Meaninglessness of Life Outside God
• Having my bags packed-as if to end ministry
• Glob of sticky tack...value in life b/c I am stuck to God
• Poster of pictures of all experiences of life-meaningless, then meaningful
• Have 10 items-# of people there, to give away-since it's all meaningless
• Potted plant, & pulled out flowers-one is alive, the other-dead though looks alive
What is Life to you?
Did you ever think of what terms and sayings have influenced the world? Ecclesiastes has influenced many heathens & Christians. You'll find these songs & sayings throughout!
Where is Life found?
Why is there life-given on earth?
Why study? Why work? Why prepare for the future-on earth? What is the point? Is there really any value to what we do? Say? Give? Receive?
What is the purpose in-of life?
***So I think I will not do anymore teaching...I have been to 40 countries...realized it's been a waste of time...my friends have thought me a fool...I was supposed to fly back to India after to teach Genesis, and Exodus...then go to Africa...but I canceled my trips because it's just meaningless...so you are the last audience-class that I will waste my time on. I don't really see any point to you spending your every waking moment studying...Look, I've been there...learn from me, I've lived the life...been everywhere, and yet I am nobody-nowhere...
Why Faith (why having to live by faith)?
• Faith is one thing the world does not offer.
• Faith needed because of separation from sin.
• To separate those who really want God-Jesus.
• It brings an exciting element in the journey of life.
• It separates God's people from the world.
• It is another element of God's love-expression of His love. (Because He will not force anyone-unlike [many] other religions. True love cannot be forced.)
• God was smart enough & powerful enough to cause faith to be-so there's a good-secure reason for it.
• Have you ever asked...or heard others ask: Why doesn't God just show Himself? Do something so I would believe...or my family? Well, how much did God show the Israelites? How much did Jesus demonstrate to people of His day? Yet people still turned, rejected Him, and did not believe!
Do you feel encouraged by that???!!
"Life on earth is a dress rehearsal". We are being prepared for eternity.
Don't know why fully, the reason we are living on Earth, however because of Him telling us how we are to live on earth & giving us the Bible in which most of it is about how we are to live on earth & it's about life in general...then it is important how we live on earth...and will have consequences good & bad. Besides...God is God...and He can do what He wants...but knowing His character...there is GOOD reason for what He does.
What do you consider important?
How does the author approach Life? Ecclesiastes?
• Experience of life & Observation of life
➢ Sig? He is not just critical of what he sees...he's also lived it out-personal experience gives authority to approach criticism or questioning-to a degree.
➢ Hope & security
➢ From his sin & mistakes
➢ Reminder of Eden long gone.
➢ With pessimism & optimism, pain & joy, regret & fulfillment, wisdom & folly...
➢ In TIME. SIG? Of Time???
• Examples: 1:1, 12-he's a king...1:2-3-vanity-what do people gain from toil?...1:16-18...2:23, 26...3:1-8...
Does the author have the perspective that the world seems to have? And some Christians?
• Pessimism, negative...no hope, what can change...
➢ Picture of a Dead-End (street).
• AUTHORSHIP-BRI (Basic Required Information)
➢ What do we know from text?
• 1:1, 12, 16-see 1 Kings 3:12ff, 2:1ff-esp. v. 8-9.
• Also because of "wisdom" used abundantly.
o 2:4-10 & 1 Kings 4:27-32
o 7:20 & 1 Kings 8:46
o 7:28 & 1 Kings 11:1-8
o 12:9 & 1 Kings 4:32
• Therefore, he has the authority to write what he wrote. Who was in a better place to address this-with authority?
• Many sources agree.
• Sometime later in his reign-contest & contents & description of life agrees.
• Reigned until 931BC-Divided Kingdom after. (40 yrs)
Is Ecclesiastes a book that is optimistic? Positive? Or negative?
➢ Contrast: Proverbs vs. Ecclesiastes...wisdom vs. foolishness of Solomon.
➢ Was he away from God? Or just reflecting?
• How is Ecclesiastes viewed as by the world? University...but avoided by some Christians...and some Christians seemed to be confused by this outlook on life??
➢ Can it be compared with "You have to know the bad news-hear the bad news-before you can appreciate the good news-understand the good news"?
• Is everything the author saying true? Truth? What if someone just takes a few verses?
➢ A scripture a day to bless my day!
• Again we see the importance of looking at the book-letter as a whole...then in parts.
➢ Why Sig? Because what perspective can one walk away with if they only take say: 1:2-3 or 2:15-17?
***As those learn through the SBS (School of Biblical Studies)-inductive Bible Study. By asking questions to the Lord & through passages of scripture, you find that you have more opportunity of finding answers-that are more secure & interpreted more safely-correctly.
Ecclesiastes is showing the foolishness of man's wisdom-wisest man is fool in God's sight.
1- Beginning & Ending...begins with a problem and ends with the answer.
2- "Me, myself & I"...more than 40x's. Is that a disease in our world????
a. Life [style] built around: COMFORTS & CONVENIENCES
3- Repeated words/phrases/themes
a. Color coding-obs:
i. Author correct vs. incorrect vs. partly correct-"in-correct". (Show color coding-legend). ***Solomon's view***
ii. View of God
iii. God's doing
iv. Goings on under the sun.
v. After wind
vi. Grievous evil
b. Vanity [of vanities]-37x's-(1:2-5x's, 14, 2:2, 11, 15, 17, 23, 3:19, 4:4, 7, 8, 16, 5:7, 10, 6:2, 4, 9, 11, 12, 7:6, 15, 8:10, 14, 9:2, 11:8, 10, 12:8-3x's)
c. The sun, Under the sun-35x's-(1:3, 5-2x's-sun rises & goes down, 9-NOTHING NEW, 14, 2:11, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 3:16, 4:1, 3, 7, 15, 5:13, 18, 6:1, 5-about stillborn-better than man not enjoying-it has not seen the sun-yet finds better rest than he, 6:12, 7:11, 8:9, 8:15-2x's, 17, 9:3, 6, 9-2x's, 11, 13, 10:5, 11:7-pleasant for eyes to see, 12:2-before the sun)
d. Wisdom, wise-52x's-(1:13, 6-2x's, 17, 18, 2:3, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16-2x's, 19-2x's, 21, 26, 4:13, 6:8, 7:4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12-2x's, 16, 19-2x's, 23-2x's, 25, 8:1-2x's, 5, 16, 17, 9:1, 10, 13, 15-2x's, 16-2x's, 17, 18, 10:1, 2, 10, 12, 12:9, 11)
e. Time - 3:1-8, "A time for...", 3:11- "He has made everything suitable for it's time..."
f. Rhetorical Questions-33 total (1:3, 10, 2:2, 12, 15, 16, 19, 22, 25, 3:9, 21, 22, 4:8, 11, 5:6, 11, 16, 6:6, 7, 8, 11, 12-2x's, 7:10, 13, 16, 17, 24, 8:1-2x's, 4, 7, 10:14)
So can we see why ECCLESIASTES is considered WISDOM??
a. Repeated words-52x's -"wise" or "wisdom"
b. It is a theme because of what he addresses-how he addresses "wisdom".
c. It is because of his life.
d. He has lived it, and so has gained understanding from it-via God.
e. And because nearly all theologians say so!
What is "Wisdom"?
• Some say (Man's) understanding that comes from life [experience].
• Contrast-between man's & God's wisdom.
• Wisdom comes from above-God.
• How do we know? Because the author says all is meaningless without God. There is no point or purpose to life if there is no God.
• Wisdom is knowing-and choosing to live out the right life...live life rightly-godly.
Wisdom is unfamiliar with many Christians.
Though with some...philosophy is still relative.
• "Am I really existing? How do I know?"
➢ "Here, let me pinch you...then you'll know for sure!"
If no understanding-wisdom, then selfish, short sightedness, materialistic view will be lived out...anything goes!
1:7, 9:10...Fear of Lord = Wisdom.
Not memorizing Bible, SBS... etc... (To gain Fear of Lord)
To Fear the Lord...you have to know (the person-the Lord)
1- We need to know Who He is
2- Know His character
3- Know what He expects from us.
***The wonder of Judaistic (then-OT) & Christocentric life!!!***
(Unlike other beliefs-who have many unknowns).
Job-Speculative-Dialogue. Suffering Wisdom. Knowing God fulfills, as you know he is the author of life and all. Trauma & testing in life-with God-came life...and encouragement for the defeat of Satan & for the benefit of all humanity.
Ecclesiastes-Speculative. Observation & Experiential life-that fulfills-through God.
Songs-Lyric-Wise & Wonderful-Fulfilling love.
By observation, discussion and argument one reaches some conclusion about the right/godly choices in their lives. Not just by prayer, but also through interaction with God & humanity, came these conclusions.
Life is meaningless without the Fear of The Lord!
Life is meaningful with God.
(When have an Eternal perspective)
12:13-14 Meaning? Why "in youth"?
• Younger the better...less mistakes...less regrets...less yuck in mind...
• Less spills to clean up in life.
Make a spill, drop something...papers?
• It will bring greater fruit & understanding in life-earlier on.
• If wisdom comes from God...then life growing outside of Him will be meaningless, empty, and will be like trying to fill a cracked pot.
• Because maybe later it will be too late.
Making godly choices is wise!
Whether you are smartest, wisest, biggest, or the strongest...it doesn't matter.
9:1-6 -> Wise - Fool, Good-evil, Clean-unclean, don't be so wise etc...
Result: 2:17, .18-21 ->Hated life...didn't understand life.
2nd HOUR: SUMMARY OF SEGMENTS:
The king begins to declare-what is the purpose of working because you'll die anyway. But the earth lasts-all remains the same. Man is not satisfied. Nothing is changeable. The past has no memory of people.
What's seemingly indicating God is not doing or has not done right. He's seen it all. It's all for nothing. And again nothing is changeable.
3- 1:16-2:26-Personal Experience
He has done it all-had it all & finds it meaningless. He finds more hassles by what he knows. (Like some the more educated-the more dangerous-greatest strengths can be greatest weaknesses-they can become closed to new ideas, or arrogant by what they know-thus don't really "know"). And he is no different than a fool as they both die. And the thought of leaving what he gained to another is irritating to him.
4- 3:1-3:22-Philosophizing Over Time
There's a time for all things, so what gain is it? Contrasting-everything is wonderful in its time-HIS time. Man understands eternal to a degree but not with the understanding what God had been doing and will be doing. What He has done is so that people would have a proper fear or place in WHO God is. But what advantage-the wicked & righteous die-Solomon seems to be uncertain where they go.
5- 4:1-6:12-Philosophizing Over Life's Issues
Solomon sees there's neither justice nor trust to be found. God is strong on commitments (vows). In one moment he speaks of God giving enjoyment then contrasts (contradicts it). What will be will be-therefore no advantages.
6- 7:1-7:29-Philosophizing Over Morality
He knows the worth and the value of a good name (character, integrity). It seems the end of one's life is more important than the birth because it's what one does with his life that is significant-to end good is the key. The power of wisdom. All have sinned-though not originally (as in when they were created-sin came after). He confesses his lack of wisdom. Man can't change what's happened (order). Watch out for particular women.
7- 8:2-9:12-Philosophizing Over Mankind's Fate
Vanity continues! Ultimate power is not within man because apparent evil is continuing-some turn to it. Vanity is in the righteous & the wicked. All have the same fate-that they die, however-one goes up, and the other goes down...to either Heaven-with God & enjoying Him for eternity...or to Hell where there is torment and separation from God for eternity. Yet, he says what you do what you do with all your might. Man's knowledge or control over death is unknown-nil. Agony for Eden...Homesick for Eden.
8- 9:13-10:20-Philosophizing Over Wisdom & Folly
Sin has caused the writing of this book. Solomon also confesses the goodness of wisdom & listening to the king? There are more contrasts of wisdom vs. folly. Wisdom is better than the might of ones hands.
9- 11:1-12:12-Philosophizing Over One's Approach To Life
Solomon sees the need to direct them to God at youth and with what you do. He calls for living life to the fullest. You'll have problems though-so don't be surprised. Enjoy the sight given. But it is not an excuse to live ungodly & unrighteously. Do good, because God will judge everything.
10- 12:13-14-Concluding Statement
The summation is key. For this is truly what will take place in all who have ever breathed life. This is wisdom in its fullest = to obey the Lord-because of who He is. All is vanity without God. Without the hope of God, forgiveness & life after...it's all meaningless, and would give license for Man to do as he wishes.
33 QUESTIONS BY AUTHOR:
1- What do people gain from all the toil at which they toil under the sun?
2- Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"?
3- 2:2-"What use is it?"-Of laughter?
4- 2:12-"So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly; for what can one do who comes after the king?"
5- "What happens to the fool will happen to me also; why then have I been so very wise?"
6- "How can the wise die just like fools?"
Sig. of Questions?
3rd Hour Through The Segments
SEGMENT 1 & 2-Introduction & Commission
1:2...What is vanity? (32x's)
• Fruitless, meaningless, nothing...not worth anything, empty, pointless.
➢ Why did I color my hair in Thailand? Why was I born with a cleft lip? Why did I manipulate that person...things worked out anyway.
➢ See, touch & gone. Worry about something, like my valuables when plane is shaking violently.
Sig? What is important to love and strive for? A disillusionment because what is done doesn't last.
1:8... "All things are wearisome". Repeated theme. Is it correct?: (INCORRECT). Because not all things are bringing one down-depleting or consuming strength.
Generalizations...you always...you never...
1:4..."A generation comes...and goes"
• He sees all as cyclical.
• Eastern mindset-Circular World View.
1:9..."What has been will be...nothing new under the sun." (CORRECT)
• Through his experience in living & having much, he (also observing) sees or has seen what is basic in life...more...If only more...I'll be satisfied. This could be a preface...confession of such.
• There is not change in the world...as it was in the past it will be the same-no surprise-it will be the same...just in another form. (I.e. sin in 2nd century vs. sin in the 20th century. Physical without technology vs. media advancing it more rapidly-at your fingertips. (Some say internet-antichrist)
***"Under the sun" = on the earth.
• With every people of history...they've yet not learned the emptiness of life's pursuits-outside of God. "No one learns from it, thus they are condemned to repeat it."-W.I.L. Comm.
• Technology has not brought man any closer to life's deepest answers-closer to God.
➢ What way have you broken what people have been doing for generations?
1:1, 12, 16...King Solomon. He says "Preacher-Teacher"...applied to mind...
• Because he is probably looking back in his life questioning what it was all about-having made not so good choices along the way, he perhaps realizes that he messed up wants & priorities.
• V. 14, 17-"Chasing after the wind". Meaning? Like putting yourself into a project, that you know you never have the means to finish-and still do it...to put ones whole life into something only to grab onto it-and it vanishes as though never there-mirage.
• KEY: "Unhappy business". (In-CORRECT) We see that human wisdom gets us ←--→ this far...compared with God's wisdom. Relationship should exceed want of wisdom. (i.e. David vs. Solomon).
• V. 15-"What is crooked cannot be made straight". (INCORRECT) Why? Because it would put God as powerless & un-sovereign.
SEGMENT 3-Personal Experience
1:16-18-"Wisdom = vexation, Knowledge = Sorrow" (in-CORRECT).
• How can he say what he says?
➢ Because of his experience. Though still credible but not personal would be several points he makes by way of observation, because of being royalty-i.e. he wasn't poor etc...
• Solomon's View? Humanistic wisdom & understanding without God would lead to this conclusion but in itself-not correct.
2:1-11-TEST OF PLEASURE
• Did he fail the test?
• List-about 15 things. What is included? Why? He sought out everything...acquired anything he wanted. Was some of it not good for him?
➢ God allowed this to happen for the benefit of Mankind? Was it for Man to realize their depravity...in gaining the world yet forfeiting their soul?
➢ Where does [true] fulfillment come from? Is it attainable?
➢ Striving to get what one (he) wants/wanted. To get/to receive.
• V.9- How "wisdom remained"? See: 1 Kings 11:34, 41. God said he would not take.
Was he really "that wise"?
Solomon's View: V. "same fate befalls all...wise die just like fools." (in-CORRECT)
• If left there...it's not true. Because the destiny of one righteous is different than the wicked.
• Righteous vs. wicked. Yes all dies, but our destinies are different.
• Through what we pursue, and do...who is the one who benefits? If it's "me" =warning!
2:17-whatever thrills & fulfills...go for it...you only live once...
2:18-"Leaving behind to those after me...vanity..." (in-CORRECT).
• In one way: he will be leaving the kingdom to Jeroboam & Rehoboam! Leaving it to shady characters-uncertain people cause him to stress & question what good is it?
• Or living by faith that God will take care...follow through with what I leave behind. I.e. Paul & Timothy-2 Tim.
➢ What have you done that will be left behind??
➢ What motivates you to live daily life?
➢ What rewards do you expect? Will they be momentary or lasting?
Do possessions own you or do your own them-loose grip? People live for what they have.
2:24-26-CONTRAST: (God Doing). Enjoyment can come from what one does. It can happen when one lives to please God. He will provide-give wisdom, knowledge & joy. But what the sinner comes up with-toils for will go to the hand of one who pleases God. (God's Doing). Yet it's not always as we see it. God blesses the faithful. True enjoyment comes from Him.
***Some statements are more relevant for some areas of the world only.
(1) Do you have specific possessions that you would never consider giving away to anyone?
(2) Do you have certain possessions that are important in establishing your identity among your friends and in your community?
(3) How do you define success? To what extent does a certain level of income or net worth enter into your definition?
(4) How many of your major decisions are calculated largely by their financial impact on you and your family?
(5) Is it easier for you to buy "luxury" items than it is to give money to your church, world missions, or a charity?
(6) Do you have any friends that could be considered poor? If not, why not?
(7) How do you measure self-fulfillment? How do you know when you are happy?
(8) How important is it for you to outdo your parents' level of financial achievement?
(9) Do you measure your progress in life by whether you made more last year than the year before?
(10) Do you think your financial success has any impact on the poor and needy in your community, or elsewhere in the world? -WIL Comm.
SEGMENT 4-Philosophizing Over Time
3:1-8-Time For Everything...
• Solomon's View (CORRECT) As these things are true & valid-they do happen. But was it originally God's intent? (True only because of a fallen world).
• V. 9-"What gain from toil". Meaning? Family, work, wife, husband, position in community, relationships, friends, $, material stuff. BUT in what context?
➢ For self...or for others. (in-CORRECT vs. CORRECT)
• Why important?
➢ It is clear that in life people are taught & change through the adversity in life. Through tougher times vs. happy times.
• V. 10-16-GOD's DOING-
➢ Whatever God does endures
➢ Put eternity in their minds
➢ God's gift-pleasure in toil
➢ God seeks what is driven away.
• Sig? CONTRAST/comparison: He now says that everything is beautiful in it's time. He has indeed given Man some understanding but leaves "some" out. Because He is God and also in His wisdom as He is the source & giver of all people. They are dependent on Him...that they would fear Him.
• God will take care of all that Man has done or not done. (judge).
*** Prov. 16:9 We make our own plans,
but the LORD decides where we will go. God involves humanity in His purposes.
3:16-22-Fate of Men and beasts...no advantage over beasts.
• Solomon's View: (in-CORRECT) Why no advantage? It is because they both die. But the righteous are secure with hope hereafter. He is so concerned with what happens on Earth that he forgets the eternal perspective.
• Solomon's View: (INCORRECT). Who know whether up or down? Wrong because believers-God's people have assurance through God's Covenants, prophets etc.
• Solomon's View: (in-CORRECT). So Man should enjoy work-it's his lot. Yes-and-No. If it's all they do then it's meaningless, and vice-versa.
SEGMENT 5-Philosophizing Over Life's Issues
4:1-3-Is he pessimistic? Or just speaking reality? Better are those dead?
• CONTRAST: 9:3-4-he says yeah I am glad to be living (on 2nd thought) and not dead, I.e. a dog. Living vs. dead dog.
➢ Dog = lowest scale of society. So, even being a slave is better to be alive than not.
➢ ***Again is it because uncertainty of afterlife?
4:6-Better-handful with quiet, than 2 with toil...How important are material things in our lives? And what am I willing to sacrifice to gain them?
4:9-"2 Better than one..."-
• Could it be because he abused his position and because of just the fact that he was king-his position, the choices he made-kept him distant from others? So he didn't really have relationships or it was a bit "too" close to home to address...hmmm...
➢ Selfishness: "I" perspective.
➢ Value of interdependence: 1 Corinthians 11:11ff
• Created with need for one another-yet ultimate dependence on God.
• Sig of companionship? For comfort, security, aid, value.
➢ Are you with solid, lasting relationships-friendships with others?
• People I can count on...I am blessed with many. Which has brought me to the place I am.
GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY AND HUMAN "TRAGEDY"
4:14 It is common to hear people rejoice (or sometimes even boast) that their material prosperity is a blessing from God. Yet have you ever heard anyone say, "My business failure was a blessing from God"? Why is it that only "good" things are seen as "blessings," while "bad" things are viewed as "tragedies"?
***"Like God is good..." Compare: One who escapes the WTC...and another does not. The one who escapes says; "God is good"...but now what about the one whose family member or friend did not? It still remains as truth that God is good.
Human beings see things from a very limited perspective. What looks like a tragedy may be the best thing that ever happened, particularly when God's hand is superintending the outcome. For example, a poor youth whose family sold him into slavery may emerge later as a wiser person, fit to be king (Eccl. 4:13-14). That's essentially what happened to Joseph (Gen. 37-41).
God is sovereign over the things that happen to us. That does not mean that everything that happens to us is His responsibility. For example, He does not cause evil. Yet He may permit evil, as He did in Job's life (Job 1:6-19), for reasons that go beyond our understanding. God's sovereignty means that He is God and has the right to work out His own purposes in our lives.
We tend to be quick to judge whether what happens to us is fair or unfair. How might our perspective change if we took the view that Joseph had when he confronted his brothers: "Am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good"? (Gen. 50:19-20; compare Rom. 8:28). -WIL Comm.
• Be real when they come to God.
• Don't try to sneak something past Him.
➢ Because when listening-you are open and trusting what He would do or say-therefore you won't be with an agenda or pre-supposing with a "buying your way through" mentality, which won't do.
• What does "better not make vow..." imply?
➢ There needs to be actions with their words spoken. People learn of integrity...or what God is like through their own lives. Anyone can rattle off words, but to follow through with commitment & action is different!
• Why? Because fear of God present or absent.
5:15-17-Naked you came-naked you leave the same. (in-CORRECT)
• It is true and false...materially yes, but spiritually, psychologically & mentally false.
• How they live their life effects, infects & affects others. For the better or worse or nothing as they may have lived only for themselves.
5:18-20-"Enjoyment-God given..." (GOD's DOING).
• God is the giver of all. But it is not the means of which man is existent, i.e. drinking & eating.
• "The chief end of Man: to love God and enjoy Him forever."
• So, live for Him and others...not just for self.
SEGMENT 6-PHILOSOPHIZING OVER MORALITY
7:1-2-"Good name better than ointment...death better than birth..." (in-CORRECT)
• How was Solomon's name by now? (Sig. when written)
• What do you think of when you hear a name?
➢ Billy Graham, Gandhi, Mt Everest? Kailee? Bin-Laden?
• Who is related to them perhaps?
• Solomon's View: It's not how you start but how you finish.
➢ How many Christians come in with a blaze-and go out with a puff!
• 7:13-"Can't straight what God made crooked." He can't be manipulated, yet through righteousness, His wisdom, prayer, things can be changed for the better.
• 7:15-18-"Don't be too much righteous..." (God's Doing). God will cause them to succeed.
• 7:29-God made Man originally good but Man [original Fall-Eden] messed up.
➢ OR? Seek God. That is the way to be upright & please Him-godly living; fearing Him---awed by Him.
• Think of what man schemes up to manipulate!
• Things thought up to avoid pain, suffering, or disappointment, depression, anything to prolong life...even at the expense of others.
SEGMENT 7-Philosophizing Over Mankind's Fate
• Solomon's View: 8:10-13-Contrast with the Evil & those who fear the Lord. Yes according to fearing God, it would be good for them-this is a way out-a way into glory. This excludes trust & willingness to follow the Lord.
• Compare with Genesis-Adam & Eve-Before & After the Fall!
9:11-12-Man not know his time... (in-CORRECT)
• Solomon's View: Man doesn't know his time, but should live it fully AND, they are not subject to chance but their lives are in the hands of the Lord. And yeah, it's a bummer when one dies, but MORE if they don not know God.
SEGMENT 8-Philosophizing Over Wisdom & Folly
9:13-16-"Wisdom better than might." (CORRECT)
• Solomon's View: It could very well be. God has used (i.e. Gideon)...the "small" and insignificant [in society & family], or small-impossible #'s and given them victory.
• Point" It's who you know (God). Not what you necessarily. You may be able to fight good, but there's a lot more to life than fighting-and physical strength. ***Available to all who yield to Him...fear Him.
• What about poor vs. rich? Who do we listen to? Put in leadership?
➢ See next verse: 9:17. Where does wisdom come from anway??
➢ Besides all of this, Scripture warns believers not to shut out the poor from the church and its decision-making process. To do so amounts to discrimination (James 2:1-9). -WIL Comm.
9:17-18-"Wisdom better than weapons...but one sinner destroys much good..."
• Reason for this book. Sin has caused the writing of this book. It is necessary.
• Solomon's View: 10:5-11...If iron blunt...whet edge... (CORRECT)
➢ More can be accomplished with less stress, strength and the like with a sharp edge. (JACK CRABTREE-What he told me).
➢ With God as the source, much is fruitful-gain is greater.
SEGMENT 9-PHILOSOPHIZING Over One's Approach to Life
11:1-4-Bread upon the waters...for you will find after many days...
• Solomon's View: (CORRECT). Throw it out there-take risks-don't put all resources into one thing-be wise with what you have-be generous.
• CONTRAST: It's odd that If all is vanity, that we would encourage generosity. Won't someone vainly waste what you have given?
• 11:6-Sow seed...evening hand...S.V.→Don't count only on one thing but 2 just in case. Here he knows God-11:5-"the work of God who makes everything..." The one sure thing is GOD!
• Are you one to avoid risks? Foolish vs. Calculated risks.
➢ Some think I take foolish or unnecessary risks
➢ Success = failure...the more failure the more success?
➢ Do we learn from failure?
SEGMENT 10-Concluding Statement
12:13-14-The end-fear God
• Solomon's View: (CORRECT). God is the way to go. He has the answers. It's okay to question but not to remain in the same place. Where they are and/or make excuse for living in the various ways the book describes.
• GOD's DOING: In His time He will bring to account EVERYTHING anyone does. Nothing slips by His eyes.
• OR? Following this thought for sure, will bring fulfillment. All is indeed meaningless without God. But it means all the more with Him.
Without God ...... ultimately leads to ...
Learning Cynicism (1:7-8)
Greatness Sorrow (1:16-18)
Pleasure Disappointment (2:1-2)
Labor Hatred of life (2:17)
Philosophy Emptiness (3:1-9)
Eternity A lack of fulfillment 3:11)
Life Depression (4:2-3)
Religion Meaninglessness (5:7)
Wealth Trouble (5:12)
Existence Frustration (6:12)
Wisdom Despair (11:1-8)
Pleasure can be a delightful servant-if it is dedicated to God-but it makes a horrible master.
Which master do you serve? What drives you? Are you squandering your future on short-term delights? Or are you building for eternity? -WIL Comm.
1- Absolute pursuit of pleasure is wrong & meaningless-hedonism.
2- What do I spend my time on?
3- What are priorities?
4- What is it that we are pursuing? Use Smoke? Bubbles?
5- Question things in life...but don't just remain there!
6- Don't have to understand the mystery [completely] to believe the mystery.
7- Do we enjoy yet with purpose & meaning; life?
8- Enjoy God & love Him fully?
a. Why created? To love God & enjoy Him forever!
9- God's sovereignty-Do we accept that??
10- So we have unrealistic expectations of life, meaning, and fulfillment?
11- Do we live carefully? (Before Him & because we fear the Lord?)
12- Carpe diem = Seize the day.
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