Summary: Fear God and live a happy life

Sermon: Changing Seasons Ecc 3:1-11 October 13, 2002

I. Introduction

A. Seasons of Life

1. I once heard someone described the seven seasons of a person’s life in this way: spills, drills, thrills, bills, ills, pills, wills.

Spills of Infancy – You only have to look at the carpet in my house to remember in infancy everything goes to the you play the game of I drop you pick up

Drills of childhood – Spelling drills, multiplication drills, bible drills - The lessons drilled into your head by your parents and teachers.

Thrills of the Teen Years - The feeling of immortality, roller coaster rides, dating, acne, puberty, growing up – you know looking back on it now I’m not sure those years are all that thrilling.

Bills of Adult living – Work, bills, Marriage, bills, buying a house, bills, a car, bills, raising children, bills, bills and lots of bills.

Ills of the Hills - When the excitement of the mid life crisis lands you in the hospital The Pills of Over the Hill - One for arthritis. One for high blood pressure. One for this and two for that.

Wills of Old Age – I will get up, I will get up, No, I will not get up.- Uhmm, can I get some help to get up!

(a) Personally, I think I am stuck somewhere between the Bills, ills and pills but there are days when I think I am stuck in the wills of Old age and I just can’t seem to get up.

2. Biblical Seasons of Life

(a) The writer of Ecclesiastes puts it this way – Turn with me if you will to Ecc 3:1

II. What to do about Life

A. Author - It is believed that Solomon is the author of the book of Ecclesiastes (from website “Solomon – A King’s Quest for Meaning” - In Touch Ministries)

1. “Solomon was a king and a king’s son. He was David’s second child by Bathsheba and one upon whom God bestowed wealth and royal majesty beyond anything Israel had ever seen. He was only about 20 years old when he assumed the throne.

2. When he succeeded his father, Solomon took full advantage of the promising nation left to him. He rebuilt Jerusalem with new streets, walls, public service buildings, and a temple designed by God Himself. The materials used to build the structure would have cost him millions. His laborers spent seven years constructing the temple. Solomon’s palace took them 13 years to build.

3. The dazzling beauty of Solomon’s architecture left his indelible signature on the city. He was an autocrat who possessed unbridled access to wealth and labor. His might, greatness, and dominion impressed the entire world.

4. If any man could boast of success, it would have been Solomon. He had every earthly possession a human could desire: power, position, pedigree, wealth, talent, wives, houses, and even wisdom. Yet none fulfilled him.

5. When Solomon tested himself with pleasure, he found only madness in laughter. When he turned to wine to stimulate his body, he woke to the reality of a cold world that did not reward him with contentment. When he enlarged his works beyond the measure of any other ruler, he realized that he would one day die and leave it all to an ungrateful heir.

6. Hence, we find him at the end of his life, reflecting upon the life’s journey. It is here that he realizes all of his finite efforts have produced little more than vanity. He concludes that the sum of his work will never be greater than the parts. And the parts are frivolous egotism; he must step outside of himself to find the true meaning and satisfaction.”

7. “Meaningless, meaningless…Everything is meaningless.”

8. Solomon had tried to find meaning of life in wisdom, pleasure, riches, and work. Yet all of it had left him feeling unfilled and wondering what was the purpose of life until he realized all of life has a season, a time and place.

9. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…”

B. Life Happens

1. A list of fourteen seemingly opposite saying, a beginning, an end and everything in between.

2. “A time to be born and a time to die” Life happens, all of life .

3. There will be in each of our lives a time of planting and uprooting, a time of killing and healing, tearing down and building up, weeping and laughing, mourning and dancing, scattering and gather, embracing and refraining, searching and giving up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time of love, hate, war and peace.

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