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All Things Are Full of Labour (Ecclesiastes 1:1-11)

Introductory Thoughts

It does not take long to figure out that life frequently resembles an unchanging cycle consummated by death. For instance, a person wakes up in the morning to go to work (oftentimes for ten plus hours). He returns home to do more work before retiring for the night. The next morning, he awakens only to repeat the same cycle each working day. For most people, this cycle goes somewhat uninterrupted for weeks, months, and then years. Eventually, this cycle wears a man down physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If a man continues this cycle with no rest, he can lose his health and strength, and eventually even his mind. At some point, every man requires rest from his labour. It helps to visualize this life as more closely associated to a marathon than to a sprint. A man’s failure to take time away from the pressures of life will eventually take time away from the sum total of his years.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Name some things dad and mom have to do over and over again. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned, God said work would be hard, whether the work was physical or mental labour (Genesis 3:17-19; Ecclesiastes 12:12b). It is done day after day (Psalm 104:23).
  • (For everyone): It is wicked to be slothful or lazy (Matthew 25:26), but it is equally dangerous to fail to take the necessary times of rest. In which of these two opposite ends of the spectrum do you find yourself most often?
  • What do you do when you rest? Why is it important to do the right things to find rest? How can certain things, although meant to give rest, actually rob you of rest?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to help you find the proper balance of labour and rest.
  • Thank the Lord for the times of rest He provides.