Summary: By taking heed to God’s Word here in Ecclesiastes, we can approach life with a godly, practical philosophy at hand.
Approaching Life With An Ecclesiastes Philosophy
(Ecclesiastes 7:20, 29, 8:11, 9:7-18)
1. All of us have principles we live by, a personal philosophy of life.
2. Here are some comical ones:
? If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.
? If you’re not part of the solution, be part of the problem!
? If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
? If you can’t beat your computer at chess, try kickboxing.
? If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
? The trouble with talking too fast is you may say something you haven't thought of yet. - Ann Landers
? The early worm gets eaten by the bird, so sleep late. [source: http://quotes.yourdictionary.com]
3. So much of the Bible tells us how to live, gives us the big picture of why we exist, and tells us how to be saved and how mature; how to function in the Body of Christ and how to resist temptation. But it is Ecclesiastes that gives us a balanced philosophy of everyday life, both secular and sacred, both idealistic and realistic.
4. This begins with some important but less-than-flattering theology about human nature: We are all sinners (7:20, 29), could use a dose of wisdom (7:28), we operate better with speedy discipline (8:11) and we have a touch of insanity within (9:3).
Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. (7:20)
One man among a thousand I found, but a woman among all these I have not found. (7:28)
See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes. (7:29)
Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil. (8:11)
This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. (9:3)
Certainly the New Covenant perspective begins with coming to Jesus Christ, the new birth, and discipleship. But even under the New Covenant, we need to discipline ourselves for godliness (I Timothy 4:7).
MAIN IDEA: By taking heed to God’s Word here in Ecclesiastes, we can approach life with a godly, practical philosophy at hand.
This God-given philosophy of life involves many aspects, but today I’d like to summarize part of that philosophy through three directives.
I. Live Life JOYFULLY, Being A Good Steward of Its Opportunities (9: 7-10)
• We might call this, “living life to the fullest.”
Nehemiah 8:10 is worth noting:
Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
• Note the connection between the joy of the Lord, which is our strength, and living a life of celebration.
• This is the other side of the coin of the “house of mourning.”
A. Enjoy the simple pleasures and CULTIVATE fun, joy, and humor (7).