Summary: Solomon’s personal testimony of his empty expedition to find satisfaction without God.
The Empty Expedition of Enjoyment
This past Tuesday, Stacy and I went up to Freeport to encourage a local homeschooling support group. The group had advertised the event in their area, seeking to increase attendance a bit. I received an email from a friend of mine, Bob, who attends a Reformed church in Southern Wisconsin. Bob was excited we were coming near him and wanted to come by to hear our presentations and fellowship for a while.
Upon our arrival, I looked for Bob, but could not find him. The event started, with Stacy speaking, but still no Leverton family. Stacy does not like me listening to her talks (I guess I am a bit intimidating), so I went to the foyer to wait for her to finish, at which time I was to speak.
About 20 minutes later, in walks Bob. After the usual greetings to him and family, Bob apologized for being late. He then went on to tell me the reason – he had been driving up and down the street looking for the church, but could not find it. The reason? He was on the wrong street.
You see, you can look for an address all day long, but if you are on the wrong street, your quest will end in frustration.
Solomon seems to be describing a similar search in the Scripture before us today. He is looking for satisfaction, for profit, for meaning. But his quest for the address of meaning will never succeed because he is on the wrong street – he is on the Under the Sun Avenue when he should be Above the Sun Lane.
Please turn with me in your Bibles to the Book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 2. Our text will be verses 1 to 11.
Before reading the living Word of God, let us pray…
Prayer of Illumination
Father of lights, illuminate our minds today. May we see with spiritual eyes today. May we hear with spiritual ears. May your Holy Spirit guide us in our reception and application of Your Word. We ask for this in the name of your only Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen!
Scripture – Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
May the Lord bless the reading of His holy, inspired and inerrant Word, and may He write its eternal truths on our hearts! Amen! You may be seated
You may be seated
a. Author – Solomon, King of Israel
i. A man blessed with a good father, a good gift, a good project, a good employment
ii. Solomon was also a man of compromise, he left the God of his father and pursued the many gods of his many wives
iii. A third time, the Lord comes to Solomon and speaks directly to him – I believe this revelation brought Solomon to his knees, and this book is the result.
b. Ecclesiastes - Letter of Repentance
i. Solomon has already given us his thesis in chapter 1, verses 1-12
1. This is the thesis – life under the sun, life without Christ, is empty
2. Solomon gave us the picture of our lives as a vapor
3. We strive for profit – something left over, but there is nothing.
4. Throughout this book, Solomon will give us proof texts that will validate this thesis.
ii. Solomon then went on to give us some examples from his own life. We covered the first example last week – the folly of wisdom
1. If you remember, Solomon mentioned how he made it his quest to obtain wisdom
2. And the purpose was to solve the great problems of his day
3. But he had already been given wisdom – godly wisdom, yet he put this wisdom aside, striving to solve problems with worldly wisdom
4. And, of course, this was futility and emptiness. The more you know, the more you will despair.
5. There was not satisfaction in worldly wisdom – the only sure way to understand the challenges of this world is through Godly wisdom
iii. But Solomon was still not ready to turn again to his heavenly gift. So, instead, he turns to various enjoyments to try to fill the emptiness in his soul.
1. Worldly wisdom didn’t work, how about worldly passions?
2. This is an expedition that many in our world undertake.
3. Indeed, most find the quest of enjoyment easier than that of wisdom
4. But, as we shall see, both quests, without God, end up empty
iv. This leads us to verses 1 to 11 of chapter 2.
v. Before we dive into this section of Scripture, I would like you to focus on three questions…
1. Are you joyful?
2. If you are not joyful, what are you seeking to satisfy your joy?
3. What will it take for you to be really joyful?