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Quiet Time in Ecclesiastes 1

Updated: Mar 16, 2022

Ecclesiastes 1 (HCSB)

Everything is Futile

1 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem.

2 “Absolute futility,” says the Teacher. “Absolute futility. Everything is futile.”

3 What does a man gain for all his efforts that he labors at under the sun?

4 A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.

5 The sun rises and the sun sets; panting, it returns to its place where it rises.

6 Gusting to the south, turning to the north, turning, turning, goes the wind, and the wind returns in its cycles.

7 All the streams flow to the sea, yet the sea is never full. The streams are flowing to the place, and they flow there again.

8 All things are wearisome; man is unable to speak. The eye is not satisfied by seeing or the ear filled with hearing.

9 What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.

10 Can one say about anything, “Look, this is new”? It has already existed in the ages before us.

11 There is no remembrance of those who came before; and of those who will come after there will also be no remembrance by those who follow them.

The Limitations of Wisdom

12 I, the Teacher, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 I applied my mind to seek and explore through wisdom all that is done under heaven. God has given people this miserable task to keep them occupied. 14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun and have found everything to be futile, a pursuit of the wind.

15 What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.

16 I said to myself, “Look, I have amassed wisdom far beyond all those who were over Jerusalem before me, and my mind has thoroughly grasped wisdom and knowledge.” 17 I applied my mind to know wisdom and knowledge, madness and folly; I learned that this too is a pursuit of the wind.

18 For with much wisdom is much sorrow; as knowledge increases, grief increases.


SIN (verse 13): Father, please forgive me for not being more diligent in seeking, understanding, and internalizing Your wisdom. Help me to continue to learn more about You, Your word, Your will for me, and the reasons and background of the scripture.

PROMISE (verse 18): You promise us that with more wisdom comes more sorrow. Help me to find and always seek joy in our relationship, Lord, so that through my increase in Your wisdom, I may also have increase in the joy only You can bring.

ATTITUDE (verse 8): You tell us that our eyes are not satisfied with seeing and our ears are not filled with hearing. Help me to change my fleshly and worldly attitude so that I may always be satisfied and filled in my relationship with You, Lord.

COMMAND (verses 13 & 17): You tell us that the attempt to have all knowledge and wisdom is a task of man, not of God, and that our attempts are like grasping at the wind. Help me to be satisfied with Your will for where You want me to be in Your wisdom at any given time, Father.

EXAMPLE (all verses): Solomon's example in this scripture shows a man who led a successful yet also very troubled life. In his final days on this earth, he appears to begin to recognize some of the mistakes he has made, but also some of the wisdom You have revealed to Him. Help me to follow Solomon's example sooner in my life, so that I may experience, know, live, and share the wisdom of true righteousness that only You can provide, Lord.

*DAILY NOTE: Such a strong chapter to read here, but also such a difficult example to follow for me. I want to know more and often struggle with the thought of if I don't know or don't understand fully, then it must not be for me. Help me to find the balance, satisfaction, and joy in knowing that You provide me with the wisdom You want me to have at any given time, Father. Help me to rely on your provisions and not my own when I am in doubt, struggling, or even in conflict, Father. Thank you.

*GENERAL NOTE: I always "sandwich" my quiet time with God in prayer and do it in a location that I will not have any distractions so that I can be focused on my quiet time with God. Do not worry about how short or long your journal entries are for that day's quiet time. Just focus on the actual quiet time and relational conversation with God through the Holy Spirit and His Word. The journaling is an enhancement to your quiet time conversation with God, but also to allow you to reflect on things later as you can look back on your journal entries later when you do the chapters again in the future to see how you have grown. See the FAQ for more detail on how I do my quiet time.

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