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ecclesiastes Anne O’BrieN

A Bible Study in the book of Ecclesiastes. We encourage you to pray before you begin reading that the Lord would open your heart and mind to be receptive and responsive to God’s message contained within this study. There may be times when you find it difficult to reconcile God’s truth to your own opinion or worldview, God’s truth is eternal, it does not change, our understanding of the truth does change as we allow God to work in our hearts and minds. 1


ECCLESIASTES( If#you#read#1"Kings"3v7+15#you#will#see#how#God#(speaking#to#Solomon#at#the#beginning#of#his#reign)#told# Solomon#to#ask#for#whatever#he#wanted;#and#Solomon#chose#wisdom#and#a#discerning#heart.#God#granted# his#wish#and#the#result#was#seen#in#two#ways.## Firstly,#under#Solomon,#Israel#knew#40#years#of#peace;#and#secondly,#Solomon#was#able#to#write#three#books# of#Philosophical#Wisdom:#Proverbs,#Ecclesiastes#and#Song#of#Solomon.#Most#of#the#Bible#reveals#to#us#God’s# instructions#and#guidance,#but#Ecclesiastes#is#written#to#make#us#think.#It’s#not#History#or#Law.#It’s#almost# like#a#soliloquy#where#Solomon#has#a#debate#with#himself#where#–#in#many#places#–#he#plays#‘devil’s# advocate’#to#arrive#at#the#truth.#Man’s#ways#of#thinking#and#doing#(represented#by#“all#things#under#the# sun”)#are#shown#to#be#futile#and#end#in#nothing;#whereas#God’s#ways#bring#everlasting#results#and#purpose# to#all#who#believe#in#Him.# #

Ecclesiastes(Chapter(1( Read(verses(1&2:(( Solomon"introduces"himself"as"“teacher,"Son"of"David"&"King”."Then"he"immediately"tells"you"the"subject" matter"of"his"writing"and"the"following"argument:"Vanity,"pointlessness,"futility"and"meaninglessness."What" is"obvious"right"from"the"start"is"that"Solomon"is"saying"what"most"people"are"thinking!( Read(verses(3&4:( Solomon"uses"the"phrase"“under"the"sun”"nearly"30"times"and"by"doing"so"he"is"referring"to"mortal"things" rather"than"spiritual"things."And"he"goes"on"to"say"that"the"things"of"earth"all"come"and"go"in"cycles." Read(verses(5=7:( Solomon"didn’t"know"how,"but"he"recognised"that"the"things"governing"day"and"night,"wind"and"rain"etc." were"all"everlasting"cycles."One"would"have"thought"this"was"something"to"praise"God"for!" Read(verses(8=11:( Solomon"saw"it"all"as"wearying!"You"get"the"impression"he"would"have"been"happy"being"a"genetic"scientist" or"something"similar"in"the"21st"century,"rather"than"being"a"King"some"3,000"years"ago." Q.(Did(Solomon’s(wealth(have(anything(to(do(with(his(lack(of(purpose?( Q.(In(the(light(of(all(the(inventions(in(this(last(50(years((just(0.8%(of(man’s(existence)(do(you(think( Solomon’s(comments(are(still(relevant?( Read(verses(12=15:( Solomon"decides"God"has"placed"a"heavy"burden"on"mankind,"but"should"he"have"been"surprised?"See" Genesis(3v16=19.(Many"of"the"tasks"we"do"are"repetitious"and"we"could"say"“what’s"the"point?”"Is"Solomon" really"asking"us"to"say"that,"or"is"he"calling"us"to"look"for"the"answer?" 1" "


Q.(Can(you(see(any(other(reason(for(our(‘daily(grind’?(See(Colossians(3v12=17( Q.(How(does(it(transform(a(task(if(we(see(it(as(“a(labour(of(love”?( Read(verses(16=18:( Solomon’s"first"conclusion"is,"“the"more"knowledge,"the"more"grief”."So"he"doesn’t"even"find"satisfaction"in" wisdom"itself!" Q.(How(does(that(conclusion(prove(itself(true(in(our(day?((Increase(in(knowledge,(TV(and(worldwide( media(coverage(etc.)( If"Solomon’s"conclusion"is"that"we"can"never"be"satisfied,"he"challenges"us"to"work"out"how"we"can"be."As" Christians"we"understand"that"we"can"experience"joy"and"fulfilment"despite"the"circumstances." If(we(live(for(the(things(of(the(world,(we(get(the(world’s(reward.( If(we(live(for(the(things(of(God,(we(get(God’s(reward.(

( Ecclesiastes(chapter(2( In#this#chapter#Solomon#studies#pleasure,#knowledge#and#work.# Read(verses(1=11:(PLEASURE( The(pleasure(of(laughter(and(alcohol"(v1U3)" In"other"words:"having"a"good"time."Solomon"wanted"to"sample"all"that"life"had"to"offer"as"a"test"to"see" whether"anything"brought"meaning"to"life."" The(pleasure(of(projects(and(hobbies((v4U6)"" Solomon"undertook"many"building"schemes"and"gardening"projects."" •! •! •! •! •! •! •! •! •!

The"first"Jerusalem"Temple" His"own"palace" A"similar"palace"for"his"Egyptian"wife"(Pharaoh’s"daughter)" Vineyards" Gardens"and"parks" Reservoirs"and"irrigation" Stables"for"his"hundreds"of"chariots"and"horses" Villages,"towns"and"fortified"cities" Ships"and"shipyards"on"the"Red"Sea""

(See"1"Kings"7;"Song"of"Solomon"8;"2"Chronicles"3"&"8)" " 2" "


The(pleasure(of(people(and(animals"(v7U9)"" Solomon"owned"hundreds"of"cattle,"slaves,"servants,"singers"and"concubines;"and"sadly"it"says"in"1"Kings" 11v3"that"they"led"him"away"from"the"Lord."" •! •! •! •!

He"had"700"wives"of"royal"birth"(and"made"political"alliances)" He"had"300"concubines" He"had"a"large"number"of"horses"imported"from"Egypt" He"had"12,000"horses"in"4,000"stalls"and"huge"stable"blocks"

(See"1"Kings"11;"2"Chronicles"1v16)" The(pleasure(of(self=gratification((v10&11)"" Solomon"confesses"he"denied"himself"nothing."And"his"conclusion"in"verse"11"is"very"sad"–"everything"was" meaningless."He"possessed"more"than"any"other"person"on"earth,"and"had"done"more"things."But"his" conclusion"was"that"none"of"it"could"bring"meaning"in"life." His"daily"food"ration"(1"Kings"4v23)"was:" •! 10"head"of"cattle,"stall"fed;"20"head"of"cattle,"pasture"fed" •! 100"sheep"and"goats" •! Plus"deer,"gazelle,"roebucks"and"choice"fowl" Q.(What(had(his(wealth(and(his(wives(succeeded(in(doing?( Q.(How(true(is(the(saying,(“money(can’t(buy(you(happiness”?"" Read(verses(12=16:(KNOWLEDGE( Solomon"had"gained"worldly"wisdom"and"knowledge,"but"he"had"lost"Godly"wisdom."“What"more"could"his" successors"do?”"he"asks"in"verse"3."Solomon"had"not"passed"anything"on"to"the"next"generation"in"the"way" of"spiritual"understanding"or"an"insight"into"God’s"promises,"so"the"future"would"have"seemed" meaningless."" In"fact,"Solomon"planted"the"seed"of"separation"amongst"the"tribes"of"Israel;"and"after"his"reign"the"united" kingdom"of"Israel"suffered"civil"war,"with"the"northern"10"tribes"(Israel)"eventually"splitting"from"the" southern"2"tribes"(Judah)." Read(verses(17=23:(WORK( Now"Solomon"was"disgruntled"because"all"his"hard"work"would"benefit"someone"else!"You"can’t"take" anything"with"you"when"you"die!" Read(Matthew(6v19=21."" Solomon"had"a"drastic"flaw"in"his"thinking."It’s"not"what"you"possess,"but"it"is"the"love"in"your"heart"for" others,"and"your"love"for"God"that"counts"at"the"end."In"fact,"Solomon’s"lifestyle"affected"his"citizens"badly," so"that"he"alienated"them:" •! He"paid"for"a"lot"of"his"projects"by"taxing"the"people"heavily" 3" "


•! He"set"up"altars"to"false"gods"–"Ashteroth,"Molech"etc."And"of"all"the"things"he"did,"this"was"the"one" thing"that"made"God"angry"(1"Kings"11v6U9)" •! He"didn’t"encourage"the"people"to"put"God’s"ways"first" Read(verses(24=26:(SOLOMON’S(CONCLUSIONS( •! Only(with(God(can(we(find(pleasure(and(satisfaction(in(life.(( •! Only(those(who(please(God(can(know(wisdom(and(happiness.( Solomon"had"once"written,"“The"fear"of"the"Lord"is"the"beginning"of"wisdom”"(Proverbs"9v10)."" Q.(How(had(Solomon(changed(as(he(got(older?( Q.(How(easy(is(it(for(us(to(‘rest(on(our(laurels’?( Do(we(still(have(the(excitement(and(enthusiasm(and(love(for(God(that(we(had(when(we(first(believed?( Or(have(we(replaced(it(with(other,(material,(more(worldly(things?( (

Ecclesiastes(chapter(3( Read(verse(1:( In#this#chapter#Solomon#considers#the#concept#of#time#and#what#use#we#make#of#it.#What#we#do#in#the#time# we#have#will#have#an#effect#on#what#will#follow.#Solomon#looks#at#the#contrasts#in#life,#the#continuity#of#life# and#the#cycle#or#pattern#of#life;#and#he#considers#whether#things#happen#by#chance#or#by#choice#–#by# accident#or#by#design.#As#Christians#we#are#called#to#be#aware#of#the#Lord’s#timing,#and#to#be#responsible#for# our#actions.## Q.(What(factors(determine(how(you(use(your(time?( Q.(Can(we(ever(be(too(busy(to(read(the(Bible(and(pray?( Verses#2U8#take#the#form#of#14#statements#in#7#couplets,#where#the#second#line#of#each#pair#expands#on#the# first.# Read(verse(2:( There"is"a"cycle"–"plants,"animals"and"people"all"live"and"then"die."Life"on"earth"would"be"unbearable"and" impossible"if"that"were"not"the"case."The"precious"time"that"we"have"should"be"used"wisely.( Q.(How(should(this(influence(our(thinking?( Read(verse(3:( There"are"times"of"hard"decisions,"when"we"need"to"consider"things"in"our"life"that"could"be"“killed"off”"and" things"that"could"be"renewed;"relationships"that"should"be"finished"or"built"on;"habits"that"should"be" destroyed"etc." ( 4" "


Q.(How(difficult(is(it(to(end(things(and(start(afresh?( Read(verse(4:( It"is"not"wrong"to"have"emotional"responses"to"the"good"and"bad"things"in"life."In"our"allotted"time"we"will" all"experience"both"joy"and"sorrow."If"we"never"had"emotions"we"would"be"like"robots." Q.(What(kind(of(people(would(we(be(if(we(only(experienced(joy(and(never(sorrow?( Read(verse(5:( This"is"about"relationships."Scattering"stones"was"a"way"in"which"tribes"damaged"their"enemies’"fields." Gathering"them"up"was"a"way"of"repairing"a"relationship."There"is"a"time"when"we"“fall"out”"with"each" other,"and"a"time"when"we"should"“kiss"and"make"up”."Solomon’s"observations"are"all"realistic!" Q.(Do(we(ever(gain(from(falling(out(with(each(other?( Read(verse(6:( Modern"psychology"has"much"to"learn"from"Solomon!"Many"people"have"attachments"to"things"and"horde" stuff"–"often"because"it"gives"them"a"sense"of"security;"or"they"search"for"relationships"or"whatever"they" feel"is"missing"in"their"lives."But"there"is"a"time"when"it"is"right"to"give"up"and"to"stop"wanting"to"trust"what" cannot"be."A"time"to"let"go"of"the"material"things"and"embrace"spiritual"things." Q.(What,(or(who,(can(fill(that(gap?( Read(verse(7:( Our"words"can"be"powerful"things"which"can"pour"oil"on"troubled"water"and"bring"help"to"those"in"need." But"equally,"if"we"are"not"careful"they"can"be"destructive"and"make"things"worse."We"need"to"“put"our" mind"in"gear"before"we"open"our"mouth”!" Read(verse(8:( We"may"or"may"not"agree"with"the"whole"concept"of"war"–"but"it"happens,"it"always"has,"and"it"always"will."" Q.(What(drives(war?( A"Christian"is"required"to"stand"up"for"what"is"right,"even"if"it"may"cause"conflict."“Christian”"countries" believe"they"should"fight"for"what"is"right,"but"should"they"see"themselves"as"God’s"agents"of"justice?"Peace" should"be"the"aim."Peace"should"follow"war." Read(verses(9=15:( Solomon"now"revisits"a"previous"theme,"the"subject"of"hard"toil,"but"this"time"he"looks"at"it"in"the"light"of" eternity."He"still"sees"the"“daily"round”"as"a"burden"(the"result"of"the"curse"on"Adam)"–"but"he"also"calls"it"a" gift"(v13)."There"can"be"satisfaction"and"reward"in"a"job"well"done"even"if"it"is"repetitious"(which"most"jobs" are)."In"verse"15"he"is"basically"saying,"“What"goes"round"comes"round.”"And"the"thing"that"now"makes"the" difference"to"his"conclusions"is"the"fact"that"“God"has"set"eternity"in"the"human"heart.”"" " 5" "


" How(does(eternity(make(a(difference?( " Mankind"is"Body,"Soul"and"Spirit." ( Our(body"is"a"shell"or"a"dwelling"place"inside"which"we"live."Sometimes"the"Bible"refers"to"it"as"“the"flesh”." It"is"that"part"of"us"that"connects"with"the"world,"that"is"affected"by"the"world"and"that"relies"on"the"world" for"existence."We"work"the"ground"and"live"off"the"produce."It"is"the"part"of"us"that"identifies"with"Adam" and"Eve." ( Our(soul"is"that"part"of"us"which"governs"our"personality"(shaped"by"our"genes"and"by"our"experiences);" our"mind"(all"our"thoughts);"our"emotions"(feelings"and"responses);"and"our"will"(what"choices"we"make)."It" is"our"inner"being"connected"very"closely"to"our"body,"so"that"what"we"feel"usually"affects"what"we"do."But" it"is"also"connected"to"our"spirit." ( Our(Spirit"is"that"part"of"us"which"is"connected"to"God"and"the"spiritual"world"and"eternity."It"enables"us"to" see"further"than"this"life,"to"have"goals"outside"of"this"life,"e.g."knowing"God,"loving"God,"pleasing"God," working"for"his"kingdom."Our"spirit"is"also"connected"to"our"soul."Our"soul"and"spirit"are"part"of"eternity" (see"verse"11)." " Read(verses(16=22:( Taking"these"thoughts"one"step"further,"Solomon"now"takes"a"look"at"what"happens"at"the"end"of"a" person’s"life."Solomon"saw"on"earth"wickedness"and"injustice"(v16)."Will"they"be"dealt"with"at"the"end" times?"Without"the"knowledge"of"the"saving"grace"of"Jesus"Christ,"Solomon"states"that"every"person"will"be" judged"for"his"or"her"deeds"(v17),"so"we"need"to"look"at"New"Testament"verses"to"get"the"full"picture." Read(Romans(2v6=8;(2(Thessalonians(1v6=8;(Matthew(16v27( When"we"know"Jesus"he"is"able"to"keep"our"spirit"and"soul"and"body"“blameless”"before"God’s"judgment"(1" Thessalonians"5v23)."God"looks"on"the"sacrifice"of"Jesus"and,"providing"we"are"truly"repentant,"accepts"it"as" payment"for"our"sin."So"that"when"we"one"day"stand"before"him"he"will"have"no"record"of"our" wrongdoings."As"Christians,"we"will"be"judged"on"our"righteous"acts"and"rewarded"accordingly." In"verses"18U21"Solomon"compares"humans"and"animals."Our"physical"bodies"have"the"same"ending"as"the" animals."All"breathe"the"same"air."All"come"from"dust"and"to"dust"return"(v20)."The"difference"is"that"God" has"placed"an"eternal"spirit"in"the"heart"of"man"(v11)."And"this"makes"a"significant"difference"to"Solomon’s" conclusion:" Humans(can(enjoy(their(work(in(the(light(of(God’s(eternal(plan.( 6" "


Ecclesiastes(chapter(4( Read(verses(1=3:( What"a"sad"world"we"live"in"–"so"many"people"are"being"oppressed"in"our"world,"right"now."Consider"this" list"(source"–"Wikipedia):" Major(wars"(10,000"+"deaths"in"the"past"year):"" Syria,"Iraq"and"Afghanistan,"and"the"combined"African"countries"of"Nigeria,"Cameroon,"Niger"and"Chad" Wars"(1,000"–"10,000"deaths"in"the"past"year):" Israel/Palestine,"Turkey/Iraq,"Somalia/Kenya,"Darfur/Sudan,"Mexico"(drugs),"Libya"(Civil"war),"Yemen/Saudi," Sinai/Egypt,"South"Sudan"(Civil"war),"Ukraine/Russia" Smaller(wars"(100"U"1,000"deaths):" India/Pakistan,"Pakistan/Iran,"Myanmar"(Burma"civil"unrest),"Colombia,"India"(insurgencies),"and" insurgencies"in"China,"Ethiopia"and"Congo"and"other"African"countries,"Lebanon,"Sudan"and"etc." Smaller(wars:"(Under"100"deaths);"A"further"15"countries"fall"into"this"category." Q.(What(are(the(results(of(so(many(wars(around(the(world?( So"many"wars"and"conflicts,"so"much"persecution"and"destitution,"has"led"to"hundreds"of"thousands"of" displaced"people"–"refugees"looking"for"a"home"and"a"job"and"most"of"all"acceptance."There(were(19.5( million(counted(refugees(in(the(world"at(the(end(of(2014!(Things"have"escalated"since"then"and"it"is" believed"that"the"number"has"doubled"since"then."How"true"are"Solomon’s"words"in"these"few"verses!"" Q.(What(part(can(we(play,(as(Christians?( Read(verses(4=6:( The"“rat"race”"and"“keeping"up"with"the"Joneses”"are"terms"we"use"to"describe"Solomon’s"thoughts"here." He"says"dissatisfaction"springs"from"envy"–"wanting"the"same"as"everyone"else."Too"much"of"this"kind"of" ambition"can"make"us"selfish."Envy"turns"to"greed"and"greed"can"turn"to"conflict."Therefore"we"should" enjoy"what"we"have"and"be"thankful."We"have"a"proverb"for"verse"6:"“A"bird"in"the"hand"is"worth"two"in"the" bush”."" See(Philippians(4v11=13(and(1(Timothy(6v8=9( Read(verses(7=12:( It’s"not"good"to"function"alone."Having"a"partner,"a"friend,"or"being"part"of"a"group"provides"great"benefits" (v9U12)."We"weren’t"made"to"be"solitary."As"Solomon"says,"there"is"no"meaning"in"life"if"we"don’t"interact" with"each"other;"and"we"can"become"miserable."" 1(Corinthians(12v12=27"makes"it"clear"that,"as"Christians,"we"should"interact"with,"relate"to"and"support" each"other"–"because"we"are"One"Body,"where"every"single"part"has"an"important,"vital"task."Not"only"do" we"help"each"other"but"we"also"gain"a"sense"of"selfUworth"and"satisfaction"when"we"work"constructively" 7" "


with"others."We"are"not"to"be"like"solitary"rats"fighting"for"what"they"can"get;"we"are"to"be"like"the"ants"and" the"bees"who"work"together"for"the"good"of"the"colony." Read(verses(13=16:( It"is"better"to"be"a"wise"poor"person"that"it"is"to"be"a"rich"fool!"Riches"may"bring"popularity"for"a"while,"but" genuine"integrity"even"in"a"younger"and"poorer"person"will"last"much"longer"and"have"a"greater"effect." Often"rich"people"or"leaders"collect"a"following"of"“yes"men”"and"so,"as"they"age,"they"get"more"isolated" from"reality"–"they"lose"any"wisdom"they"once"had."" Q.(Which(Bible(character(do(verses(14&15(remind(you(of(–(someone(of(great(wisdom(and(integrity?((Gen( chapters(37=47)(How(does(he(illustrate(Solomon’s(point?( (

Ecclesiastes(chapter(5( Read(verses(1=7:"" This"paragraph"begins"and"ends"with"a"warning."“Guard"your"steps”,"“Fear"God”."It’s"talking"about"being" rash"with"our"promises,"particularly"to"God."Solomon"gives"the"following"advice:" Listen"first;"be"slow"to"speak;"don’t"say"too"much;"if"you"make"a"promise"to"God"fulfil"it"straight"away,"or" don’t"make"it"in"the"first"place.""" Think(about(some(of(the(songs(we(sing(in(church.(Do(we(always(mean(what(we(sing?( Read(verses(8=17:(( John"Rockerfeller"said,"“The"poorest"man"I"know"is"the"man"who"has"nothing"but"money”."" Q.(What(things(can(money(not(buy?( Solomon"observes"that"money"corrupts"people"(v8,9);"that"money"is"like"an"addiction"(v10);"and"that"it"can" cause"nothing"but"stress"(v12)"and"sleepless"nights." Q.(What(is(the(difference(between(having(money(and(loving(money?( Solomon"reminds"us"that"we"are"born"with"nothing"and"can"take"nothing"with"us"when"we"die."The"story"is" told"of"a"man"who"stood"at"the"gates"of"heaven"with"a"bag."When"asked"what"he"had"to"show"for"his"life’s" work"the"man"proudly"opened"the"bag"to"reveal"dozens"of"gold"ingots."He"only"realised"his"misplaced"trust" when"the"question"was"asked"of"him,"“Why"have"you"brought"a"bag"full"of"paving"stones?”" (Rev"21v21:"“The"street"of"the"City"of"Heaven"was"paved"with"gold”.)" Q.(So(does(that(mean(that(we(should(be(poor(before(we(can(be(spiritual?((( Or(should(we(expect(God(to(prosper(us?(Or(neither?( ( 8" "


Read(verses(18=20:(( Solomon’s"conclusion"is"that"we"should"“be"happy"with"our"lot”"because,"whether"it"is"large"or"small,"it"is"a" gift"from"God." (

Ecclesiastes(chapter(6( Read(verses(1=6:( Continuing"with"the"theme"of"money"and"wealth,"Solomon"now"debates"the"effect"on"us,"but"he"appears"to" say"(in"verse"2)"that"it"is"God"who"gives"us"the"ability"to"enjoy"his"gifts"and"to"use"them"wisely."It"reminds"us" how"necessary"it"is"to"bring"everything"to"God"in"prayer;"not"just"our"needs"but"also"our"money,"in"order" that"God"can"help"us"to"be"good"stewards"and"enjoy"what"he"has"provided"for"us."" In"verse"3"Solomon"stresses"that"money"may"come"or"go."And"even"those"who"have"a"lot"of"money"may" never"get"to"enjoy"it."Circumstances"such"as"illness,"redundancy,"war"or"fraud"can"rob"a"person"of" everything"and"they"will"feel"worse"off"than"if"they"hadn’t"had"any;"therefore"they"should"be"thankful"for" what"they"have;"and"use"their"money"wisely"while"they"have"the"chance."To"hoard"it"is"wrong." Read(verses(7=12:( Solomon"reverts"to"his"original"them"of"“vanity”"–"all"is"meaningless."We"work"to"eat"and"we"eat"so"that"we" can"work"(v7)."And,"Solomon"leaves"us"with"an"unanswered"question:"" Can"anything"ever"change?"Because"life"has"always"been"like"this"and"always"will"be." However,"there"is"more"to"life"than"just"the"material"aspect." Solomon(asks(us(to(consider(these(things:( •! •! •! •! •!

God’s"plan"for"our"lives"(v.10)." Can"we"disagree"with"or"question"God"(v.10)?" Can"talking"about"these"things"make"a"difference"(v.11)?" Who"can"say"what"is"good"or"not"(v.12)?" Who"can"say"what"will"happen"in"the"future"9v.12)"

Solomon(hopes(the(reader(will(realise(that(there(is(no(answer(without(God.( (Ecclesiastes(chapter(7( In#this#chapter#Solomon#turns#his#thoughts#to#wisdom#and#foolishness,#and#causes#us#to#think#about#them#by# employing#a#series#of#proverbs#–#some#of#which#use#extremes#to#make#a#point.## Read(verses(1=6:(( At"first"glance"these"verses"seem"rather"surprising."Solomon"uses"hyperbole"(common"in"Hebrew" literature)"to"illustrate"a"point."He"is"not"actually"saying"that"death"is"better"than"birth;"but"he"is"asking"us" to"consider"how"we"spend"our"lives"and"what"will"happen"at"the"end."He"is"asking"us"to"be"wise,"thoughtful" 9" "


and"realistic;"and"to"consider"the"impact"of"our"life"at"our"birth"and"our"death."So:"we"don’t"earn"a"good" name"(v.1)"until"we"have"lived"a"good"life."We"don’t"grow"our"character"until"we"have"undergone"trials"(v.3" –"frustration)."Wisdom"comes"from"living"and"experiencing"life"(v.4)."It’s"not"how"we"start,"but"how"we" finish."Laughter"(v.6)"doesn’t"have"much"value"–"unlike"joy." Q.(How(is(the(opening(phrase(true?( Read(verses(7=10:(( All"power"has"a"tendency"to"corrupt,"and"by"falling"into"that"trap"a"wise"person"can"soon"become"a"fool" (v.7)."Many"leaders"have"lost"their"elected"position"for"that"very"reason."Solomon"calls"on"us"to"have" patience"to"follow"the"course"(whatever"that"is"for"us)"to"the"end;"to"keep"on"keeping"on"in"our"walk"with" God;"to"be"patient"and"not"given"to"anger."Paul"has"something"to"say"about"this"in"the"New"Testament"in" Galatians"6v9." Q.(What(things(can(tempt(us(away(from(being(patient(and(persevering?( Read(verses(11=18:(( Here"Solomon"compares"and"contrasts"wisdom"with"money"–"as"if"it"were"a"commodity."Both"can"be"a" good"thing"and"bring"benefits."Both"can"bring"us"protection."But,"while"money"can"lose"its"value"or"be"taken" from"us,"wisdom"will"stay"with"us."If"we"have"wisdom"we"can"get"money,"but"if"we"have"money"it"cannot" buy"us"wisdom."God"is"the"author"of"both"the"good"times"and"the"bad"times."Both"the"righteous"and"the" wicked"can"die"old"or"young."But,"Wisdom"can"bring"contentment"to"those"who"trust"in"God."And"nowhere" in"the"New"Testament"does"God"promise"Christians"an"easy"life"–"in"fact,"in"many"places"Jesus"tells"us"we" will"have"the"opposite!"" The"reward"of"the"wicked"is"shortUlived,"but"the"reward"of"the"righteous"is"for"eternity."Verse"16"is" perplexing"but"the"gist"is"that"we"shouldn’t"claim"to"be"righteous,"but"that"we"should"fear"the"Lord"–"which" is"the"beginning"of"all"wisdom"(Proverbs"9v10)" Read(verses(19=29:(( Here"follows"another"series"of"proverbs."(My"paraphrase"in"italics)"Discuss"each"one:" •! •! •! •! •!

Wisdom#gives#more#power#than#leadership#(v19)# Pay#no#attention#to#gossip#(v21)# Wise#people#know#what#they#don’t#know!#(v23U24)# Beware#the#“femme#fatale”#(v26)# There#are#not#many#wise#people#–#we#are#too#easily#distracted#

(N.B."Solomon"may"have"been"speaking"from"his"experience"of"living"with"a"thousand"women"–"1"Kings" 11v3"–"but"we"must"remember"the"fact"that"probably"none"of"them"had"access"to"learning"or"an" education.)"" Q.(Look(again(at(verse(29.((( What(inventions(have(improved(our(lives?(( What(inventions(have(distracted(us(from(God?(( 10" "


What(inventions(have(given(us(difficult(ethical(decisions?(( How(does(knowledge(differ(from(wisdom?(

" Ecclesiastes(chapter(8( Read(verse(1:( Solomon"asks:"Who"is"like"the"wise?"In"the"light"of"this"chapter"Solomon"is"asking"who"knows"where"good" and"evil"come"from."We,"as"Christians,"understand"this"when"“the"penny"drops”,"when"the"mist"is"lifted" from"our"eyes"(phrase"2"the"face"is"brightened),"and"we"enter"into"a"personal"relationship"with"God."But" those"of"the"world"still"ask"the"question,"“If"there"is"a"good"God,"why"does"he"allow"all"the"evil"and" suffering"in"the"world?”"In"this"chapter"Solomon"looks"at"the"ageUold"problem"of"why"the"wicked"appear"to" prosper." Q.(What(is(your(definition(of(sin?( In"my"dictionary"sin"is"defined"merely"as"the"breaking"of"a"religious"law;"it"is"no"longer"a"word"for" wickedness"or"evil;"it"is"no"longer"attached"to"immorality"and"depravity." (Read(verses(2=9:( The"Bible"requires"us"to"give"due"respect"to"royalty"and"government."Rightly"or"wrongly"the"King/Queen" can"do"no"wrong."Even"our"own"Queen"is"above"the"law"and"cannot"be"prosecuted."Praise"the"Lord,"she"is"a" good"Christian"example."However,"there"are"times"when"a"leader"can"make"a"Christian’s"life"very"difficult." But,"even"then,"we"are"called"–"not"to"rebel"–"but"to"act"with"propriety,"integrity,"appropriateness"and" seemliness"(v.6)."Even"Jesus"and"Paul"advocated"obedience"to"the"Law"of"Rome."In"verses"7&8"Solomon" tells"us"that"there"is"one"thing"wisdom"cannot"achieve"–"a"knowledge"of"the"future."One"day"even"the"kings" of"the"earth"will"be"judged"by"One"who"is"far"greater." Q.(Do(law=abiding(people(have(the(right(to(rebel(against(authority(when(they(feel(the(( ((((law(is(not(just(or(honouring(to(God?(( (((((See(Acts(5v29:(This(is(not(contradictory,(because(here,(Peter(is(rebelling(–(not(( ((((against(Roman(Law(–(but(against(the(Sanhedrin,(the(Jewish(Court.)( As"Christians"we"should"seek"God’s"discernment"to"know"“the"proper"time"and"procedure”"and"work" through"the"proper"channels." Read(verses(10=14:( Verse"14"summarises"Solomon’s"thoughts"in"these"verses:"The"wicked"get"what"the"righteous"deserve"and" vice"versa."Solomon"observes"the"eulogising"(“receive"praise”"v.10)"of"the"wicked"at"their"funeral."A"person" may"have"been"a"rogue,"and"yet"a"popular"hero"and"given"praise;"whereas"a"humble,"righteous"man"may" pass"in"obscurity."But,"in"the"end"it"is"not"the"wicked,"but"the"righteous,"who"will"be"honoured"in"eternity." 11" "


“A"long"shadow”"(v13)"refers"to"the"intangible,"the"eternal,"the"spiritual."In"contrast"to"the"righteous,"the" wicked"will"not"have"a"long"shadow." Q.(What(defined(righteousness(in(Solomon’s(time?(And(what(defines(righteousness(under(the(New( Covenant?"" Read(verses(15=17:( For"the"fourth"time"Solomon"tells"us"to"enjoy"life"–"to"be"happy"with"our"lot"–"to"recognise"God’s"gifts"to"us" (provision"of"food"and"drink"etc.)"and"to"be"thankful."And,"at"last,"Solomon"" is"not"just"looking"at"how"things"work"on"the"earth"(“under"the"sun”)"but"he"is"also"including"Who"is"behind" the"everlasting"cycles"and"realising"that"without"God’s"wisdom"there"is"no"real"understanding." Interestingly,"the"Apostle"Paul"is"included"in"a"current"list"of"the"Top"10"philosophers"for"bringing" knowledge"and"enlightenment"to"the"world."Indeed,"Paul’s"observations"of"wisdom"are"very"similar"to" Solomon’s." Read(Romans(11v33=36(and(1(Corinthians(1v18=25( Q.(Why(is(wisdom(meaningless/pointless(when(it(does(not(come(from(God?( (

Ecclesiastes(chapter(9( This#chapter#is#about#facing#up#to#death#and#making#the#best#of#life.#It’s#a#subject#we#often#avoid,#but#one# we#will#all#have#to#face#up#to.#Sometimes#we#even#avoid#saying#the#word#“death”#and#substitute#a# euphemism.#Can#you#think#of#any#of#the#terms#we#use?#Even#Solomon#prevaricates#until#the#end#of#verse#3# when#he#uses#the#word#“dead”.# Read(verses(1=6:( If"there"is"one"thing"that’s"certain"in"life,"it"is"death."It"comes"to"us"all."And"it"is"the"great"equalizer"(v2)"–"we" all"come"into"this"world"with"nothing"and"we"all"leave"with"nothing"(materially)."The"same"destiny"comes"to" us"all"–"but"what"after"that?"Verse"4"effectively"says:"Where"there’s"life"there’s"hope."Our"hope"for"the" future"is"based"on"our"understanding"and"choices"in"life."We"cannot"change"anything"after"we"die"(v.5)."" When"we"acknowledge"(in"life)"that"God"is"in"control"of"our"destiny,"our"hope"can"assure"us"of"a"certain" future"with"him"after"death."" Q.(In(verse(3,(how(does(Solomon(refer(to(death?( Under"the"New"Covenant,"we"as"Christians"experience"the"difference"between"‘life"under"the"sun’"and"‘life" in"the"Son’."We"understand"and"look"forward"to"an"eternal"life"of"bliss"with"Jesus"as"well"as"our"life"on"earth" with"all"its"ups"and"downs."Solomon"also"makes"the"point"that"there"is"no"such"thing"as"reincarnation."We" don’t"come"back"for"a"second"go"at"life."We"may"have"made"many"wrong"choices"in"life,"but"it"is"imperative" that"we"make"the"right"choice"about"how"we"will"spend"eternity." Q.(What(are(some(of(the(important(things(we(should(do(before(we(die?( The"fact"that"we"will"die"should"affect"the"way"that"we"will"live." 12" "


Read(verses(7=10:( Life"is"short,"death"is"a"certainty;"therefore"we"should"live"in"the"most"meaningful"way"that"we"can."We" should"enjoy"what"God"has"provided"for"us"(food"and"drink,"v7);"we"should"rejoice"always"and"celebrate"life" (white"clothes"and"oil"represent"joyous"occasions);"we"should"enjoy"our"partner/friends"and"be"kind."We" should"even"appreciate"work"as"a"gift"from"God."Tomorrow"it"may"be"too"late."So"we"are"to"make"the"best" of"today." “Whatever(your(hand(finds(to(do,(do(it(with(all(your(might”((v10)( Don’t"“get"around"to"it”,"DO"IT"NOW!"(All"the"things"in"v"7U9:"be"joyful,"enjoy"life"etc)" Q.(See(Philippians(4v4.(Do(we(rejoice(always?( Read(verses(11&12:( Solomon"reminds"us"that"even"the"fast,"the"strong,"the"wise"and"the"capable"are"still"subject"to"chance." They"can"fall"ill,"have"an"accident,"be"made"redundant"etc."the"same"as"anyone"else."They"can"be"trapped" by"“evil"times”"–"for"example,"victims"of"war,"refugees,"the"homeless"and"exploited."There"are"many"factors" in"life"beyond"our"control."And"even"though"they"“throw”"us,"they"are"not"beyond"God’s"control."We"are" not"masters"of"our"own"fate;"we"can"only"have"peace"when"we"submit"to"God’s"plan"for"our"lives." Read(verses(13=18:( This"is"about"appreciating"wisdom"in"others."In"this"parable"a"small"wise"man"outsmarts"a"great"king;"but"he" received"no"reward"or"recognition."Solomon"drew"3"conclusions"from"this:" 1.! Wisdom"is"better"than"strength"(Praise"God"it"is"the"one"thing"we"can"gain"as"we"age!"We"often"get" weaker,"but"wiser.)" 2.! Wisdom"is"not"always"heeded"or"rewarded,"some"people"enjoy"foolishness!"(They"would"say:"It’s"not" always"fun"being"sensible.)" 3.! Foolishness"can"become"a"“fly"in"the"ointment”"to"wisdom."

( Ecclesiastes(chapter(10( In#this#chapter#Solomon#addresses#folly#–#the#opposite#of#wisdom.#He#proposes#that#both#wisdom#and# foolishness#will#have#consequences.# Read(verses(1=3:( One"foolish"person"can"affect"others."Solomon"uses"one"adage"to"illustrate"this"(v.1),"“a"fly"in"the"ointment”" and"we"might"say,"“one"rotten"apple"affects"the"whole"barrel”."We"need"to"remember"that"what"we"say" and"what"we"do"can"be"an"influence"for"good"or"bad"on"others."This"therefore"places"a"responsibility"on"us" to"be"wise."Solomon"talks"about"the"leaning"of"our"heart"towards"right"and"wrong." " " 13" "


Solomon"uses"the"words"left"and"right."In"Latin"the"word"for"the"rightUhand"side"is"dexter"which"is"related" to"all"things"capable,"prosperous"and"honourable."(Jesus"sat"down"at"the"right"hand"of"God"in"the"place"of" glory"and"honour.)"And"the"word"for"the"leftUhand"side"is"sinister,"from"which"we"derive"our"words"sin"and" sinister."Solomon"is"not"talking"about"leftUhanded"people,"it"is"a"metaphor;"but"he"is"talking"about"people" who"are"foolish"and"in"this"way"he"is"equating"it"with"sin." Read(verses(4=11:( Here"Solomon"talks"about"the"foolishness"of"rulers"and"workers"–" •! “Keep"calm"and"carry"on”"is"a"wellUknown"logo"which"originated"during"the"War."This"was" Solomon’s"advice"in"verse"4."Calmness"can"help"you"cope"and"can"quell"a"difficult"situation."An" inappropriate"response"could"inflame"matters"more." •! Bad"management"and"foolish"appointments"can"result"in"chaos."The"workers"can’t"be"blamed"if" they"have"been"chosen"unwisely." •! But"workers"need"wisdom"too,"because"all"our"actions"have"consequences."For"example:"digging"a" hole"for"yourself"to"fall"into;"not"seeing"the"snake"in"the"grass"behind"the"wall;"being"injured"by"the" stones"you"are"quarrying;"being"bitten"by"the"snake"you"are"charming."(Some"of"our"proverbs"are" based"on"these"pieces"of"advice.)" "Can(you(think(of(any?" Read(verses(12=15:( Probably"most"foolishness"is"the"result"of"words"either"spoken"or"thought."(See"Proverbs"21v23)."People" who"have"a"lot"to"say"are"not"as"wise"as"the"person"who"carefully"chooses"his"or"her"words"before"they" speak."Verses"14"&"15"appear"to"be"talking"about"the"person"who"knows"everything"but"has"no"common" sense!" Read(verses(16=19:( Solomon"compares"the"land"whose"king"is"a"mere"child"or"servant"with"the"land"whose"king"is"of"noble" birth"and"has"wisdom"to"rule"rightly."The"former"“live"for"the"day”,"enjoying"the"benefits"of"plenty"of"food" and"drink,"with"no"thought"for"the"wellUbeing"of"their"people"or"their"country."They"say,"“Get"what"you"can" while"you"can”"and"they"think"they"can"buy"their"way"out"of"trouble"(v19)."" Q.(What(are(the(consequences(of(good(and(bad(leadership?( Read(verse(20:( The"Bible"calls"us"to"pray"for,"and"obey"those"who"are"in"authority,"whether"they"are"there"rightfully"or" wrongfully,"whether"they"are"good"or"bad"leaders,"whether"they"are"wise"or"foolish."As"Christians,"even"if" we"cannot"respect"the"person,"we"should"respect"his"office;"and"we"should"respect"the"fact"that"God"has" allowed"that"person"to"be"there"for"a"purpose.""It"is"foolish"to"gossip"and"complain"–"“walls"have"ears”"and" “foolish"talk"can"cost"lives”."Our"saying,"“a"little"bird"told"me”"originates"from"verse"20." Q(What(is(the(difference(between(circumspection((being(cautious(and(prudent)(and(Godly(wisdom?(Has( Solomon(been(talking(about(one(or(the(other,(or(both?(

( 14" "


Ecclesiastes(chapter(11( Read(verses(1&2:( These"verses"are"asking"us"to"be"proactive."“Cast"your"bread"upon"the"waters”"(others"versions"“ship"your" grain”)"is"a"metaphor"for"using"what"we"have"in"God’s"service."We"can"“cast”"our"prayers,"our"money,"our" time"and"the"Gospel."God"calls"us"to"be"liberal"and"generous"(not"one"venture,"but"seven"or"eight)."“And" after"many"days"you"may"receive"a"return”."Notice"the"return"is"not"guaranteed,"however"if"taken"in" context,"this"is"a"general"Biblical"principle"that"what"we"sow"will"always"be"worthwhile."Read(1(Corinthians( 15v58(( Q.(What(does(Luke(6v38(mean(in(relation(to(the(previous(verse((Luke(6v37)?( Read(verses(3&4:( Here"we"have"a"picture"of"the"farmer"who"has"no"control"over"nature,"but"he"can"decide"when"to"sow"and" reap."If"he"worries"too"much"about"possible"adverse"weather"conditions"he"will"never"do"anything." Therefore"he"must"read"the"signs"and"go"ahead"with"sowing"his"seed"(“casting"his"bread”)."Spiritually" speaking,"it"means"that"we"should"not"miss"opportunities"to"be"kind,"befriend"someone,"share/pray/chat" with"someone."Yes,"we"should"read"the"signs"for"the"right"time"–"but,"that"should"not"stop"us"from"taking" opportunities"when"they"arise." Q.(How(do(we(know(when(it(is(the(right(or(wrong(time(to(speak?( Read(verses(5&6:( These"verses"remind"us"that"God"is"the"Maker"and"Sustainer"of"all"things,"big"and"small"–"from"the"tiniest" virus"to"the"furthest"galaxy."And"he"is"the"only"one"who"has"understanding"about"how"they"all"function."Our" knowledge"is"limited."We"know"a"lot,"but"the"more"we"know"the"more"we"realise"how"much"we"don’t" know!"We"are"still"finding"out"about"our"own"solar"system,"but"there"are"billions"of"other"stars"(suns)"and" planets"too." So,"we"have"to"acknowledge"that"God"is"God"and"that"we"can"trust"him"and"obey"him"(still"on"the"subject"of" sowing"seed,"“casting"our"bread”)."Do"it"in"the"morning"–"and"do"it"in"the"evening."Don’t"worry"about"the" outcome."Just"do"it"anyway"and"trust"the"outcome"to"God."" Q.(In(the(world(today(our(ignorance(is(slowly(turning(to(knowledge.(Is(this(good(or((bad?(What(is(the( result(of(trusting(in(our(own(knowledge?( Read(verses(7&8:( These"verses"are"to"those"of"us"who"aren’t"as"young"as"we"were,"albeit"young"at"heart!"However"long"we" live"we"should"try"to"learn"from"our"mistakes"and"enjoy"the"time"we"have."The"words"“sun”"and"“darkness”" refer"to"life"and"death."Life"is"sweet"(v7)"but"life"is"short."All"the"time"Solomon"is"asking"us"to"review"our" lives"and"to"live"our"life"in"God’s"service"while"we"can."It"is"up"to"us"to"stop"it"from"being"meaningless!" Q.(How(do(we(accomplish(this?( ( ( 15" "


Read(verses(9&10:( The"privilege"of"youth"is"to"be"happy"and"enjoy"ourselves"while"we"can"while"we"have"no"responsibilities" (although,"we"are"reminded"that"there"will"be"consequences"to"our"actions)."As"parents"and"grandparents" we"have"a"responsibility"to"our"young"people"to"help"them"understand"God’s"ways."Ultimately,"God"sees" and"judges"all"things"(v9),"so"we"are"reminded"–"young"or"old"–"that"whatever"we"do"should"be"as"unto" God." The"chapter"started"with"“casting"our"bread”"and"finishes"with"the"assertion"that"we"should"“cast"off" anxiety"and"troubles”." Q.(Do(you(see(a(connection(between(the(two(statements?( (

Ecclesiastes(chapter(12( Read(verse(1:(( Youth"is"always"proportional"to"how"old"we"are!"In"the"context"of"this"verse"we"are"young"while"we"can"still" find"enjoyment"in"life."Our"bodies"begin"to"deteriorate"as"we"age,"but"our"in"our"mind"we"still"feel"young"–" and"we"can"be"“young"at"heart”."Hold"on"to"this"encouragement"otherwise"the"following"seven"verses" could"be"rather"depressing!" Q.(How(old(do(you(feel(inside?( Read(verses(2=8:( Read"these"verses"one"at"a"time"and"consider"the"numerous"metaphors"that"Solomon"uses"to"describe"the" advance"of"old"age."Not"once"does"he"mention"death,"but"that"is"what"he"is"talking"about."I"think"we"will"all" identify"with"some"of"them!!" Q.(Why(do(you(think(Solomon(would(want(to(use(metaphors(instead(of(plain(speaking?( •! (v2.)"One"day"the"lights"will"go"out"–"we"all"have"to"face"the"fact"that,"physically,"we"are"mortal." •! (v3.)"The"keepers"tremble"and"stoop"–"our"muscles"and"bones"will"not"function"as"well"as"they"did." •! (v3.)"The"grinders"cease"–"he"could"be"talking"about"knife"grinders,"but"is"he"really"talking"about"our" teeth"falling"out?" •! (v3.)"The"windows"grow"dim"–"our"vision"fades." •! (v4.)"The""doors"close"–"we"speak"less"and"eat"less"when"old." •! (v4.)"Birdsong"grows"faint"–"our"hearing"begins"to"fail." •! (v5.)"Afraid"of"heights"and"dangers"–"our"balance"is"not"as"good"as"we"age"resulting"in"falls"and"we"can" become"afraid." •! (v5.)"When"the"almond"tree"blossoms"–"our"hair"grows"white." •! (v5.)"The"grasshopper"no"longer"hops"–"our"walking"is"laboured." •! (v5.)"Desire"is"no"longer"stirred"–"is"he"talking"about"libido?" •! (v6.)"The"silver"cord"is"severed"–"remember"The"Lord"before"life"is"cut"off." •! (v6.)"The"golden"bowl"is"broken"–"the"vessel"which"holds"the"light"is"no"longer"functional." •! (v6.)"The"pitcher"is"shattered"at"the"spring"–"the"holder"of"water"is"broken"(water"in"itself"is"a"metaphor" for"life"in"the"Bible)." 16" "


•! (v6.)"The"wheel"broken"at"the"well"–"no"longer"can"the"water"of"life"be"drawn"from"its"source." •! (v7.)"The"dust"returns"to"the"ground"–"our"body"is"buried." Then"is"when"the"spirit"returns"to"God"who"gave"it"(v7.)"And"Solomon"concludes"that"life"was"meaningless"–" what"was"it"all"for?"" Our(answer(is(in(John(7v37=39(and(John(4v14(( When"we"can"no"longer"draw"from"the"water"of"life"physically,"our"mortal"body"dies."But"if"we"draw"from" the"water"of"life"which"Jesus"offers"then"we"will"have"eternal"life"–"yes,"our"body"will"return"to"the"dust,"but" our"spirit"will"live"for"eternity"in"Heaven." "

Solomon’s(Conclusions( Read(verses(9=12:(( Solomon"reminds"us"how"carefully"he"has"thought"about"these"things"(see"also"ch."1v16&17)."Verse"10"tells" us"how"he"sought"to"write"what"was"upright"and"true"(implies"before"God)."He"explains"why"he"used" proverbs"and"metaphors"–"they"are"like"goads,"to"prod"us"into"thinking"about"our"life"and"purpose."He"says" they"were"given"by"one"Shepherd"(probably"meaning"God)"and"warns"us"not"to"add"to"God’s"words"(see" also"Rev"22"and"John"21v25)." Read(verses(13&14:(( Solomon’s"ultimate"conclusion"is"that"man’s"purpose"is"to"fear"(in"the"sense"of"revere)"and"serve"God," reminding"us"that"there"will"come"a"day"when"we"will"all"have"to"stand"before"him"at"the"Judgment"Day." Everything"–"good"or"evil"–"will"be"judged."His"message"is:"We"need"to"make"sure"we"are"right"with"God" (through"Jesus"Christ)"before"we"die!"And"meantime,"we"can"eat,"drink"and"be"merry"–"we"are"meant"to" enjoy"life,"as"long"as"we"don’t"sin." He(who(has(the(Son(has(life;(he(who(does(not(have(the(Son(of(God(does(not(have(life.”(1(John(5v12( If"we"do"not"have"eternal"life"then"Solomon"was"right."Everything"is"meaningless."Nothing"has"a"purpose." Solomon’s"intention"was"to"bring"us"to"the"place"where"we"can"see"all"these"things"in"context"and"in"the" light"of"God’s"plan"for"our"lives,"so"that"we"can"say,"“Everything"is"purposeful"and"there"is"a"reason"for"all" that"happens"to"us”.""

17" "


The Estuary Elim Group of Churches are three Essex based Elim Pentecostal Churches in Ashingdon, Rayleigh and Southend on Sea with a shared Leadership team. We are a group of people responding to the love of God and the life changing message of Jesus Christ. Our services are lively with contemporary music, worship and preaching and teaching relevant to the 21st Century. To find out more about us visit www.estuaryelim.church Whether you are new to church, someone with questions or a committed Christian, we want to serve you and help you discover and fulfil God’s purpose for your life. If you would like an opportunity to email or talk to one of the team email your contact details to info@estuaryelim.co.uk and we will get back to you. The Ashingdon, Rayleigh and Southend Elim Pentecostal Churches are branches of The Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance (Registered Charity No. 251549) 2

Ecclesiastes  

Solomon was able to write three books of Philosophical Wisdom: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. Most of the Bible reveals to us G...

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