Ecclesiastes Bible Study: Week 9

This week we finish our 9-week study of Ecclesiastes by thinking about the challenges of giving generously and living trustingly in a world full of uncertainties. Our God reminds us that we may not know the future, but we know the God who does! Finally, the Narrator returns to the page to sum up the Preacher’s teaching: Fear God and observe His commands.

Please see the left side bar for the Week 9: Ecclesiastes 11:1 – 12:14 Summary Notes.

Thanks to everyone at Grace Chapel and online who have participated so generously in this study — for your time, your thoughts, your feedback, and most importantly your love of our Lord and His word. Thanks also for your support of Women in His Image!

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Ecclesiastes Bible Study: Week 8

In Chapter 8, the Preacher again returns to the medium of prose/narrative to continue providing us with his investigation into wisdom. He asks, “Who is like the wise?” And tells us in so many words that when you have true wisdom you will literally have a different appearance — in other words, God’s wisdom will be “written all over your face.”

Please see the left side bar for the Week 8: Ecclesiastes 8:1 – 10:20 Summary Notes and Week 9 Homework.

As we approach the final week of our Bible study on Ecclesiastes, I want to thank everyone again for their participation and encouragement. Your feedback has been very helpful!

See you next week!

Ecclesiastes Bible Study: Week 7

Beginning in Chapter 7, the Preacher begins using the medium of proverb to provide us with his observations and continued attempts to determine the good (“tob”) in life. He addresses prosperity and adversity, wickedness and righteousness, wisdom and folly, only to conclude that the nature of existence is so remote or distant from our understanding that it is essentially unsearchable. But our Preacher’s quest does not stop there! He has a confirmed commitment to see his quest through to the end.

Please see the left side bar for the Week 7: Ecclesiastes 7:1 – 7:29 Summary Notes and Week 8 Homework.

Thanks to Karen for bringing yummy cupcakes and to Abby for bringing the fruits of her garden to share with the group. But even more, thanks to everyone for stimulating and encouraging discussion.

See you next week!

Ecclesiastes Bible Study: Week 6

In Week 6 we studied what Ecclesiastes says about responding to God’ perfect and intentional design of His creation and the blessings that God provides when we walk in His world on His terms. Our approach, our words, and our intentions matter!

Please see the left side bar for the Week 6: Ecclesiastes 5:1 – 6:12 Summary Notes and Week 7 Homework.

I’m so encouraged by the group of committed and thoughtful women who faithfully attend our Ecclesiastes Bible Study at Grace Chapel! Thanks to you all for the great discussion this week.

See you next week!

Ecclesiastes Bible Study: Week 5

Last week we were introduced to the Hebrew meanings of the experiences that happen under heaven and some of them were hard to grasp. Alongside the pleasant experiences of birth, healing, building up, laughing, dancing, loving, and peace, we are told that there are times in life for death (even killing), slaying (murder or destruction), tearing down (even using violence), weeping (in bitterness or even humiliation), wailing (in such deep grief that one tears the hair and beats the breast), hating (of man, wisdom, or even God), and war.

In Week 5 we looked at the final portion of Chapter 3 and the beginning of Chapter 4, which continue to present us with very difficult material to understand: the anomalies in God’s creation. In other words, the realities of life under the sun that don’t seem to “fit” into God’s plan.

Please see the left side bar for the Week 5: Ecclesiastes 3:16 – 4:16 Summary Notes and Week 6 Homework.

Even in light of the fact that injustice, death, social oppression, toil without contentment, loneliness, and isolation are part of our world, we can rejoice that God looks upon a sinful and rebellious creation and provides the just and perfect plan for our redemption. Praise be to God!

See you next week!

Ecclesiastes Bible Study: Week 4

In Week 4 of our study, we looked at the portion of Ecclesiastes that inspired the famous song lyrics: “To everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn), and a time for every purpose under heaven…” In Chapter 3, the Preacher’s attention turns from investigating what is “hebel” (good) in life to investigating God’s perfect and intentional design of His creation. We took apart each verse and looked closely at the Hebrew meanings of the key words to help us more completely understand what God is telling us about His nature and His perfect will.

Please see the left side bar for the Week 4: Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 Summary Notes and Week 5 Homework.

How awesome that God has put the deep sense of His intentional design in our minds and on our hearts — the deep knowing that there is a larger plan into which all of our life experiences (good, bad, unexplainable) are somehow meant to fit. Placing eternity (‘ôlâm) in our minds keeps us connected to our Creator, constantly reminding us of His sovereignty in our lives. What an incredible gift!

See you next week!

Ecclesiastes Bible Study: Week 3

In Week 3 of our study, we looked at the Preacher’s initial investigation into wisdom and his first attempts to determine from his own experience what is “hebel” (futile, fleeting, meaningless) and what is “tob” (good) in the world. Can you guess his conclusion? All is fleeting and the “pursuit of wind” but at the same time we are given a “present inheritance” in this life under the sun: contentment, enjoyment, and the recognition of God’s ultimate goodness.

Please see the left side bar for the Week 3: Ecclesiastes 1:1-12 – 2:26 Summary Notes and Week 4 Homework.

Are you fully enjoying your “present inheritance”? I hope that we can all marvel at the sovereignty of God in not only His provision of all good gifts but also the ability to enjoy them!

See you next week!

Ecclesiastes Bible Study: Week 2

I was so encouraged to see yet more new people at Grace Chapel on Monday night for our Ecclesiastes Bible study! And while I thought that a talk about “empiricism” and the “empirical method” might make some of the women’s eyes glaze over in boredom, I actually got very good feedback after the lesson that this part was really interesting! We also had a great discussion about wisdom of the world and how we as Christians should respond to non-believers about Biblical wisdom.

Please see the left side bar for the Week 2: Wisdom and Ecclesiastes 1:1-11 Summary Notes and Week 3 Homework.

Take note in the Week 2 summary notes of “An example of when empiricism fails” — I think that this is a powerful example of Satan’s lie to our original parents that what God had defined as good was not good enough. The enemy continues to lie to us today, telling us that our efforts at determining wisdom could somehow be superior to God’s ability to define wisdom for us.

See you next week!

Ecclesiastes Bible Study: Week 1

We had a HUGE group at Grace Chapel last night for Week 1 of our Ecclesiastes Bible study! I was so incredibly encouraged by everyone’s comments and thoughts during the lesson — I can’t wait to see where this study leads us. I am also glad to know that there are many people participating along with us out in the blogosphere.

Please see the left side bar for the Week 1 Introduction to Ecclesiastes Summary Notes and Week 2 Homework.

May we all be encouraged to find that in a world where life seems “futile” and “all is vanity” we have a merciful God who is leading us to walk in His world on His terms. Thanks for studying God’s word with us!

Coming Soon! Ecclesiastes Bible Study!

Starting on June 9, I hope you will join us for a “virtual” Bible study of Ecclesiastes brought to you by Women In His Image!

  • Do you ever wonder why at times nothing seems to make sense in the world?
  • Do you ever question if God is really sovereign in all matters, both big and small?
  • If we can gain wisdom through observation and experience and become “good at the craft of life” do we really need Biblical wisdom?
  • What can we gain by searching for life’s meaning “under the sun”?
  • What does “the fear of the Lord” really mean for our daily lives?

Our loving and merciful God speaks through Ecclesiastes to answer all of these questions and many more!

You will be studying alongside a group of awesome women at Grace Chapel (PCA) in Lincoln, NE, as we delve deeply and thoughtfully into this incredible portion of Scripture. For more information, look in the left side bar for the section called “Ecclesiastes Bible Study” ~ Looking forward to studying God’s word with you!