Category: Book of Ecclesiasties

Christian Ministry, Making an Impact in This World

The Blessing of Serving Others

Book of Ephesians 3:1-13

 

To understand this passage, we must realize that we as Christians all have a personal ministry after our salvation. There are none who are excluded!

The Apostle Paul, even though he was bound in irons and limited by his cell, continued in his personal ministry given to him by the Lord. The same ministry given to us all.

Christians are to make an impact in this world!

The Lord Jesus Christ changed this world when He first came and when He returns the changes to this world will be even more dramatic!

We must understand that the “Gospel” will never lose its freshness, it will be relevant in every age!

We must also understand that the “Gospel” can never be exhausted because God’s “Grace” can never be exhausted.

We must understand that the “Gospel” is for every human that breathes God’s air!

We must certainly understand there will be great blessings come to those who serve the “Gospel” to others!

*****Eph 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

This cause, would be the entire subject of the first two chapters but summed up in the last verse of chapter two.

Eph 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

The Apostle Paul clearly understood that he was to be the Apostle to the Gentiles, but it did not stop his craving to reach out to his brother Jews. Had Paul devoted his ministry to the Jews, he may have been honored and beloved, but he would have been outside the will of God.

Since Paul took his ministry to the Gentiles he was hated by his countrymen but inside the will of God.

The absolute safest place any of us can be is in the will of God!

This goes to show us, being in the will of God may mean we will hated by our nation.

When we step out of the bounds of our ministry, we are stepping out of the will of God for us!

Paul was a willing prisoner in bonds in a sense because he had taken his ministry to the Gentiles.

As Christians we all exist to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is Jesus Christ who will set the bounds of our ministry!

Paul reached out to the Gentiles, we are to reach out to all people after we have reached out to our family!

Our family is our very first missionary field!

It is God’s purpose to form a brand-new race of people which are called Christian by the world but, are the “Body of Christ”, “Born Again” into the family of God!

The Lord Jesus Christ suffered for His message.

The Apostle Paul suffered because of his message.

As Christians, we will all suffer as we tell the story of Jesus!

1Pe 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

To be a Christian we will have been touched by the “Grace” of God.

*****Eph 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
Eph 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Eph 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Eph 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

The Apostle Paul was called of God.

The Apostle Paul existed to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and this by the ”Grace” of God!

Most every minister of the Gospel will suffer to bring the “Gospel” to God’s people.

Act 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

The Apostle Paul suffered greatly because he was a Jew who was called of God to preach the “Gospel” of “Grace” to the Gentiles.

The Apostle Paul existed to be a good steward of the Word of God!

This is the example that all the teachers of the Gospel should try to meet, a good steward of God’s Word.

As the people who sit regularly in the pews, we simply do not always realize the responsibility God lays upon His Pastors!

Even in this, the Lord Jesus Christ was the greatest example for the true Pastor.

Mat 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

To be quite honest the Lord says for all of us to pick up our own cross and follow Him.

Mat_16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

In fact, the Lord Jesus is very serious about this!

Mat_10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, “is not worthy of me”.

The cross is an instrument of death and Jesus was speaking to His disciples when He spoke these words.

Every disciple of God is to be a steward of God’s “Grace”!

And again, we see this word “mystery”, but we also see how Paul explains it.

A mystery in the New Testament is something that God did not expressly make known in the Old Testament. The information was there in the Old Testament but just like today not many would study the Scriptures to dig out those nuggets of golden information or some, such as the Pharisees and Sadducees would interpret their own beliefs and keep the truth from the people and the Essenes were just too legalistic to express the real truth to others.

We could say that these mysteries in the New Testament where things that God Himself had to reveal to humanity.

If we go through the Scriptures, we see repeatedly where God had to provide examples to prove that His Words are all true!

God still says what He means, and God still means what He says.

As sinners we have by nature a veil over our eyes and we cannot see spiritual matters!

The Lord Jesus Christ spent 3 and 1/2 years opening the eyes of His disciples to the great mysteries of the Old Testament.

Even Paul spent 3 years under the tutelage of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Gal 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
Gal 1:14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,
Gal 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
Gal 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
Gal 1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.

We should understand there will be no new Scriptures other than we have now but, there may still be some important jewel, locked away in the Scriptures that God has not opened our eyes to yet.

It is only the pure in heart who will be able to see the hidden mysteries of God!

The one pure fact that we know for sure today is that God has totally revealed His is plan of salvation, the most important promises in all the Scriptures!

The Scriptures were opened up to some by the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ came Himself to make sure there is no misunderstanding of the Scriptures!

*****Eph 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

What are some of the greatest benefits for accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior?

We will be joint=heirs with the things of Christ, who is the Son of God.
We will be accepted as the same “Body of Christ”, the Church, the Bride of Christ.
We will be partakers of the promises of God to His Son!

It is the by the truth of the Gospel which brings us to faith and a heavenly inheritance.

Let’s think on this for a moment: Whatever God does throughout eternity, we will be a part of it and we already know that there will be no sin and no sinners around to mess things up!

Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Rev 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

In the Old Testament we know that the saved Jews are the apple of God’s eyes but guess what? God is no respecter of persons and we the saved Gentiles will share in everything by Jesus Christ and be part of that apple.

We do not have to approach God through Judaism with all its laws but by Jesus Christ we can walk right into the throne room of God like it is our own home and He who sits on the throne is our own Father! We may not realize how great this privilege is, but it is true!

The “Body of Christ” is alive because the Spirit of God dwells in each of us and with one life and one purpose we are God’s force against evil until God takes us home!

Rom 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

All the promises to the Jews are just are just as true for the Gentile.

It will be the Jews who will join with the Gentiles and not the Gentiles who will join with the Jews because God will not deal with the Jews as the nation of Israel until after the “rapture of the Church!

Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

This is the ministry and the message Paul had for the Gentile nations and this message made its way to the United States of America because of the Apostle Paul and those who followed in his footsteps.

*****Eph 3:7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

We can only imagine Paul as the glorious “Gospel” was opened to Him and Paul understood the “Grace” of God better than most because he had persecuted God’s Church and had been forgiven.

Each Pastor may differ in the gifts of God’s of “grace”, but the Apostle Paul can be an example to them all.

We should also understand that each of us have been given certain talents to be used in our service to God and no matter what it is, it must also include the “gospel” of Jesus Christ and the proof of our existence by the ‘Grace” of God.

2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

We are saved only by the “Grace of God” but through “Faith” in the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ!

The same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead was the same power that had allowed the “Grace” of God to work in Paul’s life and it had worked so wonderfully that Paul preached the “gospel of Jesus Christ with every breath he took.

Paul, like us all, certainly felt unworthy to be used of God.

*****Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
Eph 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

All his days Paul carried a heavy burden because he had persecuted the church he was now trying to build. The lesson for us is Paul’s humbleness.

If we cannot humble ourselves before the Lord, then we cannot be saved. If we can humble ourselves before the Lord, He will forgive the most terrible of sins. God can save any sinner, anywhere, at any time!

We can walk right in to the throne room of God, but we better be humble when we get there yet even a humble person can be bold!

Paul looked back on the things he had done before he had asked the Lord to come into his heart and when we look back we know there was nothing good about our life of sin, nothing at all.

We should look back on occasion, but we should also know that God has forgotten everything that we have ask Him to forgive!

God took a dirty rotten sinner such as Paul and made him into the greatest missionary this world has ever seen.

And before we feel so high and mighty we were all sinners such as Paul.

1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Paul was “washed” in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ but by the Holy Spirit.
Paul was “sanctified” in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ but by the Holy Spirit.
Paul was “justified” in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ but by the Holy Spirit.

These are the things it takes to be adopted into the family of God!

Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

It is because of God’s “Mercy” that any of us can receive God’s “Grace”!

And again God’s “Grace” is God’s Riches at Christ Expense!

We know that the calling of the Gentiles into God’s Church was a mystery that the Jews did not see coming.
The resurrection of the dead was a mystery that the Jews could not explain.
The relationship of the Lord Jesus and His Church is still a mystery to the Jews.
The mystery of the seven stars and the seven candlesticks were a mystery.
The mystery of the woman clothed in scarlet was a mystery.
The Anti-Christian power at work in the day of Paul and continues today, was a mystery.

**The mystery of blessings that come from a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, the greatest mystery of all and the free exercise of His love, He showed to all humanity when He gave His life, so all His creation could be saved.

1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Isa 44:24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
Isa 44:25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;

The Lord Jesus Christ was certainly the cause of Creation because all things were made by Him.

God wants a people who have chosen, who have elected, who have been “Born Again” just so they can spend eternity with their Creator who is also their Savior and Redeemer!

And because the Church has been formed and Christ Jesus has finished the work of salvation, all of Heaven is aware of God’s plan and the Church now knows the plan for the New Heaven!

*****Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
Eph 3:11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

Surely as Heaven looks down upon this earth and sees God’s mercy shown to His creation, it is a sight to behold.

We should understand that there must be principalities and powers in Heaven that we just do not understand the workings of.

We know that the Lord is also Lord of the angelic host and those that remain in Heaven have chosen to follow the Lord rather than follow Satan.

The angels did not understand the Church until the Lord formed the Church, but the angels have seen God’s Church grow. This is something that the angelic hosts cannot do. They have a set number even though it is a large number.

There is not one angel that can be filled with the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit!

1Pe 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
1Pe 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
1Pe 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1Pe 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to consider.

We can even see that the Jews never understood the Church, nor the “Grace” of God, but they had witnessed it many times.

We can see that the angels do not understand the filling of the Holy Spirit and the Saint of God who wears the seal of God, but they are also used as ministers of the “Gospel” but without the power of the Holy Spirit!

Rev_14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

What we see is that God’s plan of salvation toward those who choose to be the “Body of Christ” is open for all God’s creation to witness.

What does God say?

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

God’s purpose for all those who choose to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Redeemer is eternal!

Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

God chose the work of redemption because in redemption it is the work of “perfection” and we are saved by the Lord of perfection.

The boldness of the Church comes by our perfect Lord Jesus!

*****Eph 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

These gifts of God are free to the believer.

The truth is as believers, we can talk to our Father in Heaven without fear of offending Him!

We have access to the most powerful being to have ever existed and He will continue to exist throughout eternity!

We have the liberty to snuggle up to our Father in Heaven without rebuke.

Jas_4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you……

We can approach our God being confident that He will respond to us!

1Jn 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
1Jn 5:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

When we come in the name of Jesus Christ we will find nothing but success!

God is a God of truth and when we come to Him in truth we have access to all the wonders of God!

Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

By Jesus Christ we have access to eternal life!

1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
1Co 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Knowing all these things, we must also realize just as Jesus Christ suffered in this world, we will also suffer in this world!

*****Eph 3:13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

Wherefore means in view of these facts, the previous Scriptures:

The welcome of all Gentiles of “faith” into the Church.
The Church is the “Body of Christ”
This has been the purpose of God from the beginning and throughout all the ages.
Heaven has been made aware of the plan of God.
All the Saints of God have free access into the throne room of God.

We will suffer tribulations for doing the work God has given us to do until He takes us home!

These sufferings, not indicating defeat or failure but glory because the world has seen those of faith to be like Jesus Christ and suffer as He suffered.

Luk_24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

1Pe_5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Throughout the Book of Acts and the Epistles of Paul, we have seen the many places where he suffered for preaching the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.

None of us will ever suffer as Paul suffered for then he would no longer be an example, but we can say that Paul suffered so that we here today will one day be glorified!

Paul was willing to suffer for the Church to survive!

As we who may suffer some in tribulations we should all keep our mind on the glory that lies ahead for the child of God!

To faint at the work that God has given us to do means we are cowards!

Amen.

Applying God’s Wisdom

Applying God’s Wisdom To Life

Ecclesiastes 11-12

Making application in theology, is the act by which the truths of Jesus Christ are transferred to mankind, for his justification.

The pure fact is, that any life that omits the Lord Jesus Christ will indeed be a life that is meaningless!

To deny that Christ Jesus is not God is to reject all the Scriptures!

1Jn 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

Jesus was the Messiah sent from God, this is a fact!

Christ means Messiah.

Messiah means the God-Man.

1Jn 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

You cannot become a child of God if you reject Jesus Christ as God!

1Jn 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus “is the Christ” is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

Who are the deceivers in our world?

2Jn 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, “who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist”.

All those that deny Jesus Christ are denying God!

Jud 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, “and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ”.

God tells us all these things so we can know the truth.

1Jn 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; “that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God”.

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the wisdom of God and we must apply this wisdom to our lives for our lives to have meaning!

*****Ecc 11:7 Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun:
Ecc 11:8 But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.

As believers we have the ability to enjoy all the years of our lives.

Every stage of life from young to old offers pleasures that cannot be relived!

The sun rises and then the sun sets everyday and as long as we can see the sun we know we are alive because our eyes are closed at death and there is only darkness.

Even in these days of sunlight we will still have some dark days:

Job 3:20 Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul;
Job 3:21 Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures;

To most of us, we remember the days we were young as the daytime of our years compared to now, since we are old and see these day as the night time of our years.

The truth is, that once we know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, we really have no excuse not to enjoy every day that we live, even on those dark days.

The truth is, the younger we begin our relationship with the Lord, the more pleasant our memories will be as we grow older.

These things are only meaningless to those who do not know the Lord!

As Solomon was searching the true meaning of life, he discovered the truth of God!

What ever path we choose, to know the Lord as our Savior is a choice, and at the end of every life we will come the judgment of God!

*****Ecc 11:9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.
Ecc 11:10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.

In reality, we should have only one thought as we live this life that God has given to us and it is the fact that we all will face God in judgment.

This does not limit rejoicing at any age as some surmise.

Young people have very little time and very few opportunities to enjoy many things while they still have the strength to do them.

Believe me when I say, that in every older person there is the spirit of a young person, who knows that there are so many things that we are not physically able to do, that we wish we had done while we were still young.

We end up remembering all the mistakes we made rather then the joys we could have had!

It is true, that even after salvation we have a tendency to place restrictions on ourselves, that God has never placed on us!

The truth is, God richly provides many things for our enjoyment:

1Ti 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
1Ti 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
1Ti 6:19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

God just expects us to make wise choices and we already know that true wisdom can only come from a close personal relationship with the Lord.

God expects us all to banish sorrow and worry and to put away sadness from our bodies and our minds.

Judgement is not a thing to bring sorrow.

We should look forward to the judgment of God knowing that to know the Lord on a personal basis is to gain the reward of eternal life and the opportunity to earn even other rewards.

There are great benefits in serving the Lord!

The truth is, we will never enjoy a life without Jesus Christ!

If we try to enjoy the pleasures of sin, which can only last a short time, we will be handicapped by the knowledge of the coming judgment.

Job 20:4 Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth,
Job 20:5 That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

We should never allow the cares of this world, to rob us of the life that God intends for us to have!

If we begin to live a holy life in our young days, we will not have anything to worry about in our old age!

1Ti 4:11 These things command and teach.
1Ti 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

The truth of the Bible is, that if we cannot accept the truth of the Book of Genesis, we will never know the truth of our Creator!

*****Ecc 12:1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

What is the most important thing for our youth today?

Our youth need to reject all the teachings of evolution which are all lies, and remember that we have a Creator!

When we realize that we are created, we will also realize we were created with a Divine purpose.

When we realize that our Creator has now become our Savior, it will change our life forever!

Once we accept Christ as our Savior, the Spirit of God will actually live within our bodies!

This means, that no matter where we are, we will always have God’s presence to guide us!

1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

A true Creator can make things out of nothing. God made us out of nothing.

By the right of creation, God is entitled to have authority and control over our lives.

In today’s language, we would say that God owns the patent on our lives as human beings, and God will never sell us out.

As humans we will all answer to our Creator!

We have only One Creator, who then is our only Judge, who will judge our lives, our words, our thoughts, and all our deeds.

Those that reject these things are doomed to Hell and later the “Burning Lake of Fire”.

AND, we must not listen to false religions, who say that there is no Hell because this place certainly exist!

If we will live with the awareness of God throughout our younger years, while we have the desire and energy, we can still enjoy life and the things that life has to offer!

Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”.

Knowing Christ is knowing the truth of life!

It is a fact and most all of us up in years, will concede that most of our time is now spent trying to hold onto the life that we have.

There is not much fun in growing old, but that does not mean that there is no joy even in the aged life.

Every age of life will have it’s particular joys!

We should all realize, that God is saying it is not much fun getting old!

Solomon will now describe what it is like getting old.

*****Ecc 12:2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:

For most of us in our latter years, there will be more days of no light and no joy and the good.

More days that grow dark from clouds of problems and the pain of growing old!

As we get older, we have pains and afflictions that just do not go away.

We know that when dark heavy clouds pass by and drop their rain, they will then roll on by and the Sun will then come out.

BUT, this is not the case with the storm clouds of old age!

As we get older, we may find some relief from the aches and pains of the body but it will only be temporary and the aches and pains will always return.

It is best to remember God while we are still young, while we can still avoid some of our foolishness that will be the cause of many of our aches and pains of our old age!

*****Ecc 12:3 In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,
Ecc 12:4 And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;
Ecc 12:5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

Watch how Solomon describes the decay which creeps into the body as we get older.

While we are young, we need to learn to walk faithfully with the Lord because a day is coming when we will not be able to serve God as we would like to.

We see that this passage refers to our body as an aging house that is beginning to fall apart.

The keepers of the house are the hands and the arms.

The strong men are the legs.

The grinders are the teeth.

And those windows are the eyes.

We need to remember our Creator before the arms begin to tremble and we cannot protect our homes, our bodies.

We need to remember our Creator before our bodies begin to stoop over.

We need to remember our Creator before our teeth start falling out.

We need to remember our Creator before our eyesight starts failing.

None of us will be like Moses who at 120 years old, his eyes were not dim nor his natural force was abated!

Verse 4 adds, we need to remember our Creator before our legs become to weak to walk outside.

As we know, many of our aged brothers and sisters our house bound or in nursing homes due to bodily weakness and can no longer get out the doors into the streets.

They have difficulty in hearing.

Difficulty in speaking.

Difficulty in singing.

Along with difficulty in sleeping, because even the pleasant chirping of the birds is a distraction on most days.

Verse 5 adds the the fear of falling from heights or the fear of falling from ladders or even falling down the stairs.

It is that fear that limits the things that we used to do with ease!

But there is also the fear of just being in the way while others are productive!

As we get older, sometimes we just feel that we just get in the way so we just don’t offer to help.

We need to remember our Creator before our hair turns gray as the almond blossoms.

We need to remember our Creator before even the chirping of the insects is bothersome and as our hearing fades, we hear that ringing in our ears or the jungle in our ears, even when it is quiet and their are no sounds.

We need to remember our Creator before all our desires fail, especially that desire to serve our Lord which we can no longer do because our bodies have become so feeble.

We must remember our Creator before we are placed in that long home and death has over come us, and all life goes out!

The truth is, one day we will move out of our earthly house of clay, and will move into a permanent dwelling in either Heaven or Hell.

That move to Heaven will be the most glorious of our accomplishments, especially if we have remembered our Creator in the time of our youth.

That move to Hell will be a move to everlasting torments if we have rejected our Creator!

We are all just one step away from eternity at all times!

David while he was still young and before he was King of Israel, said these words:

1Sa 20:3 And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, “there is but a step between me and death”.

David did not forget his Creator while he was still young!

The truth is, a person is alive one day and full of life and the next day they have been overcome by death!

Solomon had already gotten old, before he realized the same things his father knew when he was very young.

The truth is, if we sow the seeds of sin while we are young, we will painfully reap what we have sown in our old age!

Solomon realized his mistakes and returned to the Lord before his death!

It can be said that Solomon broke all ten of the moral laws of God and most probably all of the 613 commands of the Jewish Law and it is certain that Solomon broke God’s commandments given to all the kings of Israel.

We would be wiser than Solomon if we remembered our Creator while we are still young!

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

If for no other reason, we need to remember our Creator because in reality life is certainly fragile!

*****Ecc 12:6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
Ecc 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
Ecc 12:8 Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

There are many ways of interpreting this silver cord, by if we keep with the theme of the body, that silver cord represents the marrow of the spine, which is white and precious as silver, to our wellbeing and the strength in our back.

That golden bowl of the lamp, then answers to the skull which is full of all the wisdom we have obtained in our life time and much of it is very valuable.

In the days of Solomon, many a lamp was suspended from the ceiling of the homes to provide light.

Over time that cord would decay to a point when it would snap and that golden bowl would fall to the ground and that light would be out.

Solomon’s point was, that our life can snap or give way at any time because life is fragile and the light of our life will be put out.

When the pitcher is broken you can draw no water from the pool, even though the pool is full.

When the crank is broken at the well, you can draw no water at the well even though the well is not dry.

At our death, it is too late to depend on God unless we have remembered our Creator while we are young.

We cannot draw from the wisdom of God after we have met death!

Life is fragile and death can come at any moment!

Then at that very moment, the physical body will return the the dust from which is was made.

Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

God created man from the dust of the ground and man became a living soul when God who is Spirit, “breathed the breath of life into man”.

Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Gen 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

And that spirit which was breathed into man’s nostrils will return to the Creator who made it!

Even in death we see that God keeps His promise to every human being!

It is what God does with the that “Spirit of Life” after death that has the most importance and that is a decision that God did not make but that we make ourselves!

The molecules of the body disintegrate back to it’s basic elements.

Job 20:11 His bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust.

God’s life giving spirit does not ever die!

Isa 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
Isa 57:16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.

All those who are part of the Church, those with their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, will return to the Lord.

Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Those who do not have their name written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life, will begin their life of torment!

Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

These are the facts of life and we all need to realize we have a Creator while we are still young!

Vanity is nothing.

Vanity is meaningless.

All those that do not know the Lord as their personal Savior are less than nothing, less than meaningless, in the eyes of God.

Psa 62:9 Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: “to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity”.

We need to take the time to know our Creator!

Psa 39:4 LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.

We must listen to the words of those who preach the truth!

*****Ecc 12:9 And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.

As Solomon brings this book to an end, he lists several facts that we all need to listen to.

Solomon had asked God for wisdom and God had answered that prayer and Solomon became the wisest man to have ever lived.

So this great Book of the Bible was written in part to share that wisdom with all those that study the Word of God.

Solomon also realized that he had stumbled greatly in serving the Lord and he wrote this book so we could avoid the same pitfalls of life that he had fallen prey to.

Solomon did not realize until he was close to death, that lasting fulfillment and satisfaction in this life, can only come from the the giver of all life who is our Lord.

Solomon realized if our youth could see the mistakes that he had made, then maybe they could be saved from making the same mistakes.

We must also remember these words of Solomon were also inspired by the Holy Spirit and therefore they are all true.

*****Ecc 12:10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.

We can trust the words Solomon has written for as being true and upright.

“Upright” means that the Holy Spirit has approved these words as being right and correct.

“True” means with certainty and trustworthiness.

These words that Solomon has written, are things that happen in life.

We can trust all the Word of God to be the truth.

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

We should study the Book of Ecclesiastes because these words are like goads.

*****Ecc 12:11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

A goad was a pointed instrument that was used to cause an animal such as an ox to move a little faster and in the right direction.

We should study the Book of Ecclesiastes because these words “are like nails” which are used to bind things together.

The Word of God is designed to guide us to the proper place in life and when we get there God’s Word will nail us in place for safe keeping.

Jesus was nailed to the cross because that was the one place where He could bring salvation to us all!

This “ones shepherd was not Solomon there is only one true Shepherd and that is the Lord Jesus Christ!

The entire Word of God contains the goads and the nails to bind us all to our true Shepherd!

Solomon is saying “don’t take my word for it, because God gave me these words and they are true”!

2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

We now have the complete Word of God, so we can see the importance of the Book of Ecclesiastes.

The meaning of true life is found in God, through His Son, Jesus Christ!

Jesus Christ is the answer to all life’s questions.

In fact Jesus is the answer to every question that we have!

Once we know the answer to every question of life (Jesus), then we can have His joy also!

*****Ecc 12:12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

It has surprised historians to find so many books that were written at the time of Solomon, before him and just after.

But God adds a strong warning to all of us.

Beware of reading endless books in the place of God’s Word!

Beware of wasting needed time and energy on to much study of other books!

God’s says this:

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Again we must realize that God takes full responsibility for His Words!

When we rightly divide the Word of God, we are not responsible for the actions of those that hear it! These things are in the hand of God!

No other book explains life better than the complete Word of God!

After all, if you bought a new car you would expect to get an owners manual for that car.

God made us all and He has given us all His owners manual!

So we can come to only one conclusion!

*****Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Ecc 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

The most important thing we can remember in this life that will provide true and eternal life, is to “Fear God” and “Keep His Commandments”.

Nothing in life is as important as these two things!

All who keep the commandments of God do so because we all revere God for who He is!

Duty means that we are bound to God by His truth!

But we should also fear God and keep His commandments because God’s “judgment” is coming.

Our every deed will be judged, good or bad.

Our every secret thing will be judged, good or bad.

It is impossible that we can keep anything from the all-knowing God!

This world may deny Him but the fact remains that God sees every thing that goes on in this world.

Pro 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

To know the truth means, that the coming judgment of God is also a source of great comfort to those that know the Lord Jesus Christ.

The great truth of the Bible is this:

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

If the Lord is not the center of our life, then we are missing out on joy and satisfaction.

If we do not have a personal relationship with the Lord, we have not made peace with God.

If we are not obeying the commandments of God, there are some areas in our life that are suffering because of it.

Joh 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

How To Make Wise Choices

Knowing How To Make Wise Choices

Ecclesiastes 5-10

The one thing that gets us all in the most trouble is the choices we make in life.

God gave us all the gift of a freewill!

God gave us all the ability to choose.

God does not want a bunch of robot Christians!

Freewill is the power to direct our own actions without restraint.

The greatest choice we all have to make concerns life after death.

God first explained this to Israel:

Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: “therefore choose life”, that both thou and thy seed may live:
Deu 30:20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

We all have to make this choice!

Again God had to explain this to Israel through Joshua:

Jos 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, “choose you this day whom ye will serve”; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Jesus also presented this choice to the apostles and even Peter knew the choice that had to be made and most all of us can relate to Peter:

Joh 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
Joh 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
Joh 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
Joh 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? “thou hast the words of eternal life”.
Joh 6:69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

It is only Jesus Christ who has the words of eternal life!

We should consider that no person knows what lies ahead but those who know the truth and are wise and are in God’s hands.

Once we know the truth then our eyes are open to the truth!

We also know that to the human, death is the most horrible of tragedies.

Death is the fate of everyone.
Death is the end for all those who live in the world.
Death is the end of all hope.

And we know that life is uncertain and totally unpredictable!

Let’s begin at Chapter 9 verse 11:

*****Ecc 9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

The truth of this world is, that the outcome of a person’s life is unpredictable!

Abilities are not a guarantee of success!

Things just do not turn out like we expect them to!

The results of things are most always determined by unforseen circumstances.

Success is never guaranteed!

Most things are determined by being in the right place at the right time, in others words by chance.

Many things are just a matter of timing.

Timing is something we have a limited control over!

Chance refers to those things that cannot be prepared for, or unseen factors over which we have no control.

For instance an unexpected death can affect our success.

*****Ecc 9:12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.

No matter how hard we may work, or how close we are to finishing a project, death can suddenly and unexpectedly bring things to an unforeseen end!

Death is like a net that catches a fish against it’s will.

Death is like the trap that seizes a bird in it’s clutches unaware.

Unexpected and catastrophic events can effect our success.

Trips, falls, accidents, cancer, heart attacks, or some other illness can stop things that looked like they were about to be finished.

Only while there is life, do we have the opportunity of preparing for our death, since death is certain.

It takes wisdom to make the best possible use of life while it lasts!

*****Ecc 9:13 This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me:
Ecc 9:14 There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:
Ecc 9:15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.

We see that the wisdom, this world has to offer, has no guarantee of success!

It seems that Solomon may be relating this statement to an actual event in history of his own lifetime.

This event concerns a poor but a very wise man.

A small city was under attack by a mighty king. This city had a wall but other than that, it had no real means to defend itself.

This city was helpless against this mighty army.

Living in that city was a very wise but poor man who suggested a great military solution that worked, and the city was saved.

One would think that this man would at least be rewarded for his wisdom, but that was not the case and this man was soon forgotten.

God would not give us this lesson if we were not to learn from it!

It is a fact that the world we live in, is but a small thing to an awesome and a mighty God.

One day soon an angry God will inflict judgment on this world.

God demands justice on each sinner!

The Lord Jesus Christ is the answer to this dilemma.

Jesus Christ offered Himself as the innocent Lamb of God, and by His sacrifice this little city, which in “type” represents the Church is now made safe.

Today we see that many in the Church have forgotten the Savior and His sacrifice is no longer remembered by far too many, who call themselves Christians.

*****Ecc 9:16 Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

In our story, this poor man’s wisdom was more powerful than that of the mighty kings army.

In our world today, we know that the “Grace” of God is more powerful than the wrath of God!

Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
Rom 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
Rom 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

In our story, this poor man was despised because he was wiser than all others in this city.

In our world, the Lord Jesus Christ is despised, because He has made salvation such a simple thing that the world rejects it as not possible and His words are not heard!

The truth is, in this world we live in, wisdom and accomplishments can be despised and go unrewarded because of self-centered and prideful people.

Our world finds it humiliating, to admit that they are in need of a Savior!

The truth is, wise words spoken quietly are much more powerful than the loud words of all those who are foolish!

*****Ecc 9:17 The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.

When this little city was about to be over run, no doubt there were many who proclaimed to know the answers, but it was only the poor wise man who calmly knew the truth.

We must all realize it is the wisdom of God that will prevail in our lives at all times.

Jas 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

The truth is, God’s wisdom is much better than any weapon of war, but it is also true that one sinner can destroy much good!

*****Ecc 9:18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.

The truth is, that life offers no guarantees.

Abilities and knowledge do not always lead to success!

AND, Doing something that is great for others does not guarantee gratitude!

It is the unforeseen future things that happen, that can change all our plans, which includes our death!

Most of us buy insurance for the unexpected events in our life.

The greatest insurance we can have, is a close and a personal relationship with the Lord and it is free!

The Lord said He would never leave us nor forsake us, but the Lord also warned us that we walked among wolves and even walked among some wolves in sheep’s clothing.

We cannot trust that tomorrow will come!

We cannot rely on anything except the fact, that God loves us and we are on the winning side.

God’s plan and God’s power will lead us to victory!

We are only wise when we depend on the Word of God for our answers!

We are only wise when we are in daily contact with our Savior!

Life is unpredictable!

Death is certain!

True happiness is only found, when we appreciate the people and the things that God has placed in our lives!

Psa 144:15 Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.

Happiness is the result of making wise decisions and then living life wisely!

We must also realize that foolish behavior is dangerous.

*****Ecc 10:1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.

We must realize that even very little foolish behavior is dangerous to us.

Remember Noah who found “Grace” in the eyes of the Lord but when the flood was over, Noah relaxed with the wine. Noah lived 350 more years but we never hear of any more good things from him.

We should remember Moses, who struck the rock and did not get to go into the promise land with the others.

Even one transgression can have serious consequences, just as one piece of bad fruit can ruin the whole bushel.

Solomon says, you could have the most expensive perfume that money can buy, but if flies get into the bottle and die and float to the top, suddenly that perfume is worthless.

One senseless impulsive mistake, can ruin the testimony of the Christian and his ability to witness, and render us of little use to the Lord.

The truth is foolish behavior exposes a corrupt heart!

*****Ecc 10:2 A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left.

The Bible is specific, a person’s heart determines their actions and their words!

Luk 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Our words are actually commentaries of our wills. To be in the will of God is to keep our soul and our body under control to do whatsoever God wills us to be doing.

This verse has no reflection on the right handed or left handed people, but as we lefties know most of our world is right handed.

The right hand, in the Word of God, refers to the hand of strength and dexterity and the left hand is seen as the weaker hand.

The Scripture means a wise man will lean toward his strengths and not his weaknesses.

It can also means that the wise man will strengthen his reputation rather than cause dishonor to his reputation!

A corrupt heart shows a lack of good sense!

*****Ecc 10:3 Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.

As Christians we must always be concerned about our testimony!

Not only will we worthless in the work of the Lord if we ruin our testimony, but we must also remember that we will one day stand before the Lord and give an account of our actions!

We know that Noah and Moses were still used by the Lord, but they had lost their effectiveness.

These men are great heroes of the Bible, but just like Samson their light grew dim.

Jesus said:

Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

These heroes of the Bible could have shined even brighter, just as we all can!

Remember they to must stand before the Lord and give an account of themselves!

We must be filled with the Holy Spirit daily!

We must put on the armor of God daily!

We must pick up our own cross and follow the Lord daily!

We must speak with the “sword of the spirit” which is the Word of God in all our conversations.

Remember it is God who is responsible for His own words and we our responsible for our own words.

It’s best to speak with God’s Words as much as possible, rightly divided!

*****Ecc 10:4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.

It seems that the the biggest problem we have with our youth of today is their lack of respecting authority.

It begins at the home and proceeds into the world.

Today as we speak there are many movements against our police officers.

Solomon gives us some advice on dealing with authority.

The first thing we must do is respond when those in authority become angry with us.

1) First we must not quit and run. (leave not thy place)

If our boss gets angry at something we have done we should not just forfeit our position.

We must not base our response on hurt feelings, or embarrassment, or because we are angry.

Even if we feel like we have been wronged, we should not do anything foolish.

2) We must remain calm and if possible correct our mistake. (for yielding pacifieth)

We must not be fueled by our emotions!

We as humans find it very hard to admit we are wrong!

Words spoken out of anger and emotion are often irresponsible, and they cannot be recalled.

God says:

Pro 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

We should not run away from an irate boss but ride out his anger.

Just the same, children, especially teenagers, should not run away or lose respect for a parent because of harsh words or lost tempers.

That husband or that wife should not let heated arguments come between them!

Remember, as God forgives us, we should forgive those who cause us hurt.

Now no one should be expected to stay in an abusive relationship!

Nor should someone with a bad temper just be excused for their actions!

God says:

Ecc 8:6 Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.

We should not retaliate for bad behavior.

We also, should not walk away from our responsibilities.

We are to patiently wait for the right time to address the issues that caused the problem to begin with!

We must remember that we are all sinners saved only by the “Grace” of God!

Here again we know that Jesus Christ set the perfect example:

1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
1Pe 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
1Pe 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

What is God’s command in such situations?

Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
Eph 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

As it is soon time to vote again for a new president, let’s look at God’s advice on choosing the right people to be our leaders.

*****Ecc 10:5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:
Ecc 10:6 Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place.
Ecc 10:7 I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.

There is a great danger in having unqualified people in positions of authority!

In my opinion, this is exactly what we have in America today, to many people who are unqualified as leaders and our nation is suffering because of it.

When a leader is unqualified or on a specific and harmful agenda, they will also appoint or give authority to people who have no proven ability who think the way that they do.

Favoritism, is no way to choose a secure working government nor to run any company, and surely not in the family.

Today our politicians make so many promises, not so much to the people as to their backers and to the lobbyist and then offer them positions for their support.

Disastrous decisions at any level, can cause real problems for everyone!

In fact some leaders will allow the unqualified to rule, while those who are qualified become servants to them.

This is where our military finds itself today.

This is where we find our judicial system today.

And as is true in our nation and in our government, we can also see this happening in many of the churches today as the gay movement is allowed into leadership positions in the church.

For this very reason God gives us strict guidelines and qualifications for church leaders:

1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
1Ti 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
1Ti 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
1Ti 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
1Ti 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
1Ti 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

And

Tit 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
Tit 1:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
Tit 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
Tit 1:8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
Tit 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

And even the deacons of the church:

1Ti 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
1Ti 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
1Ti 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
1Ti 3:11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
1Ti 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
1Ti 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

We see:

1) They were to be men of good reputation.
2) They were to be men full of the Holy Spirit.
3) They were to be men who displayed wisdom.

There is reason for all these things!

The Church would not be having the problems that it has today, if these guidelines were strictly followed as God commands!

We have become careless in choosing church leaders.

We have become careless in choosing national leaders.

We have become careless with the Word of God!

*****Ecc 10:8 He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.

God used Solomon to give us some good advice.

When digging a hole there is always the danger of falling into it!

If we are wise, we will use caution when working around holes and place some barriers for our own protection and a means of escape.

Upon completion the next danger is forgetting where we dug that hole.

In Solomon’s case, this hole was probably to trap an animal so the entrance would be camouflaged.

1) Our lesson is, that we must keep good records on the things that are important in this life!

When knocking down walls there also great dangers to avoid.

Danger hides in places we cannot see.

We must always be aware of what is going on around us.

2) Our lesson is, that we must always pay close attention to our surroundings and expect the unexpected!

We must plan our work for the best results.

*****Ecc 10:9 Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby.

If you are a stone worker, you must be aware of the dangers of lifting heavy stones and the danger working with them.

If you are a woodsman, you must be aware of the danger of felling trees and making lumber.

Honest labor can have it’s own misfortunes!

Honest labor also has it’s own rewards.

We must remember that even Jesus Christ was known as a carpenter for probably 20 years.

3) Our lesson is, that honest labor that is well planned, brings more in rewards than in does in hazards.

Wise planning also includes the care of the equipment that is needed to perform our task.

Proper equipment that is well maintained can aid us in our labors.

*****Ecc 10:10 If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.

We have already established that this lesson is about the choices we make in life.

This verse teaches us, that we must choose to work smarter, and not harder.

This verse refers to an axe.

When we work with a dull axe, the work will be much harder than with a sharp axe.

We see also that an axe may even work even better with a coat of oil.

We all know, we need put oil on a bit when drilling in hard metal or the bit will over heat and get dull.

We all know, that if we are cutting masonry we need a wet saw and not a dry saw.

If we choose the right tools and those tools are well prepared, then we are working smart and maybe we won’t be so harsh on our bodies and even have a little less stress in our lives.

Another thing we should do, is to avoid taking short cuts.

Most short cuts mean being unsafe in the things we do, therefore taking a chance with our lives.

*****Ecc 10:11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.

Snake charming was a popular form of entertainment in the days of Solomon and it still is today.

In an effort to collect as much money as possible, some snake charmers would sometimes rush their shows and they would get bitten because the snake was not fully charmed.

This was dangerous and most times was even deadly.

Our lesson is, that while it is wise to accomplish our task rapidly as possible, it is dangerous to take short cuts to try to make a greater gain.

The snake needs to be fully charmed, before it has a chance to strike out at the charmer, which is “the babbler” in our verse.

Another lesson is, that we need to resolve every dangerous condition before it can cause us harm.

The truth is, God gives us these principles of work because we are to be God’s laborers.

1Co 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

We are to take these principles of work and not only apply them in our daily life to meet our own needs, but we are to apply these principles to the work that God has given us all to do.

1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. “But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon”.

1) We must work cautiously and be prepared for the risks that comes with God’s work.

We are no threat to the Devil when we are idle, but he will attack all those busy in the work of the Lord.

2) We need our best tools and a good work ethic to be witnesses for the Lord.

Our message will always be the same but we may have to change our methods.

3) God gives us all certain Spiritual gifts that we need to develop and sharpen our skills.

4) We must realize that of all the work that we do, the work of the Lord is the most important.

We must give our best to it!

1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

We know that those who are wise, are those that know the Lord and if we need advice it is best to get it from those who know the Lord as their personal Savior.

*****Ecc 10:12 The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.
Ecc 10:13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.
Ecc 10:14 A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?

Most people are identified as wise or foolish by the words they speak!

The words of those that know the Lord are gracious because of God’s “Grace”!

The words of a fool, who are all those that reject the Word of God, will only bring destruction to him and to all those that are influenced by his words!

The words of a fool are like a weapon that can only cause harm!

A fool’s words may start out as harmless but in the end they are full of evil.

A fool will only lead others away from God and bring their own destruction.

A fool will boast about knowledge that he does not have, such as Evolution, or Climate Change.

We already know that only God can tell us what tomorrow will bring, their are no true prophets today.

Jas 4:13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
Jas 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

And one can only watch the work of the fool to know that a fool cannot know the facts of life!

*****Ecc 10:15 The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.

A fool will simply wear himself out on a simple project and everyone that follows him, while producing very little results.

A fool will always have the right answer.

A fool will always no everything.

A fool will always be an expert on every subject.

But a fool cannot even go to town and back without having all sort of problems!

We must not be people who speak foolishly.

We must let our words be more like those of Jesus, (gracious).

Col 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

We must not allow ourselves to be led by someone who is foolish!

And we must not become distracted in the work of the Lord, by those that slander and downgrade God’s people!

We must remember the truth of the Scriptures!

Isa 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

We must remember that when we are using God’s Words, that God takes full responsibility for the results.

And finally we must be aware of false prophets.

2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2Pe 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

We actually don’t have a lot of time to do the work of the Lord, we must make that time count!

The choices we make are very important to the Lord!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

The Vanities Of Life

Experiencing The Vanities Of Life

Ecclesiastes 1-4

As we begin these few lesson in the Book of Ecclesiastes we are going to consider that this Book was written by Solomon, the son of King David.

There is good reason to believe that Solomon wrote this book, probably in his old age as he looked back on his life regretting his tragic failures.

Most all of us will reach this point in our life where we regret so many things that we did in our younger days.

The theme of this book seems to be, to convince younger people of the dangers of a worldly lifestyle.

Many wonder at what place in the Bible to begin to teach our young.

I believe that after the Book of Genesis, the Book of Proverbs and the Book of Ecclesiastes are good choices.

BUT this Book of the Bible is also a warning to all readers.

1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

This Book of the Bible is also a treasure on how to live as a Christian.

Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

What Solomon realized before his death, is the same thing that we must also learn during our lifetime.

Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

We have only one duty as the true children of God and that is to have a personal relationship with our Savior we must obey the Word of God!

The Book of Ecclesiastes teaches us that we have a great need for Jesus Christ!

We finished last week with a lesson on addictions.

People are subject to addictions because people are always searching for something or someone to bring meaning and fulfillment and a lasting satisfaction into their hearts!

The truth is, we can never find the answer in the natural world, satisfaction can only be found in the spiritual world!

So let’s begin:

*****Ecc 1:1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

We have three titles, Preacher, son of David, and King in Jerusalem and it is these three things that lead us to believe that this is Solomon, son of David.

Solomon calls himself “the Preacher” seven times in this book.

This gives us the thought that Solomon had learned from all the mistakes he had made in his life and in his search for satisfaction.

By saying he was the son of David, he links himself to to the most respected King of Israel.

Even today the flag of Israel carries the Star of David.

By saying he was king in Jerusalem, he is saying he was in a position where he could experience anything this world had to offer.

As Christians, we are to show our “New Life” our “Born Again” life and share what God has done for us, as we now walk in the path of Jesus Christ.

*****Ecc 1:2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

“Vanity” describes something that has no real value!

Vain things are those things that seem to be valuable but their value fades quickly and leave behind only emptiness.

Idols, made from man’s hands, are vain things.

Pagan worship is a vain thing.

“Vanity of vanities” means the greatest vanity of all.

Solomon discovered that even with all his riches and all his wisdom, there is absolutely nothing of this world that can bring a lasting satisfaction nor contentment!

Solomon discovered that though he had spent most of his life in search of some form of gratification, all the things he found on this earth were temporary and short lived and soon passed away.

We only have a short lifetime on this earth. We can waste it on the vain things of this world or we can seek the eternal things of God.

We must realize that our lives really do have meaning.

Our lives do have a fulfilling purpose.

We can actually live our lives in satisfaction!

As we read and study this Book of Ecclesiastes we will see that Solomon will lead us to the only place where true meaning in life can be found!

This is the purpose and this is what the entire Word of God does.

All 66 books put together will lead us to the truth and each individual book will lead us to the truth because they all mesh into one truth!

Solomon begins buy asking us to answer one simple question.

*****Ecc 1:3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

The Hebrew word used for the English word “labor” means to work to a point of exhaustion, yet still have no fulfillment in what you have done.

“Under the Sun” means on this Earth. Things on this earth as opposed to things that are eternal.

The truth is, when our conclusions are drawn only from a worldly viewpoint, we will never understand the truth of life!

SO, What’s the truth of a worldly viewpoint?

*****Ecc 1:4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

It is only God who tells us that we are only pilgrims on this Earth.

Heb 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

The world says we live and then we die, while the Earth basically remains the same, the generations of man are ever changing!

Anything that we thought we possessed will certainly be passed to someone else!

What is the truth of God?

1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
And Solomon continues:

*****Ecc 1:5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

While we think we see many changes in our lifetime we should consider, we see the same Sun that Solomon saw and in fact we see the same Sun that Adam saw.

We all know that the Earth is in orbit around the Sun but even modern astronomers and those who forecast the weather, speak of Sunup and Sundown, even so the biblical writers have done the same.

Solomon understood science as much as anyone in his day and maybe as much as anyone today.

What Solomon is saying is, that people simply do not last like the Earth does.

Even the stars are the same stars that that the Lord pointed out to Abraham as an illustration of his descendants to come.

Exo 32:13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.

People simply do not last like the cycles of the Earth.

We can be certain that the cycles of the Earth will continue until God stops them!

Psa 74:16 The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun.
Psa 74:17 Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.

Do we need to worry about climate change? God says:

Gen 8:22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

I believe what God says and reject these things of man.

Our climate has constantly changed since it’s beginning and will continue to do so until the Lord completes His work.

*****Ecc 1:6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.

It has only been in modern times that climate scientist have observed the the world’s great wind circuits in the global circulation and and some of the affects it has on our atmosphere.

This science is still relatively new and no one understands the things that God has put in place.

The wind moves in a continuous circuit across the face of the earth and across our globe as it travels.

Man cannot understand this, so how can man predict climate change?

BUT, Solomon’s point is that people do not last like the wind currents!

People do not last like the wind currents that never cease in their circuits!

Jesus said:

Joh 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Jesus compared these things to being born again into a new life.

*****Ecc 1:7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

For many years it was believed that rain waters came only by evaporation of local lakes and streams.

Meteorologist have now proven by extensive upper-air research, that the rains actually come from the evaporation of the oceans.

God new this all along because He caused it to happen!

It took a Master Creator to design the Earth’s hydrological cycle.

But the Life of man is not as lasting as the Sun rises and the Sunsets!

The life of man is not as consistent as the wind in it’s circuits!

The life of man does not last as the endless flow of rivers and the constant evaporation of the seas!

We know that evaporation causes clouds and those clouds are carried by those circuits of the winds and then those clouds drop their moisture upon the earth through rain, through snow, and hail.

The many dry and wet weather creeks carry this water to our river systems which will eventually flow back into the oceans again and this cycle is continuous.

BUT, The life of man is nowhere indeed as consistent as these things!

Jas 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Life on this earth just wears us all out.

AND, This is not what God intended!

*****Ecc 1:8 All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

We all know that the things we do just wear us out.

In fact as we have gotten older we simply do not have the strength that we once had.

It is not much fun getting old!

When we are focused on the things of this world, we sometimes do not see the point of all that hard work.

Those that focus on the things of this world will most always be frustrated with life!

We see this more and more everyday and more and more in the youth of today.

Solomon gave some of the reasons.

1) The eye and the ear are never satisfied.

No matter what we see we want to see more.

No matter what we hear we want to hear something new.

These are good things, only when we seek to improve on what we have learned as we mature and grow older.

BUT, No matter how much we experience in this world this world cannot bring a lasting satisfaction.

What is God’s answer?

Mat 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Solomon had more money than he could spend.

Solomon had more wisdom than anyone who came before him and anyone who has come after him, except the Lord Jesus.

Solomon had more power than most all world leaders of today.

AND, Solomon found that sin never satisfies, sin always leads to more sin.

The things of this world can never satisfy the soul!

AND, God says it’s only going to get worse!

2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

We all have seen this truth in our own lifetime!

2)*****Ecc 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

To most people it is only the new things in life that bring that bring any satisfaction but in the end they find that there is never really anything that is new.

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer!

It is only the people that change!

All things are just repeated from one generation to the next.

Knowledge may increase but life truly becomes only a dull routine!

We rise from sleep, wash, dress, eat, go to work, return home, have some family time, and go to sleep and this repeated over and over again until we die.

There is really nothing new in our world because the creation of new things is beyond man’s ability.

God created things out of nothing.

God spoke and all things were made.

Today man can only take things that God has already made, and reshape it into something they call new, but it was only made from things that God had already made and therefore is not really new at all!

*****Ecc 1:10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

The excitement of things man says he has made last only for a short time.

SORT OF, like a new coat of paint!

This is the experience of all those that who live for this world and not for God!

Humanism teaches, we live and then we die so what happens in between those times have little importance.

That’s the dash in between the numbers on a tombstone!

*****Ecc 1:11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

Very few of us make contributions to society that are remembered after we have gone on to be with the Lord!

Most people never become famous!

Even those who do become famous gain nothing in their death!

Alexander Bell invented the telephone but most all those that have a personal phone with them at all times do not even know his name!

The person who focuses on the things of this life, in the end dies the same way they were born, with nothing.

Ecc 3:20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

When we focus on this world we will always be restless and unsatisfied!

We will feel empty and unfulfilled!

We will feel lacking and incomplete!

The truth is, all human beings were made for God!

SO, The only answer for the restless soul is Jesus Christ!

It is only the Lord Jesus Christ that can bring with Him, God’s eternal peace and the joy of the Lord!

We should realize that Solomon was the wisest man to have ever lived, but even Solomon spent most of his life as a fool.

Jesus said:

Mat 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Mat 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

We can have a heavenly reward only if we invest our lives in the things of God!

We must guard against just allowing our lives to became a dull routine!

If we allow God to mold us and shape us for the work that He has for each of us, we will find that blessings truly come to those who serve the Lord.

The work of the Lord is seen in the changed lives of those who receive the Lord and joy in all those who had a part in that change.

Isa 58:11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

Human achievements always fail to fully satisfy the human heart!

*****Ecc 1:12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

Even our own president, who leads the greatest nation of this earth, is now striving to be president of the United Nations.

Power has that effect on most all people!

Solomon was king of the greatest nation of his day which was Israel!

BUT, Solomon wasted most of his life in search for fulfillment in this life.

*****Ecc 1:13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

As King, he had power.

As King, he had the resources.

As King, Solomon was already the greatest man in his nation!

Solomon had the mightiest army in the world in his day!

Israel had the greatest economy of that day!

The Temple and other structures built by Solomon were the greatest structures of that day!

None of these things brought fulfillment to Solomon, so he began to search in all the evils of this world to find satisfaction.

Solomon was much like a private eye in search of the truth, which he already had but was rejecting at this time!

Solomon realized that the desire to achieve, is actually a gift of God but it is also a burden if we try to bear that burden alone.

This is the burden that Adam brought upon himself when he ate of the forbidden fruit!

Solomon saw labor as punishment inflicted on the human race!

AND, Like Adam, Solomon began to blame God!

We already know that “all things work together for good to them that love God”.

It is true that God cursed the ground and Adam had to labor that produced sweat, where he had not done so before.

BUT, Work itself is not part of the curse, work is a gift from God.

Man was not created to be idle!

Man was also not created for a life time of recreation and leisure!

God created man to produce!

God has given us all certain responsibilities!

JUST AS He had before the curse.

Gen 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

In fact, God said our work week could be as much as six days a week where today most people work a 40 hour work week.

Exo 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

Even in the New Testament we are taught to work.

Eph 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: “but rather let him labour”, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

God did not design a socialist society, God designed a society to prosper on the rewards of hard work!

All socialist and communist nations go against the Word of God!

Throughout the Scriptures God praises and makes a use of the work of His people!

It was not an accident that Jesus Christ was born into a carpenter’s family!

Carpenters are makers and God is the Supreme Maker!

We to are all to be makers!

SO, Solomon began to see his failures.

*****Ecc 1:14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

This Scripture defines “humanism”.

Again Solomon had the greatest wealth, the greatest wisdom, the greatest power, and he had access to all the greatest pleasures and the greatest comforts this world had to offer.

YET, all these things were worldly, “under the sun”.

Vexation of spirit means “feeding upon air” or “chasing after the wind” which are vain things!

When people try to catch the things of this world, which cannot be caught, or have no real substance, or cannot be held in the hand, they are living in vanity and will have a meaningless life.

Our work can be satisfying and joy can truly be found in honest labor!

Man is made in God’s image and when God looked upon His created work at the beginning, He said all His work was good in fact God said it was “very good”.

God says the work of our hands will fill our mouths and our bellies and provide some comfort but it will never satisfy our soul!

Ecc 6:7 All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

In fact, many today get so caught up in these things that they actually hate life just as Solomon began to do.

Ecc 2:17 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

True satisfaction in this life can only be found in a personal relationship with God!

*****Ecc 1:15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.

By our own efforts, we will never be able to make this world a better place!

Many things already in place cannot be changed!

Many other things already in place are beyond human control!

SO, No one human can right every wrong!

Solomon was absolute Monarch of Israel and he found all these things to be true.

Solomon realized no matter how hard he worked, he could not solve all the problems in his kingdom.

Solomon realized no matter how much trade and construction he brought to Israel, he could not meet every person’s needs.

Even when we look out over our own families, we see work that we just do not have the power to make right.

We too can become discouraged by all that needs to be done.

The important thing to remember is that God has not called us to solve the worlds problems!

BUT, we can also take note that every problem we solve, every person we help, and every need we meet, does make a difference in this world!

AND, only Jesus Christ has what we need to satisfy the soul!

Psa 107:9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

The world says possessions, power, prestige and position define our success.

God says success can only be found in the Word of God!

Jos 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Success is finding the will of God and then doing it!

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

SO, Solomon had to take a look at himself in life’s mirror.

*****Ecc 1:16 I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
Ecc 1:17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.

Solomon was given the gift of wisdom by God.

Solomon then took that wisdom and educated himself in all the wisdom of the world.

Remember “wisdom” is the ability and good sense to discern and apply knowledge that is gained.

Solomon became wiser that any other ruler.

Solomon became the smartest man in the world in his day!

Solomon then struggled to separate wisdom from foolishness.

Many of man’s ideas are truly foolish!

Many results of the human way of thinking are ridiculous and lack common sense.

Many human inventions lack any real purpose.

Most humans spend much to much time on foolishness!

Solomon even realized that being the smartest man in the world actually had no real meaning!

Satan promised Eve increased knowledge, if she would reject the Word of God and listen to him.

Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

In the end Adam and Eve gained knowledge, but it was knowledge that they and the human race would have been better off without!

We live in the end times and God told Daniel that knowledge would increase during this time.

Dan 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

In truth, much of this knowledge is knowledge that this world would be better off without!

Solomon found that that these things just cause “vexation of the spirit”.

It is the knowledge of all life’s problems, that are beyond our control, that will lead us to the Lord!

Happiness is not found in knowledge or higher education!

Nothing on or in this world can replace our yearning for the knowledge of God!

Yet most of our world still deny God and the clear evidence of His existence and worldly knowledge will only drive them further from God!

*****Ecc 1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

The more we know about humanity the greater will be our grief over human affairs.

Men have sought solutions to man’s problems throughout the centuries but the truth is, because of our sin nature, we humans continue making the same mistakes over and over again.

Until we have a reverent fear of the Lord, we will always lack in true wisdom!

Until we depart from all evil, we will never understand the truth on mankind!

Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

None of these things can happen until we invite the Lord Jesus Christ into our heart and then be filled with the Holy Spirit, who will be our guide in this life!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!