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Background Considerations

Do you feel confused by some puzzling statements about life from the Book of Ecclesiastes? Are you tempted to be inactive because life sometimes does not make sense?

Ecclesiastes 11 teaches that neither lack of understanding nor confusion is a reason good enough to be inactive. The author lists some activities in which we can involve that will help others and give more meaning to our own life.

Relevant Biblical Passages

  1. Ecclesiastes 11:1-6. Which of the proverbs found in this passage expresses best an attitude of generosity and active involvement to do good to others?
    What is the difference between chance, luck and providence?
  2. Ecclesiastes 11:7-8. How often do we remember to thank God for things that we take for granted such as the ability to see objects around us?
    Is it normal for a young person to think much about the process of growing old and dying?
  3. Ecclesiastes 11:9-10. Explain the importance of the little word “but” in verse 9! How can the prospect of a final judgment have an impact on what we do?
    Does this verse contradict the words from Psalm 130:3-4 where it says: “If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.”

Lessons for Life

Chapter 11 of Ecclesiastes is very important because the author urges us here not be “paralyzed” by life’s complexities but rather to be active, doing good to others and praising the Creator God. As it says in Romans 12:21: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

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