How to Live (A Study in Ecclesiastes) Lesson #3 Three key things about Life

How to Live (A Study in Ecclesiastes)

 Lesson #3 : “Three key things about Life” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-14)

 The first 8 verses of this chapter are pretty familiar to most people. In our previous two lessons we pointed out a life lesson at the end of those lessons. In this lesson instead of having one life lesson at the end, we will use the 3 main points from the chapter as our life lesson.

God is In Control :

 In verses 1 and 11 it is plain that God is in control. Note in verse 1 that there is a “time to every purpose under the heaven”. We know that God created the heaven and the earth and that he also established the seasons and how they come to pass. If there is a season for everything as the verse says and God is the author and designer of those seasons, then we see that God is in control of everything that happens.

Notice in verse 11 that God has made everything beautiful in his time. Once again we see that God is in control. When we look at the list of the things given in verses 2-8 we see some things like death, lose, killing, breaking down, weeping, casting away etc. From the human standpoint it is hard to see how those things are beautiful. This is where saved people have to remember that the verse says, “in his time”. It does not say in our time. We may never see how tragedy or hardships in our lives can be beautiful, but if we will trust in the Lord knowing he is in control then we can make it through the hard seasons to the seasons of healing, building up, laughter, loving and peace. An excellent verse here to accompany this is Philippians 4:7,

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

 Note that this verse does not say that we will understand everything but that the peace of God passes our understanding. You do not have to understand everything in life to have peace, but if you trust God knowing that he is in control you can through a lot of those hardships and bad times by the peace of God. For a good biblical example of this note the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50. He was betrayed by his brethren, sold into slavery, falsely accused and put in prison, only to be promoted to the second in command of Egypt, ruler over the whole country and the one who saved his family in the end from the famine of the land.

Balance is very important :

 When you read through the list of things given in verses 2-8 you will note that there are positive things and negative things compared against one another. This shows us the lesson of balance. In life balance is an essential thing you must possess. As a saved person we know that we still have the desires of the flesh and it is a constant battle to avoid giving in to the lust of the flesh. This is what Paul was speaking of in Romans 7:15-25 and Galatians 5:16-24. One of the questions becomes then, how do we live in this fleshly world and not be over taken by the lust of the flesh. In 1 Corinthians 7:31 we see a good verse on this subject. It says, “they that use this world not abusing it”. While it is true we do have to live, work, go to school with lost people and be subject to seeing and hearing things that provoke the lust of the flesh it does not mean that we have to give in to these things.

This is where balance comes in. We have to counter act those things of the world with the things of God. When we consider the warfare between our two natures it boils down to the fact that the one we feed the most usually always wins. You may have to hear ungodly language at work or school but you do not have to hear it in your house. You say but it is on every channel, then turn the T.V. off. You may have to look at ungodly things in public but you do not have to look at them in your home. This is why you hear the preacher say that you need to spend time in prayer and the word of God every single day, remember which ever you feed the most is the one that will win.

What about sports and hobbies? Once again it is about balance. If we are putting those things ahead of God then they are idols, we simply must keep things in the proper prospective. The key is moderation as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 and Philippians 4:6. Sure everyone needs rest and relaxation from time to time the trick is to keep moderation in all things just like eating for instance.

There are some things we cannot change:

 In verse 14 we see that what God does shall be forever and nothing can be put to it or taken from it. This is something we must realize. There are some things that we just cannot change. God has established some things and we cannot change them. According to John 14:6 Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. In Ephesians 2:8-9 we see that salvation in this age is by grace through faith with no works what so ever. In Hebrews 9:27 we see that every man will die and will one day be judged. Are you ready for these things? If not they will happen anyway!!!


How to Live (A Study in Ecclesiastes)

 Lesson #3 : Handout

Three important things about Life (Ecclesiastes 3:1-14)


1)  List 3 important things in regards to life that we can learn from this portion of Ecclesiastes.


2)  What are two verses in this passage that show us God is in control?


3)  What is a good verse in the N.T. in regards to God controlling our lives?


4)  Why is balance so important in regards to things in life?


5)  What does 1 Corinthians 7:31 teach us in regards this life?


6)  What is a good passage teaching us about temperance and moderation?


7)  List 3 things that we can’t change that God has set forth?