SUGGESTED VERSES FOR MEMORIZATION & MEDITATION
Ecclesiastes 8:2 | I say: Keep the king’s command, because of God’s oath to him.
Ecclesiastes 8:12 | Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him. (ESV)
The Preacher, who is most likely Solomon, wrote Ecclesiastes in an attempt to describe life under the sun. By wisdom, he searched out everything that he could find on earth and tried every avenue that he could find that might lead to lasting meaning, purpose, and contentment in life. His search led him to give himself wholly over to ever pleasure that came into his line of sight. It caused him to search everything that could be done with having an unprecedented amount of wealth and power. It turned his heart to study how humans are meant for community, even though we constantly attempt to break that community apart with our own selfishness. Ultimately, his conclusion is that everything under the sun is vanity, a striving after wind. Fortunately, not everything in Ecclesiastes is vanity however. The Preacher repeatedly seeks to turn our attention above the sun to the God who alone can give enjoyment and contentment in life.
In chapter eight, Solomon continues to build upon a theme that he has already mentioned before: injustice. Previously, he discussed injustice in terms of how those with authority oppress those who are under them. This chapter is in many ways a continuation of that thought since the Preacher begins by discussing how we should conduct ourselves in the presence of the king. In the end, however, it is God, not the king, who wields final authority, and Solomon expresses his confidence that God will enact complete and total justice one day.
Read Ecclesiastes 8 and discuss the following.
- Which verses stood out most to you as you read Ecclesiastes 8 this week? Why? What do these verses teach you about who God is?
- What do verses 1-9 teach universally about governments and authority on earth? How can their principles be applied to us within a democratic government today?
- What do verses 10-13 teach about justice under the sun? How does justice relate to both love and wrath? How is justice an essential aspect of the gospel?
- With injustice present in this life but the hope of justice still to come, how does Solomon commend us to live?
Because all Scripture profits us through teaching, reproving, correcting, and training us, reflect upon the studied text, and ask yourself the following questions about the present text.
- What has God taught you about Himself?
- What sin is God convicting or reproving you of?
- How is God correcting you?
- How is God training and equipping you for righteousness?