The Vanity of Disobedience Under the Sun
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Delivered By
Cole Newton
Delivered On
June 10, 2018
Central Passage
Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14


Ecclesiastes 12:11 | The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd.

Ecclesiastes 12:12 | My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.


The book of Ecclesiastes is a brutally honest meditation of life under the sun. The Preacher’s musings of life after the Fall in Genesis 3 may be a few millennia old, but the insights are just as relevant today. At the heart of the book is the Preacher’s investigation to find what is good for man to do under the sun during the days of his vain life. In other words, he searched for some kind of lasting meaning and purpose that could be found here on earth. And he certainly did search. He gave himself completely over to pursuing pleasure, taking everything that his eye desired and accumulated for himself wealth beyond compare. In many ways, Solomon achieved the American Dream. And yet his conclusion is that all is vanity, a striving after the wind.

With verse eight of this final chapter repeating verse two of the first chapter, the body of Ecclesiastes finds its conclusion. The remaining six verses form the epilogue to this biblical work of philosophy. Throughout the entirety of the book, the “under the sun” perspective has been predominating. Solomon has primarily written about the frustrations of life without considering God, thus enabling him to illustrate, as much as possible, the vanity and hopelessness of living without God, a life under the sun. If in our previous study the Preacher lifted our eyes toward the sun itself, he continues to lift our heads further in these verses. Verses 13-14 will fully point us to the God who is above the sun, but verses 9-12 direct us to His means of reaching out to us under the sun: the Scriptures.


Read Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 and discuss the following.

  1. Which verses stood out most to you as you read Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 this week? Why? What do these verses teach you about who God is?
  2. Why does the Bible place such an importance on knowledge? Why is knowledge meant to be taught?
  3. Does your vision of Scripture align with the vision found here in Ecclesiastes? Do you come to the Scriptures for wisdom and knowledge, or do you seek other counsel? Is the Bible the final and supreme truth to which you hold, or do you blatantly or subtly follow other ideas and philosophies? Do you delight in the Word, or do you view reading it as a lifeless chore? Do you allow the Scripture to goad you, or do you careful interpret it to only say what you want it to say? Is the Bible your security, or do you turn to other things to anchor you? Do you study the Word in order to know the God who spoke it, or do you read it as a self-help or therapeutic book?
  4. Why does the author warn against the danger of anything beyond Scripture? In what ways do you see this danger in your life?


Because all Scripture profits us through teaching, reproving, correcting, and training us, reflect upon the studied text, and ask yourself the following questions about the present text.

  • What has God taught you about Himself?
  • What sin is God convicting or reproving you of?
  • How is God correcting you?
  • How is God training and equipping you for righteousness?