East of Eden – Ecclesiastes 1:1-11
I. Who? (v. 1)
II. What? (v. 2)
III. Why? (v. 3)
IV. How? (v. 4-11)
V. So What?
Sermon Reflection Questions
- What are your first impressions of Ecclesiastes from reading it, or even just from reading the first paragraph? How does it make you feel?
- Jeff titled this sermon “East of Eden.” Why do you think he did that? Where does the phrase come from in the Bible, and what clues about the meaning of Ecclesiastes might it give us?
- Ecclesiastes is about vanity—what are some different things that word can mean? What meanings should we expect to show up in Ecclesiastes (either from the sermon or from your own reading)?
- How is verse 3 a helpful clarifier for the main idea of all being vanity? How might you restate the main idea of verses 2 and 3 together in one sentence?
- Verses 4-11 bolster the main argument. Why do you think he says generations go and come, rather than come and go? What subtle point is the book making?
- Verses 5-7 use nature as fodder for evidence. How do these verses reinforce the main idea?
- Verse 8 talks about our inability to explain the world. Why can’t we explain the world more easily and live wisely?
- Verses 9-10 speak to the lack of newness in the world—what do you think he means? There are new things, but in light of the whole passage what must he mean? Can you think of personal examples of how things are never new in your own life?
- What do you make of the lack of remembrance of former things—in what important ways do we not remember?
- With such a dismal ending to the paragraph, what should we naturally do as Christians to make sense of this? How do we affirm the truths here and not simply despair? What do you think the New Testament has to say about the “gain/profit” that we need to be reminded of?