Summary: Just feeling good is not what is all about
"People are just about as happy as they’re willing to be." -- Abraham Lincoln
"Don’t mistake pleasures for happiness. They’re a different breed of dog." -- Josh Billings
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." -- Eleanor Roosevelt
"The problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat." -- Lily Tomlin
"Think about what you want people to say about you after you die and live backward." -- Unknown
"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing." -- Edmund Burke
"When you are in a hole, stop digging." -- Unknown
The emptiness of feeling good
Eccl. 2:17-19, 24-26
“If it Feels good do it” is what we see in advertisements, commercials, in music we hear, in the clothes that people wear, many movies and it has even crept into churches in which many are there just to feel better with out having to change life because of what they hear from the Word of God. 31% of adults say that their most common basis for moral decision making is doing whatever feels right in a given situation. Bana reports that there are Christians who believe that activities such as abortion, gay sex, sexual fantasies, cohabitation, drunkenness and pornography are morally acceptable. They have a philosophy “If it feels good, do it,” “everybody else is doing it,” “as long as it does not hurt any one else, it permissible.” In one word “Whatever.” I want you to notice right here at the start of this message what Solomon did “I said to myself.” He did not seek the counsel of any one else. He did not ask for the counsel of wise men. He did not look into the history that his father David had left. He did not look up to God in prayer for divine help.
In Chap. 1 We saw a search for meaning in life in the everyday things of life. He had great wisdom from God. His conclusion was “a chasing after the wind" and much grief and sorrow. In chapter two we begin a search elsewhere.
I. Now he searches in the pleasures of life.
A. This is what he found; Laughter and pleasure is meaningless, it is madness, fun accomplishes little if anything
He tried to bring in all the fun and games he could fine to live it up. If it feels good and don’t we feel good when we are laughing? I am not putting down laughing for it one of the most healthy things you can do for your mental health. I have seen people who just laugh or try doing and seeing things to make them laugh so they never have to get serious with life. How many comedians are there around? In my day there was Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, Joan Rivers, Don Rickles, Don Newhart, Phyllis Diller and others which some I laughed with and others I could not watch. How many of them were really satisfied with life? One other name Jerry Lewis had this in his dressing room, “There are three things that are real: God, human folly and laughter. Since the first two are beyond our comprehension we must do what we can with the third.” The last time I saw him he was not funny but was very serious trying to raise money for kids with a disease that has no cure. There is the story about the man who sought help from a mind doctor. He awoke every morning down in the dumps and when he went to bed at night he was deeply depressed. Darkness and clouds followed him through his day. He could find no relief from his hopeless condition. He went to the doctor and talked with him for an hour. The doctor said to him, “There is local show at the theater with a clown that came to our town and he is making all who see him really laugh. He could be the one to bring you back to happiness. I suggest you go see him and let him cause you to laugh to help you.” The man looked at the doctor with a hurt expression and said, “I am that clown.”
B. HE tells us WHAT HE DID to have pleasure.
1. He experimented with wine and folly. Next he turned to wine not in access to where he was bombed out. In a survey in our own school here in Harlowton of 7th and 8th in 2000-01 which would be the JR class this year 58.4% use alcohol, 30% reported using alcohol in the last 30 days and 84% believe that they will not be caught by the police. High school students today reports that 58% of them have had alcohol in the last 30 days and 48.2% report of having 5 or more drinks in a row in the last thirty days. 64% of them think it is cool thing to do. He had his wits about him as he did this. He wanted to just drink enough to make him happy. He would drink enough to enable him to get to the highest possible enjoyment with careful use of it. So he was in control of what he was drinking and aware of what was happening. He was seeking happiness but his did not work. Notice it says he used the wisdom he had, for he was seeking to find what was truly good for people to do "under heaven all the days of their lives" There were some athletes talking on the radio about drug abuse and the struggle they have with it. One said, “What kept me going back to it was that warm feeling down the back of my neck that helped me get to sleep every night.” “With the pressure I’m under and the money I’m making and the public that’s after me and the job I’ve got to keep up. I got to have few drugs. It helps me get going. It helps slow me down. It’ll put me in the right frame of mind so I can do my thing, ‘because I’m great.” If you are great why do they need drugs?