Wisdom from Ecclesiastes and Job
Lesson #1: Ecclesiastes
Good Questions: These Lessons Have Groups Talking
by Josh Hunt www.joshhunt.com
As I sit down to write another lesson I pray for you. I pray that your eyes will be open to see new truths from God's word this week. I pray that you will have a fresh moment with God as you prepare to teach his word. I pray that your heart will fill with delight in Him. I pray also that your heart will fill with love for your students, and understanding for their individual needs. I pray that you will think of them and care deeply for them, as I know you do. I pray that as you teach the Holy Spirit would empower you to teach with conviction and power and grace. Always teach with grace.
I believe the hope of the world is in your hands. The hope of the world is in the gospel we teach. The hope of the world is in the Book. The hope of the world is with ordinary, bread and butter believers taking the gospel to a handful of people and, over time, maturing them, growing them and reproducing their group. I pray that this week will be another step in that direction. I hope that in the months to come God will (if he has not already) bring someone in your life that you can place your arm on their shoulder and say, "I believe in you. I think God has gifted you to care for people. I think God has gifted you to teach. I want to help you all I can. I want to give you my class while I go of and start a new class." I pray God will grace you to reproduce.
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1. Eccles. 1:1-3
The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:
 "Meaningless! Meaningless!"
says the Teacher.
Everything is meaningless."
 What does man gain from all his labor
at which he toils under the sun?
I thought in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good." But that also proved to be meaningless.  "Laughter," I said, "is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?"  I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly--my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.
 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards.
I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my work,
and this was the reward for all my labor.
 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.
 Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom,
and also madness and folly.
What more can the king's successor do
than what has already been done?
 I saw that wisdom is better than folly,
just as light is better than darkness.
 The wise man has eyes in his head,
while the fool walks in the darkness;
but I came to realize
that the same fate overtakes them both.
 Then I thought in my heart,
"The fate of the fool will overtake me also.
What then do I gain by being wise?"
I said in my heart,
"This too is meaningless."
Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun:
I saw the tears of the oppressed--
and they have no comforter;
power was on the side of their oppressors--
and they have no comforter.
 And I declared that the dead,
who had already died,
are happier than the living,
who are still alive.
 But better than both
is he who has not yet been,
who has not seen the evil
that is done under the sun.
Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
and the years approach when you will say,
"I find no pleasure in them"--
Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.
 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.
2. I will be using this phrase in this lesson as a "repeated phrase." This is a rhetorical device that I use in teaching. I discuss its use in my book, 860Disciplemaking Teachers.
3. The phrase "Enjoying God" based on Philippians 4:4 and Psalm 37:4 works for me.