Memory Text: Ecclesiasties 3:3-4 —
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
Westminster Larger Catechism 28: What are the punishments of sin in this world? The punishments of sin in this world are either inward, as blindness of mind, a reprobate sense, strong delusions, hardness of heart, horror of conscience, and vile affections; or outward, as the curse of God upon the creatures for our sakes, and all other evils that befall us in our bodies, names, estates, relations, and employments; together with death itself.
Monday: Ecclesiastes 1:12-15. What is the Preacher’s big goal (1:13, 1:3)? How does v 15 explain why “it is an unhappy business man is busy with” (cf Ecclesiastes 7:13, Gen 3:16-19, WLC 28 above)? What hope is there for an “above the sun” wisdom that can make straight what is crooked (Is 40:4, Lk 3:5)? Consider how Christ has “straightened” you and praise God for it.
Tuesday: Ecclesiastes 1:16-18. Wisdom “under the sun” is living a good, insightful, well-ordered life. What stock do Americans put in this kind of wisdom? What about knowledge (v 16)? What about you? How do both lead to vexation/irritation and sorrow (v 18)? How well do knowledge and insight fix hearts, and change the world’s problems?
Wednesday: Ecclesiastes 2:12-14b. If the most-qualified king has studied these matters, why do we so often have to learn the hard way? How is living wisely (practical intelligence, insight) better than living foolishly (no sense)? Think of examples for both (e.g. Prov 12:15, 14:16, 15:5). Where do you need to live more wisely? Ask God to give you strength and insight to change.
Thursday: Ecclesiastes 2:14-17. Even though living wisely is much better, it too is absurd -the result doesn’t pay off. How do wise and fools alike get hit with the common curse (v 14, Mt 5:45)? How does death wipe away any gain of wisdom (15, 16)? How long does a reputation of wisdom last (16)? Why should we live wisely?
Friday: Ecclesiastes 2:12-17. What is true wisdom (Prov 1:7)? How does the Preacher’s conclusion pick up on this (12:13-14, 1 Cor 1:30)? How does this provide a true and lasting motive for living well? What does God-honoring wisdom look like (Mt 12:42, Lk 2:52, James 3:15-18, Col 1:28)
Saturday: Read Matthew 9:35-38. What place do you have in laboring in the harvest?