The Vapor of Work and Toil

MESSAGE - Pastor John Lee

Ecclesiastes: Living Wisely Under the Sun

The Vapor of Work and Toil 

  • Result of Work Under the Sun
  • Responding to Life Under the Sun
  • Receiving Joy Under the Sun  

Questions for Further Study or Group Discussion:

  1. Read Ecclesiastes 2:18-26. What are some reasons that the Preacher highlights to point out the vanity of work and toil under the sun?
  2. The Preacher highlights the disappointing and frustrating results of work under the sun. How does the Preacher’s assessment resonate with you? Why?
  3. The Preacher’s response to despair (v. 20) is not because work exists but rather it is because the results of work under the sun are elusive. In other words, work is not inherently evil rather it is quite the opposite (Gen. 1-2). Why is this distinction important for us? If you are dissatisfied with the work and current portion you’ve been given, how might the Preacher’s wise assessment (v. 20-24) help reorient your life?
  4. Look at Eccles. 1:13 and 2:24-26. What is given from God’s hands to us? What are some daily gifts and ordinary joys that you are prone to overlook? In what ways would a deeper conviction about the givenness of all things change the way you approach each day? In what ways does this section of Ecclesiastes point us to find our life’s lasting satisfaction, significance, and security in the One “beyond the sun”? 

Memory Verse of the Week:

Psalm 127:1-2 “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” (ESV)