Summary: Solomon urges us to wake up and smell the coffee: we have to be serious about living with good sense.
Basic Sense for A Sense-Deprived World
1. The continent of Africa has been a miserable place to live perhaps since the flood.
2. While all the world was making progress, Africa seemed to go backward.
3. All the experts were surprised when Africa started to lunge forward this past decade. What caused it? Mostly the cell phone.
4. May I suggest to you that Bible-believing Christians in America would see a dramatic shift for the good if they would take seriously the call of God to pursue wisdom.
5. Wisdom is not the answer for everything, but it makes an amazing difference.
6. Godliness will pursue to seek wisdom, and wisdom will cause you to pursue godliness. I personally do not care at which end of the cycle you jump in. Just do!
Main Idea: Solomon urges us to wake up and smell the coffee: we have to be serious about living with good sense.
I. Work WITH God or Lose (21, 23)
A. God’s SOVEREIGN will wins out (21)
1. Man’s plans and God’s purposes often run contrary
2. The believers goal is to align his plans with God’s purposes
3. Christians have this advantage: if we align ourselves with God’s plans, we are aligning ourselves with what is meant to be and the way things work
4. Romans 8:28 adds important information: the long term
5. God’s permits his children bleak or miserable times, not of their own doing
6. Ultimately, God wins…
7. The builders of the Tower of Babel thought they could defy God
Jeremiah 10:23, “I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.”
B. Satisfaction in life comes from FEARING God (23)
1. Erwin Lutzer put it well: “We should not be concerned about feeling God, but we should feel deeply about God”
2. And fear should be one of those feelings/our God a consuming fire
3. The quest for satisfaction: illusive, disappointing; depressed, demanding
4. Solomon tried extremes in all the main branches of pleasure: no meaning
5. Conclusion: fear God and enjoy the simple pleasures of life
6. Jesus taught a paradox in Matthew 10:39, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
7. Not be visited by harm” means while spending the night resting, he will not experience a visit of God’s wrath. The Hebrew is “abrupt” (Kidner).
C. (Application) This begins by SURRENDERING to Jesus Christ (Romans 12:1-2)
II. Learn Wisdom the Easy Way, Not the ROUGH Way (19:25, 29)
A. The foolish learn what they learn PAINFULLY (25a)
“The song, “Aura Lee.’ If you need to take vaccine, take it orally. If you choose the other way, it’s more painfully.” Alan Sherman
1. Derek Kidner points out that there are three types of minds in vs. 25, closed (the scoffer), empty (the simple), and open (the discerning)
2. Many people (the foolish) can only be kept in line by direct consequences
3. They cannot connect long-term dots, only immediate punishment
4. This is a function of emotional maturity; some people never progress
5. Jonah the prophet knew God was mighty – but still thought he could escape
B. The wise man learns from REPROOF (25b)
1. He takes seriously the counsel of people he respects
2. He is correctable by the Word of God
3. He recognizes he never outgrows the need for correction
C. Foolish choices should bring judicial BEATING (29)
1. The context here is of legal condemnation by the judges (elders of city)
2. American justice could learn much here: one beating can do more than years in prison (in America’s past, they would whip offenders)
D. (Application) Consume the Word so the SPIRIT can shape us (Galatians 5:22-26)
III. REBELLIOUS and Corrupt People: Not a New Phenomenon (26-28)
Ecclesiastes 7:10, “Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
A. PARENTAL mistreatment is nothing new (26)
• The emphasis is not on what is done, but who is doing it.
According to aabss.org, “Nine to 33% of parents report being abused by their children ranging in age from 10 to 23... Some studies report that whites are more likely to batter than blacks;... [some] Studies show… that middle and upper class families have higher rates …
The most frequent forms of parent abuse,…are physical at 57%; followed by verbal abuse at 22%, the use of a weapon, usually a knife or gun, at 17%; and throwing items at 5% … Eleven percent of children under age ten, regardless of gender, physically abuse their parents.
I knew a fellow who worked for perhaps the Dept. of Welfare; his job was to investigate claims of elderly abuse…if it is happening, help someone report it