Wisdom of Ecclesiastes – Part 2

The Definition of Enjoying Life

  • Thought: Before we consider the session, let us ask ourselves, what does it mean to enjoy life?

  • The world’s version of enjoying life – physical pleasure, travel, wealth, status.
  • We consider Ecclesiastes chapter 2 – where Solomon experiments with the thought of enjoying life, he considers what he has as a great king (his gardens, houses, vineyards, pools, etc). – (v4-9)
    • Yet he counted them all but vanity and vexation of the Spirit (v11)
  • Solomon experiments with Wisdom – through the gift from God.
    • He considers success and failures, and how each of them would mean nothing over a season, nothing would satisfy – for death comes for all.
    • Thought: Are we in constant pursuit of success and meaning through education? Does it overtake what we prioritise in our lives? Does it remove the happiness and fuel a temporal fulfilment in our hearts?
  • Solomon experiments with Toil (labour) – working hard, yet disappears once someone else takes over, all our effort and hard work are considered as nothing.  
  • Solomon concludes in chapter 2; where pleasure is a gift of God (v26) – man can only enjoy it because God gives it to us (just like how God rested on the 7th day of creation, for God was satisfied).
  • Consider Ecclesiastes 5 – where the context of loving money is seen as vanity, but why?
    • You can never be satisfied, nothing is ever enough.
    • Hoarding wealth leads to sickness, anger, and vex.
    • The love of money is the root of all evil.
  • Common themes that appear amongst these verses:
    • Eating and drinking of what God has given us.
    • Recognise the days given to us, riches and wealth, our portion, and our labour is indeed a gift from God.
    • To be occupied with the immense joy that God has placed in our hearts.
  • Ecclesiastes 8 speaks of the wicked and the righteous – whilst the wicked receive praise and long life, the righteous face adversity and suffer.
    • Thought: Have we experienced this before? Someone who was wicked that prospered, while a righteous and godly person that suffers? What was our reaction?
    • Yet in verse 15, Solomon encourages us to pursue joy once again.
  • Ecclesiastes 9 – a general conclusion to the various “experiments” Solomon has done, and that is to enjoy our lives, enjoy the portion that has been given unto us.
  • Consider all that the righteous and the wise have and do, are in the hand of God (v1).
  • Let us not be weary in sorrow, but to delight ourselves in God, for He has approved us to enjoy the lives He has bestowed unto us.
  • 1 Timothy 4:1-5 – the account where Paul warns Timothy of those who oppose to such delight and enjoyment, supporting the evidence that in all things God has provided for us to be satisfied.


  • We need to have a positive outlook of our lives, as we enjoy this world, we give God the glory and we please Him – for he has created all things to be enjoyed.
    • Thought: Use the weekends or even the sabbath day to reflect on the past week. See God’s Sovereignty, His grace, and His mercy that flows continuously through all circumstances of your life.
  • As Christians, we must strike a balance between a sense of seriousness in accomplishments and a feeling of enjoyment in our lives, let not one overrule the other.
    • Thought: Consider the mission fields. The villagers, the outcasts, the poorest souls that come and worship with us. Why is it that they are the ones that enjoy life the most and are happiest?
  • Nonetheless, enjoyment must be temperate – recognise what God has given us and enjoy that
  • Let us seek and ask for the Spirit of joy – that we may remain sober in life to recognise vanity, but to purely enjoy what has been graciously provided for us by God.

Final Thought: What do you think is the church’s response in enjoying life or the Christian’s perspective in enjoying life? Do you think it should be seen as something positive or negative?