January 19 - The Folly of Pleasure - Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
Prepare for Sunday morning worship by using the guide below
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.
Unreached People Group
In our Sunday gathering this week, we will be praying for the Tatar in Kazakhstan.
I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity. I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the sons of man.
So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.
Solomon continues his journey searching for happiness in life. As you recall, his pursuit of knowledge proved vain as no wisdom can untangle the enigma of life. So, his next test is to consider and engage in the world of pleasure. Like the prodigal son, he uses everything he has to chase the elusive happiness in drink, success, wealth, entertainment. As king, he has the best the world has to offer in this pursuit. Yet like the prodigal, who comes to his senses, so Solomon reflects on the folly of pleasure and leads us to a more lasting joy.
Review and Apply
What things, experiences, or relationships have you pursued thinking you would find happiness?
Out of the various pursuits of Solomon, which was most tempting to you as a place of fulfillment?
Why did they not provide the joy you desired?
How can we draw the greatest joys from God's gifts?
What insights have you gained from this passage that can lead to true meaning?
How can your mortality help you truly live?
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