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January 12 - The Folly of Wisdom - Ecclesiastes 1:12-18

Prepare for Sunday morning worship by using the guide below

Adult Education

This Sunday we will beginning a new Sunday School class. Ray Rutledge will be teaching on Biblical Stewardship. This class will begin at 10:00am in the Multi-purpose room.

Worship Songs

Hallelujah For The Cross
The Glories of Calvary
Holy Holy Holy (Nicaea)
Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Unreached People Group

In our Sunday gathering this week, we will be praying for the Afshari of Iran.

Ecclesiastes 1:12-18

I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.

What is crooked cannot be made straight,
and what is lacking cannot be counted.

I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.

For in much wisdom is much vexation,
and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

Summary 

In the prologue of this book of wisdom, we are confronted with some of the most basic questions of life.  Does life matter? Am I simply born, live for a bit and then die, never to be remembered? How can I find happiness and meaning?  Last week, we were introduced to the preacher and the problem of life. It was put forward in a question: 'what does man gain for the toil at which he toils under the sun?' Today we hear directly from him on the nature of this journey.  He will speak to his effort at finding 'gain' through pursuing wisdom, pleasure and labor.  Will educational degrees, scientific learning, philosophical understanding make our lives more meaningful?  Are the uneducated and uninitiated bound to live lives of less value?  How do we gain true wisdom?

Review and Apply 

What do the lives of people you know reveal about what they think will make them happy?  

What is the quest of this preacher?  What are the results of it?

How much weight do you put on learning/education/smarts?

What does he mean 'what is crooked cannot be made straight'?

How is Jesus the true wisdom of God?

How does Jesus, as the wisdom of God, lead you to a happier life now?

How does considering your death lead to enjoying life?  What are some changes that you can make in regard to the brevity of life that would benefit your marriage, family, friendships, and church community?