Ecclesiastes 3: 1-22

Ecclesiastes 3:1-22

1.       What is the repeated word in the opening section?

2.       What rhetorical question is asked in verse 9?

3.       What is the ultimate fate on this earth of both men and animals?

4.       In the light of our fate, how are we to enjoy life?

5.       How does preoccupation with past mistakes or future goals strip you of enjoying the day?

Carpe Diem was made famous in Dead Poets’ Society.  However, the movie glories in self and the pursuit of self-formed goals.  There is more to life than this.  The passage here shows a pattern to the ebb and flow of life which is evidence of God superintending time.  God has allotted the proper times for events to occur. We see this in the New Testament when Jesus appears at just the right time.  Our selfish desire to manage and control our own destinies strips us of the joys that surround us now.  What events are you trying to control?  What events like marriage, having children, death, or graduation pull your thoughts away from today?  How can you enjoy today a little more?

Going Deeper

Observation Questions

·         How many contrasting pairs are listed in the opening paragraph?

·         When are things beautiful?

·         What is there nothing better for a person to do?

·         What is in the place of judgment or justice?

·         How does God remedy this in his own time?

Interpretation Questions

·         What is ‘merismus’ and how does it apply to the passage?

·         How does 3:9 connect with 1:3?

·         What is ‘eternity in the hearts of men’?

·         How does the permanence of God contrast with the transience of our own existence?

·         How is the writer’s perspective on death devoid of New Testament understanding?

Application Questions

·         How would you divide your life into different ‘times’?

·         What period of your life are you in now?

·         How can you accept the period of life you are in without longing too much for a past or future time?

·         What does a God-conscious application to the tasks of today look like for you?

·         When was the last time you went to a funeral?  How did it affect you?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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