A Shared Fate

Study Guide

Continuing his warnings about the emptiness of placing our hope in the things of this world, Solomon expounds on the reality of death for everyone, regardless of how we live our lives or how wise we are. While the truths he reveals are depressing—the teacher encourages us to release the fragile branches we cling to that cannot hold the weight of our souls and grasp onto the solid hope of another world.
  1. Solomon reveals that pursuing righteousness and wisdom will not save us from suffering and brokenness. This raises the question—are we Christians simply because we want God to give us the life we want? Can you align yourself with Jesus regardless of what happens in your life? How is that possible?

  2. Often, we forget the good that others have done for us and hold onto the bad. Who are the people in your life whom you are bound to by a good debt? If you have not, how can you recognize their gift?

  3. The things of this world are uncertain and cannot bear the weight of our souls. What fragile branch are you clinging to that you need to let go of? What are specific ways you can strategically orient your intent on an eternal God who gives real life?

Key Points
  • From what we observe in the world, everyone suffers the same fate.

  • Instead of living in denial about the realities of this world—its unpredictability, injustice, and fragility—embracing its brokenness leads us to our need for a greater hope outside this world.

  • When we live a small life and don’t hang the weight of our souls on what it offers, we can find enjoyment in simple things like good meals, hard work, and marriage.

  • In heaven we will not need wisdom, we will need forgiveness.

  • The book of Ecclesiastes guarantees loss. But the gospel guarantees our ultimate win. It is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.

Other Scripture References

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 9:1-18