Day 2 of Ecclesiastes
If you missed day one you can go to it here.
We’re reading through and studying Ecclesiastes together. For the next 12 days check back for the discussion questions and prayer prompts.
Ecclesiastes 2 (NASB)
“I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives. I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself; I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men-many concubines. Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun. So I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king except what has already been done? And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness. The wise man’s eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I know that one fate befalls them both. Then I said to myself, “As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why then have I been extremely wise?” So I said to myself, “This too is vanity.” For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die! So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind. Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me. And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity. Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun. When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge and skill, then he gives his legacy to one who has not labored with them. This too is vanity and a great evil. For what does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors under the sun? Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity. There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God. For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him? For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God’s sight. This too is vanity and striving after wind.”
- What 1 or 2 verses stood out to you most while reading this passage?
- How would you summarize this passage or write it in your own words?
- What does this passage teach me about God or His character?
- Does this chapter challenge me? How so?
- How can I apply this chapter to my life TODAY?
Share the questions # and your answer in the comments below. Or do you have other questions? Something you don’t understand or doesn’t quite make sense? Do you have any prayer requests?
For our prayer time, you can write your prayers out or just say them in your head or out loud. It doesn’t matter, He just wants to have a relationship with you and that’s hard to do without communication. Whatever you are comfortable with and He has called you to.
If you haven’t ever prayed before other than the giving Him your life…which in a lot of cases were “repeat after me” situations here is a good and simple way of going about it. It’s called ACTS: A-Adoration: Tell God how awesome He is and say praises to Him (or sing ’em your by yourself with Him, why not? He loves a joyful noise) C- Confession: what do you need to confess to Him today? Tell Him and confess your sins T-Thankfulness: Tell Him why you are thankful today? Even in our valleys we can find something to be thankful for and we should tell Him. S-Supplication: Ask Him for help or guidance or wisdom. Make your requests know to Him. Even the craziest of things…He wants to hear them from you.
At the end of the day, just spend time talking to Him. We serve a relational God who cares for us and wants & always has time with us.
P.S. If you like journaling….this is a great place for you to see your prayers answered. As you go through the study or in a year or whatever. If you are a writer, then writing your prayers and discussion answers is fun and when you look back it’s pretty awesome to see how God moves and grows you.
Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.