I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – Ecclesiastes 1:12-2:26
I. Proposal (1:12-15)
II. Experimenting (1:16-2:11)
A. By Wisdom (1:16-18)
B. With Pleasure (2:1-9)
C. Is Pleasurable, That is All (2:10-11)
III. Conclusions (2:12-26)
A. Pure Philosophy Pales (2:12-23)
B. Defeat, to Delight (2:24-26)
- Have you had times in your life when you were trying to “find yourself” or “Figure out the meaning of life”? What did that look like for you?
- The Preacher proposes to figure out what life is really about. From 12-15, what does he seem to be planning?
- Why all the negative notes in 12-15? What is so unhappy here?
- V16 pushes us to consider Solomon and his life. What was unique about Solomon to be able to undertake this venture of experimenting with life and its meaning?
- 2:1-11 is about trying out the experiences of life to find meaning and purpose. Why aren’t pleasure and laughter enough for us?
- There is a long list here: laughter, wine, pleasure, art, work, creating things, nature, gardening, power, money, entertainment, sex. Which is these seem most worthwhile or meaningful to you?
- Why is wisdom better than folly? 2:12-13. But why does wisdom not accomplish that much? 14 and following?
- What does he conclude about all of this (21-23)? What does he have to say about work in this short section? Why is work so all-consuming sometimes?
- Why the major change of tone in verse 24? What is the key for understanding why these things can be good and not utter vanity (25)?
- What does any of this have to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ? How do Jesus and the NT writers shed light on enjoying life in the midst of vanity?