- Here in the beginning of chapter 7 we see that Solomon is starting to climb upwards towards and back to the words of God. One should therefore look very closely to what he has to say to us and to both look at ourselves inside and how we look and act towards others. What Solomon is trying to convey to us are true words of Wisdom and how we can learn from them.
- As one starts to study these words, one should go slow so one can fully understand what they are studying.
- Looking at verses 1 & 2 we can examine how Solomon looked at a problem and possibly how we should too. Explain what you see and feel?
- Verses 3- 7, one sees Solomon is depressed but his outlook seems to be balanced as examines his heart. What can we learn from him here?
- In verse 8, the subject turns towards patience. This is a subject matter we all need to understand so that we can start to practice it correctly. What is the meaning behind what Solomon is saying here?
- How do verse 9 and 1 John 1:9 relate to one another? 1John 1:9 states; “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
- Verse 10 talks about not looking back. Philippians 3:13 says “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” Why should we not dwell about the things in our past?
- Verses 11 & 12 talk about Wisdom, what should we learn from these verses?
- Look at verses 13 & 14 from the prospective of the first line in verse 13. What might we learn for ourselves and to pass on?
- What is the sum of the parts that when they are put together is considered the good life? Describe the parts? Possessions, etc.?
- Look at your answers to question 1. How are they different from what God says?
- Why as humans are we never satisfied?
- If we look at verses 3-6 we see the Old Testament definition of the good life. What has changed?
- In verses 7 – 12, how do you feel and view the questions that are being raised?
- We start this section where the author looks at wealth from how earthly wealth doesn’t satisfy us to a gift from God. As you read verses 8-12, how would you compare the author’s time frame to yours?
- What does verse 13 mean to you?
- Verses 15-17 talk about the difficulties wealth can bring. What is the main lesson that you take away from these verses?
- As we close out this chapter we are shown a gift from God, now the world would disagree but, as you look over this chapter, which do you, side with?
- What conscience emotions do you feel when you try to ready your heart, mind and soul for worship and your mind starts to wonder?
- How & what can be done to prevent that from continuing?
- As we look here at these first 3 verses what are the contrasts to what we are being told to and not to do?
As we look at verses 4-7, one must look deep inside oneself to be sure of who and what are we for God does not want us to give fancy testimonies, sign cards of promise or to get baptized without some very careful prayer deliberation. Careful words to read and understand maybe found in Matthew 5: 33-37, Hebrews 4:12-13, James 1 :19-27.
Going back to the beginning of Chapter 4 through the first 7 verses of Chapter 5, let’s look at some of the lessons, which we have been shown:
- Oppression is a fact of life where competitiveness exists
- God hears and comforts the oppressed
- Two or three together are better than one who stands alone
- One should accept the counsel of others
- We should spend more time cultivating relationships with our families and friends
- We must not be over zealous in our endeavors of a religious nature when a large amount of stress is placed upon us. [ie.] Don’t make a promise or vow to God that you may not keep when times are bad or you’re in deep trouble just in hope that He might get you out.
4. Can you pick possibly one that you have truly learned from and expound on it?
- Friendship and partnerships are shown through out the bible in many different situations. Have you ever looked at why you call some people friend and why?
- Do you remember how it was when you were all alone for what ever reason and there was no one to call or upon?
- How about the time when you were really in trouble or truly needed a friend and they were there?
- Now through knowledge and the Blessed gift you can always call on the Lord to help you and/or you and your friend. How does that you feel?
- What is your understanding of verse 13?
- Why do verses 13-16 read like they were written by a great mystery writer of the modern era?
- Have you ever been there when someone else came into and took over your job and you were told that you were fired? Or been emotionally involved with someone and then seen them with someone else and watch as they do not even acknowledge your presence? What and how were you feeling?
- Imagine having to go looking for a job in the same building that your recent ex works or even where you recently held a job for another business a few days earlier and you bumped into either your ex or your old boss or even the one whom just replaced you? How would you feel?
- Have you ever done what Solomon did in verses 2-3?
- How did you stop?
- In modern day terms can you rewrite verse 4 and also explain what it may mean?
- Verse 5 can and may have more than the meaning that is first noticed?
- How do you look at verse 6?
- As we look at verse 8 we see the unraveling of a very sad story or at least from a Christians point of view. Why is it so sad?
After reading and studying these 8 verses one can get a little down in the dumps mainly because mostly everything around us is looked at from the worldly viewpoint. Here are some pieces of scripture that might assist you in feeling and understanding a little more.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trails, knowing that the testing of you faith produces patience.
1 Peter 4: 12-13
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
2 Corinthians 1: 3-4
Blessed be the God and Father of Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have, for He Himself has said “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
We started with life without GOD…”all is vanity” [1:2], “there is nothing new under the sun [1:9], all works are done under the sun and indeed all is vanity and grasping for the wind”[1:14]. The writer then states in verse [1:18] “for in much wisdom is grief and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.”
In chapter 2, we looked at seeking out pleasures; “what does it accomplish [2:2], then we looked at hard labor and how painful it c an be. Basically we see that life without the Lord God is empty.
As we look at the first 8 verses we see that the author realizes in his head but maybe not in his heart that the Lord God has his and our life planned out, but being human we don’t always do things the way things our planned.
- As you go through these verses look at them closely and see how they may pertain to you?
- Is there one of these verses that jumps out at you more than the rest?
- Verse nine is it’s own question “What profit has the worker from that in which he labors?
- Verse 17 & 18 are not very encouraging. Who or what is the author talking about in regard to the sons of men?
- It is true that men and beasts alike go to the same place, that is, the grave. Both return to dust. Unlike man, however, beasts are not…what?
- Verse 20 continues with this thought and because of this there is on opening that man twists and turns to his own advantage and what is that?
- Verse 20 says that man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage. Is it?
- If so, what kind of trouble can one get into because of it?
- Contrast in the world’s view of verses 18-22 with that of 11-15?
- As we start we see that the author is changing his perspective on life. What do you see as the advantages and possible disadvantages to his perspectives?
- Why does the author hate life, as seen using verses 17-19?
- The author uses one phrase many times in these verses. What does it mean to you and do you find the thought pattern used a lot in today’s world?
- What are your feelings about verse 23 and why?
- Going back and looking at verses 10 & 11. How would you compare them to verses 24-26?
- Looking at those same verses from the world’s perspective, would there be a difference in your answer?