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10 Life Lessons From the Book of Ecclesiastes

Faith, Art, writing and learning are Tim’s passions. Tim loves working in education. He has a BS in Psychology from Albright College.


The book of Ecclesiastes is the lament of a king (Solomon) who pursued the things of this world only to find no fulfillment in the things of this world. "“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
says the Teacher. Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” 1:2. Solomon (the teacher) also laments the inequality of how you work and work to accumulate wealth your entire life only to have to leave it all behind when you die.

The teacher, in the book of Ecclesiastes also shows his disdain for the idea of how the wicked prosper over the righteous and how the rich get richer by keeping the poor oppressed. In the end what is left. "Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man" (12:13).

The book of Ecclesiastes is full of lessons from Solomon to all which he wanted others to learn in order to not make the same mistakes he did. Here are just 10 of those lessons.

1. Don‘t be so vain.

Ecclesiastes 1:2, "Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity."

Life they say is all about reaching the top of the mountain. The problem is when you get there where is there left to go but back down. The best course of action is living a humble life centered around helping others. A selfless life has a better reward.

2. The way you look at life depends on how you look at life.

Ecclesiastes 1:3-4, “What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. (ESV)

If you look at each day as a gift from God and keep your focus on God it gives you a whole different perspective on life. Solomon saw life as a drudgery because he lost his focus. The key here is to keep your focus.

3. Too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing

Ecclesiastes 2:11, “Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”

Solomon learned the hard way that to much of a good thing does a person no good in the long Run. In fact when you over indulge it is usually for vain reasons such as to impress others most of who could care less about you. Solomon forgot that you never have to impress true friends.

4. Life is all about the timing

Ecclesiastes 3:1, “For everything there is a season, and la time for every matter under heaven:”

Solomon, in the following famous verses, tells us how everything in life has a time to happen. No amount of planning can change certain events and it is vanity of heart and mind on our part to think we can change them.

5. Vanity oh the vanity.

Ecclesiastes 4:4, “Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor.This also is vanity and a striving after wind.”

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Here once again Solomon warns us about basing your needs on what your neighbor has or does. No you need to base your life on living the best life possible for you.

As you can see at this time in his life, Solomon’s view of life had soured. You have to wonder if it was because of where he was looking. Like his father David before him and Peter of the New Testament, once you take your eyes from God the world around you looks pretty grim and barren. It is only through keeping your eyes solely on Gor will you be able to stand tall through the trials and testing s.

6. Few words more action is better than more words no action

Ecclesiastes 5:2 -3, “Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words.”

Solomon here warns of the folly of uttering words you do not plan to back up with your actions. Many a promise has been made and not kept. So be careful to back up your words with actions. Better yet let your actions speak of who you are.

7. Wisdom is only wisdom when you use it wisely.

Ecclesiastes 7: 1-2,” A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth. It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.”

There are many wise people who do not act wisely when it comes living for God Solomon was one of them and sadly he realized it late in life. The best course of action is to live by searching out God’s wisdom and live according to his wisdom.

8. You think you know what God‘s ways are but do you?

Ecclesiastes 8:16-17, “When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on earth, how neither day nor night do one’s eyes see sleep, then I saw all the work of God,that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out.”

Many claim to know the ways of God but they do not seek the way of God by asking Him or seeking his way through reading His word. Don’t be like the rest who claim to know God‘s way be the one who daily seeks to live according to His way.

9. Wisdom is the best weapon of all.

Ecclesiastes 9: 17-18, “The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but fone sinner destroys much good.”

The best way to sum this one up is to live a wise life is to keep your mouth shut and let your heart do the talking.

10. The sum of it all is to fear God.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments,for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”

Fearing God is not to live a life dreading what he’ll do to you but living a life of loving Him and being in awe of what He does for you, through you as He walks with you.

All verses are from the ESV bible.

© 2022 Timothy Whitt

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