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Summary: Looking at a full Life vs. an empty one

Full Life vs. Empty Life--1 1-3.docx

Ecclesiastes 1:1-3

In this book, the Preacher (Solomon), the wisest, richest most influential king in Israel’s history.

He looks at life “under the sun” from the human perspective and declares it all to be empty.

Power, popularity, prestige, pleasure nothing can fill the God-shaped void in man’s life but God Himself.

But once seen from God’s perspective, life takes on meaning and purpose causing Solomon to exclaim, “eat, drink, rejoice, do good, live, joyfully, fear God, keep His commandments”

Solomon, in these writings, is contrasting a self-centered lifestyle with a God-centered one.

Let me ask a question, can purpose for life be found in nature, money, self-indulgence, property, position, intelligence, philosophy, and religious observance?

The world does not contain the key to itself. It can’t be found only in God.

The theme of this book appears to be “meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless.

He lived in a world riddled through with vanity, futility and frustration.

Man chose to become self-centered and self-guided rather than remaining God-centered and God-guided.

As a result, man became earthbound and frustrated

In this book, 38 times Solomon used the word, “vanity.”

The word means emptiness, futility, vapor, that which vanishes quickly and leaves nothing behind.

A Jewish writer once described life as “a blister on top of a tumor and a coil on top of that.”

Read Verses so that We can Know Him and Make Him Known

1) The Writer-vs. 1

a) He called himself “son of David” and “king in Jerusalem” and he claimed to have great wealth and wisdom.

b) In response to Solomon’s humble prayer, God promised him both wisdom and wealth

c) 1 Kings 3:3-15—” Now Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place; Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, “Ask what you wish me to give you.” Then Solomon said, “You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You; and You have reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. “Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. “Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. “So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. “I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days. “If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days.” Then Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and made peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.

d) Solomon begins his reign as a humble servant of the Lord

e) Note: Don’t most? One of the most difficult things to remember and be affected by, is humble beginning.

f) It will keep you grateful

g) As Solomon grew older, his heart turned away from God to the false gods of the many wives he had taken from foreign lands

h) The longer he served the colder he grew

i) He began to compromise

j) Solomon’s marriages were motivated primarily by politics, not love, as he sought alliances with the nations around Israel.

k) Many of the things Solomon did that seemed to bring glory to Israel were actually contrary to the Word of God.

l) Much like today—

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