We are going to start this Bible talk with a short debate.
Bible Talk leader divides the audience into 2 teams.
The topic is : The Value Of Money.
One team speaks on Money being the Most Important thing in Life.
The second team speaks on Money Is Not the Most Important thing in Life.
Rules of the debate
1. Players keep alternating from Team 1 to Team 2. So first 1 player from Team 1 speaks and then 1 player from Team 2 speaks and play switches between Team 1 and Team 2.
2. Every player in both teams will get a chance to speak.
3. If player speaks continuously for 20 seconds without any objection raised by the opposition team, the team get 10 points.
4. If the player speaks continuously for 30 seconds without any objection raised by the opposition team, the team get 20 points.
5. Any member of the opposition team may raise an objection by raising his or her hand. If the objection is sustained by the Bible Talk leader, the opposition team gets 10 points. However, if the objection is overruled by the Bible Talk leader, the team speaking will get a bonus 10 points.
6. You may raise objections if the speaker makes 3 errors or more or if he or she pauses for at least 5 seconds. An error is a repeating sentence or idea or a pause for 2 or more seconds.
[Use opening question below if you choose not to have a debate].
OQ: Imagine you won Rs.1 billion in a lottery. What would you do with it?
C: Money can buy us many things as youíve mentioned. A car, a home, nice clothes, jewelry, books, TV, Car, Motorbike, Food, A educational qualification,companions.
Q: What things can money not buy? [Happiness. Sleep. True love. Friendships. Wisdom. Time. Happy marriage. Great kids. Peace. Good
character Ė patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, discipline.]
C: Today we are going to look at a man who had all the money in the world.
He had more money that any of us here could possibly hope to get in our lives.
This man was King Solomon.
12 I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13 I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men!
14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
15 What is twisted cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.
16 I thought to myself, "Look, I have grown and increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge."
17 Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.
18 For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.
Q: What did Solomon do here? [v13- devoted himself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven.]
Q: How did Solomon feel about life after all his intensive study and after getting so much wisdom? [He felt that this was a chasing after the wind. Getting wisdom and knowledge did not give life any real meaning. Infact, more sorrow and grief according to v18]
1 I thought in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good." But that also proved to be meaningless.
2 "Laughter," I said, "is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?"
3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly--my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.
4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards.
5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees.
7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me.
8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well--the delights of the heart of man.
9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor.
11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
Q: What do we see here Solomon tried to do to find meaning to life?
V-4-Undertook projects, build houses, planted vineyards.
V5- Made gardens and parks, planted fruit trees.
V-6- Made reservoirs.
V-7-Bought male and female slaves. Bought herds and flocks.
V-8- Amassed silver and gold. Treasure of kings and provinces. Harem of women.
V-9-He became the greatest.
V-10- He denied himself nothing his eyes desired
Q: Was there anything that King Solomon did not achieve in his life? [NO]
Q: He should have been happy, right? But was he content with life? Did he find meaning to his life possessing the things of the world?
Q: Did money and fame and knowledge fulfil him? [NO]
Q: What does King Solomon say in verse 11? [Everything was meaningless. Life is meaningless]
C: King Solomon tried so many other things in his life to find meaning but did not find it. You may read in your own time the rest of this book of Ecclesiastes to find out about his other endeavours.
C: Letís see King Solomonís conclusion about the meaning of life.
1 Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, "I find no pleasure in them"--
2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain;
3 when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim;
4 when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades; when men rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint;
5 when men are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags himself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then man goes to his eternal home and mourners go about the streets.
6 Remember him--before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the well,
7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
Q: What is King Solomonís advice here? [v1- Remember your creator Ė God!]
Q: Why do you think King Solomon says that we should remember God? [God creates us. God gives us life and he takes our life. We are nothing but dust. We can do nothing on our own. God is the one that gives us victory in this life]
13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
Q: What is King Solomonís conclusion? [Fear God. Keep his commandments.]
Q: What does it mean to fear God ? [To acknowledge the presence of God and to respect God for his greatness, power, wisdom and strength, his goodness and love. To love God more than the world. To make God our treasure in our lives. To obey his commands.]
Q: What are some things you learned from this discussion? Get audience to speak.
C: I want to leave you with a challenge that more than being consumed with money in your life, make every effort to get to know God, your creator and the one who sustains your life. God is the greatest treasure you can have in this life. The Bible, Godís Word, will help you and many in this room who have decided to make God their treasure will be happy to help you.
C: Thank you all for participating in this discussion. Letís have a time of fellowship.