 6

1. What is the worst investment (of time, money, etc.) you ever made? Why?

2. What does “bread” symbolize? What happens when you “cast your bread” (verse 1)? How will the giving of “portions” help in a time of disaster (verse 2)?

3. What do the matter-of-fact observations in verse 3 imply?

4. Why are those who just “watch” so unproductive and ignorant (verses 4 and 5)?

5. How do the observations in verses 3 – 5 lead to the concluding advice (verse 6)? How does this relate to the advice in verse 1?

6. How well do you manage your time? Your emotions? Your money?

7. In what areas of life are your “investments” too concentrated? Spread too thin?