A Treasure Hunt

Ecclesiastes is full of wise advice on how to attain the best in life – all of which starts with putting God first. See how many verses you can find that remind us of the true substance of a good life.

By Caryl W. Krueger

Categories: Guidance, Solomon

What do your youngsters put first on their list of "must-haves"? Is it sports prowess, good grades, beguiling appearance, more money to spend? While some of these things are great to have, the Bible gives good advice about what should be most important in our lives.

Some of this good advice comes from the book of Ecclesiastes - not a book often referred to in Bible study. Let your kids find where this book is - and then remember that it follows the book of Proverbs. Solomon, who wrote Proverbs, probably wrote Ecclesiastes to show that no one can have a truly happy life without God. Ask your kids if they really believe that God is necessary to their busy lives.

Solomon explains that money, pleasure, work, or anything else in life is not as important as God. And he knew that truth nine hundred years before Jesus was born and gave similar good advice!

Give each youngster a Bible (different versions are fine) and then, when they have located Ecclesiastes, have them look up the following verses, all from Ecclesiastes. Make this exercise like a treasure hunt with the treasure being what can be learned from the verse to attain the best in life.

1: 15 - What is meant by "crooked"? Is there anything crooked in their lives? (Cheating at school or in sports?)

2: 4-8 - What did this man feel was his success? What are present-day desires of business people? Of little children? Of teens?  Is it "bad" to have nice things?

2:14 - Why does the wise man have eyes to see and the fool walks in the dark? When someone does something foolish, what is the source of that action? What does the smart person do when tempted to act foolishly?

2:17 - Some work is called "vanity." What does vanity mean? Success for the sake of pride, great earnings? What is real success in work/school?

3:1 - If there is a time to do everything, why not do it all now? What activities can we patiently wait to do?

3:22 to; - If it is good for kids to rejoice in their own works, what is there to rejoice about today, yesterday, tomorrow? How do we show gratitude for the good we've received?

4:9 - Why are two better than one?  Who is your partner - in the family, in the community, and forever?

5:1 - What should you do in church (the house of God)? If we listen, can we hear one good thing every time? Can we find something to take home and use?

5:2 - Are we ever "rash with our mouth"? Is there a way to prevent this?

5:8 - How do we marvel at (be amazed, pay much attention to) "the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment"? Does it have something to do with news coverage and daily conversation? Is there anything one person can do about the wrongs of the world?

7:1 - Why was "ointment" so prized and expensive in Bible times? What is meant by "a good name"? What does your name/nature show about you?

7:19, 29 - If you want to be strong, what should you do? What is meant by "many inventions"?

9:10 to ; - What things can each of us do with "might"? (Enthusiasm, agreeableness, thoroughness).

Close your discussion by reading the short story of the wise man, found in chapter 9, verses 14, 15 to ;.

Let your youngsters read this benediction from chapter 11: 9 and 12: 1 and 13.

"Rejoice, oh young man <and woman> in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart..... Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth......keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man [and woman, and young person].