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Ecclesiastes 7:1-14

Talks for Growing Christians

God Gives Counsel for Living

Ecclesiastes 7:1-14

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Lesson Number 8

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God gives the believer counsel for living but not a blueprint for life.

Practical Application

  1. Picture your life as a camp fire!

Questions

  1. The final verses of chapter 6 give us insight into the teachings of chapter 7. Verses 6:10-12 tell us that while God knows everything about our lives, past, present and future, He has not revealed to us every ________ of our lives. We do not know what ___________ will bring.
  2. While God does not give us knowledge of all the details of our lives, He does give us counsel and guidance. What insight does He give us in verse 1?
  3. How could we apply the wise counsel given to us in verses 2-4 to our lives today?
  4. Is rebuke considered a good thing when given by any person (v 5, 6)?
  5. What is the meaning of the words “straight” and “crooked” in verse 13, and how are we to respond to these straight and crooked things (v 14)?

Answers

  1. The final verses of chapter 6 give us insight into the sovereignty of God, informing us that he has not revealed to us every detail of our lives and that we do not know what tomorrow will bring.
  2. God does not reveal to us every detail of our lives, but He does give us wise counsel and guidance, such as the truth in verse 1 that it is much better to have a lasting good name or reputation than it is to have the passing and temporal pleasant smelling impression.
  3. The wise counsel of verses 2-4 can give us understanding that in mourning we are forced to consider seriously the matter of life and death and the reality that life is short and death will surely come. This is better than the superficial laughter of those who consider only the entertaining giddiness of life, rather than the seriousness of its meaning and its brevity.
  4. In his wisdom, Solomon says that rebuke or correction is good when it comes from a wise person (v 5), and it is better than listening to the poetic words and laughter of a fool (v 6).
  5. What God has made ‘crooked” (v 13) refers to difficulties and adversity that God sovereignly allows into our lives. In times like this we should consider and learn the lessons God has for us, and just as in the times of prosperity, we should be thankful to the Lord knowing He has appointed all of the days of our lives.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Discuss ways that you have found to help you faithfully commit every day of the future unto the Lord, and ways that have allowed you to overcome the worry and anxiety of the unknown. Consider the many things about the future that you can know and be sure of that are revealed in God’s Word. Share these truths with those in your family and with friends who study the Bible with you.

Challenge

  1. Can you identify those months or years of your Christian life that have been characterized by loss of faith, absence of prayer and Bible study as well as sporadic attendance and minimal service at your church? Are you now committed to avoiding those experiences and enlisting God’s enablement to live a full and fruitful spiritual life, a life that will matter in eternity? “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

Key Verses

  • “Consider the work of God; for who can make straight what He has made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other, so that man can find nothing that will happen after him.” Ecclesiastes 7:13, 14

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