Use one or both of these questions to introduce the lesson.
1. What is something you were afraid of when you were a child?
2. Do you have a hero, someone you are in awe of because of what they’ve done or who they are?
Read Ecclesiastes 3:14.
1. Solomon wrote this short verse about God’s works and his relationship with us. What do you learn here about God’s timeless, eternal works and character?
2. What does it mean to be in awe of or to revere someone? In this verse, the word often translated fear comes from the Hebrew word yaré. The phrase can be translated, “so that men will stand in awe before (God).” Talk about how this may change your understanding of the verse or of what God is like.
Read Ecclesiastes 8:10-13.
3. Have you ever been hurt or deeply wounded? Have you known someone who was? Witnessing evil or wickedness, have you asked, “God, are you there? Would you please do something?” Have you ever wanted to take matters into your own hands? Discuss what Scripture says about evildoers and how we don’t have to scheme to do wrong, even when it seems there is no justice on earth for the wicked.
4. Read the following Scriptures: Psalm 34:9; Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9:10. Notice that they all contain the phrase, “fear of the Lord,” but each also shows the benefits of having reverence for him. Armed with a better understanding of the word fear, discuss what it means to live in holiness under the protection and blessings of God.
Read Psalm 128:1, 2 and Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14.
5. What does Psalm 128 promise to those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways? What will this look like in a modern Christian life? (It might be helpful to look up different translations of verse 2!)
6. In Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14 Solomon offers his final analysis and conclusion about being intentional. Our duty is to obey God and to stand in awe and reverence before him. How does the fact that every deed will one day be judged change or confirm the focus in your life and the things you do every day?
Conclude your group time with prayer, using the following as a guide. Lord, help us to walk in daily awe and reverence of you, obeying your directives and following Jesus’ lead. Show us how to live intentionally with Holy Spirit-infused praise and with wonder that you are all-powerful and eternal.