Ecclesiastes 6: Bible Study Guide.
21-BSG-6A: WORSHIP GUIDE.
A Worship Guide corresponding with the today’s Bible Reading Plan: Ecclesiastes 6/ Theme: A Life without Joy 6:1–9/ 21-BSG-6A, (Ecclesiastes 6:1-6)/ Hymn: “O there’ll be Joy when the Work is done!” [Author: Franklin E. Belden].
EXPLORATION: God’s people find their true Joy in Him — (1 Chr. 16:10; Ps 4:7; 16:11; Hab. 3:17-18; Ps 43:4; Philip 1:23-26; 3:1; 4:4).
REFLECTION: This chapter touches again on the question of material goods and the enjoyment of them. The author characterizes the problem in the same way as he did in the previous chapter (Eccl. 5:16). The chapter can be developed as follows: God grants a person all the wealth and riches He desires, but the person might not be able to enjoy them (1-2). Secondly, a man can have up to a 100 children, live many years… but his life is not filled with happiness, and at the time of his death receive no proper burial (3-5). Thirdly, a man can live longer (up to 2000 years) but he too will one day die! (3:6). Fourthly, the poor can labor for his mouth [for self-preservation and enjoyment], and yet the desire of his soul is not satisfied (7–9). Lastly, Solomon touches on five questions that people often ask (10-12).
DEVOTIONAL IMPLICATION: What is the source of Joy? Solomon considered the source of Joy and concluded that wealth does not bring Joy. Wealthy people are the most-unhappy individuals in world. Why? Because often time they don’t sleep, they are worried, they are preoccupied with their possessions (2a). The Preacher is alluding to the fact that all wealthy people leave their possessions to others to enjoy, when they die (6:2b). Secondly, having a big family does not necessarily bring joy (3–5): A stillborn child is better off than the unhappy father of 100 children. Third, fullness of years does not bring Joy (6–12).
So, let me ask the question again: What is the source of Joy? Beloved, true Joy/ Happiness comes from the Lord. Look at Psalm 16. “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11, AMP)– not partial joy; not imperfect joy; not joy intermingled with pain and sorrow; but ‘fullness of joy’— satisfying joy, pure, unclouded, unmingled with anything that would diminish its fullness. “Wealth to a worldling is like drink to one who has dropsy, which only increases the thirst. Christ is the true Bread which satisfies; the Water of life which quenches all thirst of the soul.” (Keith Brooks)
THE GOSPEL’S VOICE: This section is written as if God were speaking directly to you—Because He does. What does the Lord say to me this morning? My son, nobody can truly enjoy the gifts of heaven apart from the God who gives the gifts. You can never enjoy life apart from Me. Worldly gain, pleasure and riches can never satisfy your heart. Enjoyment without Me is merely entertainment, and it doesn’t satisfy. But enjoyment with Me is enrichment and it brings true joy and satisfaction. Listen my son, “to the person who pleases Me, I give wisdom and knowledge and joy; but to the sinner, I give ‘the work of gathering and heaping up,’ that he may give to one who pleases Me.” (Ecclesiastes 2:26) Listen, in Me “there are pleasures for evermore!” In Me there is a Path to life (Mat. 7:14); In Me there is Life: fullness of life (physical, spiritual and eternal life). Do you want life, peace, joy, and happiness? Come to Me and you will be blessed. Amen.
My Desire: By God’s grace, I want to enjoy the blessings of God now and thank Him for all of them. I want to be content with what I have. I don’t want to ‘plan to live’ — but rather ‘start living now’ in God’s presence and be satisfied with what He gives me and use it all for His glory.
Have A Blessed Day: “Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls— Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” (Habakkuk 3:17–18, NKJV)
21-BSG-6B: PRAYER GUIDE.
A Prayer Guide corresponding with the today’s Bible Reading Plan: Ecclesiastes 6/ Theme: The Judgment, Each Life Passes in Review/ 21-BSG-6B, (Ecclesiastes 6:12)/ Hymn: “The judgment has set, the books have been opened” (SDAH 416).
Focus: The Futility of Life without God; the Certainty of Death; and the Pre-advent Judgment.
Key Text: “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; Walk in the ways of your heart, And in the sight of your eyes; But know that for all these God will bring you into judgment. Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, And put away evil from your flesh, For childhood and youth are vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 11:9–10, NKJV)
Opening Remarks: “At the time appointed for the judgment—the close of the 2300 days, in 1844—began the work of investigation and blotting out of sins. All who have ever taken upon themselves the name of Christ must pass its searching scrutiny. Both the living and the dead are to be judged “out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:12.
Said the Judge: “All will be justified by their faith and judged by their works.” Sins that have not been repented of and forsaken will not be pardoned, and blotted out of the books of record, but will stand to witness against the sinner in the day of God.…
There is earnest warfare before all who would subdue the evil tendencies that strive for the mastery. The work of preparation is an individual work. We are not saved in groups. The purity and devotion of one will not offset the want of these qualities in another. Though all nations are to pass in judgment before God, yet He will examine the case of each individual with as close and searching scrutiny as if there were not another being upon the earth. Everyone must be tested, and found without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.
The judgment is now passing in the sanctuary above. For many years this work has been in progress. Soon—none know how soon—it will pass to the cases of the living. In the awful presence of God our lives are to come up in review. At this time above all others it behooves every soul to heed the Saviour’s admonition, “Watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.” Mark 13:33. “If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” Revelation 3:3.” [Ellen Gould White, The Faith I Live By, (Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1958), 211].
Values To Build On: Humility, Contentment, Obedience, Faithfulness: Putting God first in whatever we do (Mt 6:33).
Sins To Avoid/ Confess: Vanity (emptiness, falsity, vainglory and futility) and a striving after the wind and a feeding on it! (6:9); Contending with God who is mightier than us (6:10); Worthlessness: going through the motions but accomplishing nothing (6:12)
Something To Thank God For:  God is the provider of all good things: Wisdom and Knowledge; Riches, Possessions, and Honor (6:2).  Satisfaction: so that we lack nothing for our souls — of all that we might desire (6:2); God may not give us the power or capacity to enjoy fruits of our labor (6:2);  Humility: a stranger (in whom you have no interest) may succeed you and consumes all your wealth and enjoys them (6:2) — This is vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility); it is a sore affliction!  Proper burial by one’s family: Privation of burial is considered a calamity/ unburied dead bodies is a mark of disgrace! (6:3)
People To Pray For:  The unrighteous, sinful, wicked people who are never satisfied to come to Jesus, the Fountain of Living waters;  The Devastated, due to misfortunes which has taken away what they have: family, possession, business, carriers, savings, etc. Pray for them to cling on to Jesus (cf. Job 1-2).
Issues To Pray For:  Contentment: enjoying the blessings of God now and be satisfied with what we have;  Obedience: living in God’s presence, keeping His commandments;  Stewardship: using whatever God has given us for His glory;  Putting God first: all our labor is meaninglessness, all our accomplishments and wisdom are useless, vain, and transitory, if we live without God.
Other Issues To Pray For: Disappointment; Dissatisfaction; Emptiness; Addiction; Contentment; Proper Burial (Resting Place) at the time of death; The brevity and uncertainty of Life; To have good old age; Untimely Birth/ Abortion/ childbearing, etc.
Today’s Promise: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14, NKJV)
Action Step: Take a moment to pray, confess and repent of the sins listed above. If you have a Prayer Request(s), kindly write it below and someone will pray for it.
Prayer: Father, we thank You for Your word in Ecclesiastes chapter 6. We thank You for providing of all good things: wisdom and knowledge; riches, possessions, and honor (6:2). We thank You for Life Lessons in this chapter, that worldly gain, pleasure and riches can never satisfy our hearts; that what we really need is Jesus Christ, the Fountain of Living waters. Father we long to be satisfied today. Help us to be content with what You have given us and walk in Your presence, listening to Your Instructions and obeying Your precepts.
We know that there is a Judgment in session right now (in the Heavenly Sanctuary). We know that You are judging the dead and the living, and that soon and very soon, Christ shall finish this work (Rev 16:17) and appear on the clouds (Rev. 1:7). Help us to proclaim this message far and wide –that all mankind may hear the gospel, be saved, and get ready for Jesus. Forgive us Lord of the sins we have committed; cleanse us with the precious Blood of the Lamb, and seal us for the kingdom. We thank You Lord, and ask these things, believing and trusting, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.