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“It’s almost impossible to overestimate the unimportance of most things“.
Life is short - Maybe we need to reevaluate and reorder it.
Take a lesson from Solomon - he tried everything.
He tried Science, philosophy, humor, drinking, architecture, gardening, possessions, wealth, music, fatalism, deism, morality.
He had the worst mid life crisis ever.
Purpose of the Book of Eccl. : To show us what is really important.
SOLOMON’S HISTORY :
Father - David, Mother - Bathsheba, Born 1033 B.C.
Nathan called him “Jedidiah” - Beloved of the Lord.
Became 3rd king at age 18.
SOLOMON’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS :
Reigned 40 years (1015 B.C. - 975 B.C.).
Built the temple.
Established a lucrative commerce business.
Wrote Eccl., Song of Solomon, Proverbs, and 2 Psalms.
I) THE EMPTINESS OF WISDOM Ch 1
A) The value of wisdom
He became wiser than all before him (Eccl 1:16)
He told us the benefits of wisdom ... it :
1) Keeps us from sin : fools go astray because they don’t listen to criticism.
2) Extends life
Prov 4:10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.
3) Makes us happy
Prov 3:13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
4) Is more valuable than rubies, silver, or gold.
Prov 3:14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
Prov 8:11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
B) The grief of being obsessed with wisdom
Eccl 1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
Wisdom is good, obsession is bad.
Our society tries to find fulfillment through philosophies :
Humanism - Man is the center.
Naturalism - all can be explained by natural law
Skepticism - Dedication to human reason, science, and education.
Liberalism - Miracles don’t happen
Existentialism - Emphasizes individual experience,
regards human existence as unexplainable.
Human philosophy ultimately disappoints.
Solomon’s conclusion :
Eccl 2:16 (NIV) For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered; in days to come both will be forgotten. Like the fool, the wise man too must die!
II) THE EMPTINESS OF PLEASURE Ch 2
A) Solomon’s folly with pleasure
He tried : Humor, drinking, building projects, cultural arts, labor.
His conclusion 2:1 ”This also is vanity”.
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-74) Wrote Summa Theologica “No man can live without delight, and that is why a man deprived of spiritual joy goes over to carnal pleasures”.
Jesus said that it was the pleasures of life that choked out the word of God. Lk 8:14
Our society has exchanged Christian morals for moral relativism.
We must all be “tolerant” except to Christians.
There are no moral absolutes - is that an absolute ?
III) THE EMPTINESS OF MATERIALISM Ch2
A) The proper attitude toward riches
Money is not evil, the love of it is.
Many godly men were rich :
Solomon - built the Temple.
Jehoshaphat - Military power.
Abrham - Gave offering to Melchesedek.
Job - Stayed faithful to God.
Hezekiah - Reformed Israel.
Solomon tells us the attitude
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