King Solomon is widely recognised throughout history as the wisest man that ever lived. With the great wisdom from God, Solomon built vast cities and building projects, wrote world class literature, gained incredible wealth and knowledge as well as marrying many wives. Yet as we read his writings in the book of Ecclesiastes, we see a man who had it all from a worldly perspective, but still struggled to find meaning for his life. Solomon in all his wisdom comes to the conclusion that the best a person can do in life is to Fear God and to follow his commands (Ecclesiastes 12:13). From a man who had all the power, knowledge and every worldly pleasure at his fingertips, meaning was ultimately found in his relationship with God.
Read [bible]Ecclesiastes 9:11-18[/bible]
- What are some of the ways that you see people in our generation seeking to find meaning in their lives? What are the outcomes of these pursuits that you can observe? Does this bring them happiness?
- What brings you your personal lasting happiness?
- What markers does the world use to define success? What do you use to define success in your life?
- Have you ever seen success come from a failure? What lessons have you learnt when things didn’t go to plan?
- What impact does guilt and shame have upon our ability to grow? How can we overcome this?
- Read Ecclesiastes 9:16-18. Solomon says that “Wisdom is better than strength”. How have you seen this reality play out? How can we grow in wisdom?
- Read Ecclesiastes 12:13. What might this look like in a practical sense?
Solomon in all his wisdom and power comes to the conclusion at the end of his life that the pursuit of worldly power and wealth is totally meaningless, but that true meaning in life can only be found in the pursuit of a relationship with God, and in living in obedience to him. What is one step of obedience that you can put in place this week to further pursue your relationship with God, and obedience to Him?