Summary: Have you ever thought about the purposeless driven life?

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Ecclesiastes 1:1-18

Introduction: Rick Warren has caught a lot of people’s attention with his books The Purpose Driven Church and The Purpose Driven Life. Have you ever thought about the purposeless driven life?

This is the first sermon in a series on the subject “The Meaning of Life.” These messages are taken from a book that is rarely read yet houses tremendous treasure. The book is Ecclesiastes and I know of no other book in the Bible that is needed in today’s culture any more than this work.

The Secularist is squealing, “Let’s get rid of God.” The Materialist is marketing, “Buy this product and you will be happy.” The Hedonist is harping, “Let’s party dude!” The Religionist is recruiting, “You gotta get religion man!” To all of these the preacher/teacher (1:1) has a word.

Ecclesiastes is the journal about one man’s journey through life. The man’s name is Solomon. He started out well, but there came a time when he went from doing things God’s way to doing his own thing. He tried it all and each time came up empty. Solomon’s conclusion can best be summed up in one sentence: Life without God is meaningless.

I. His Premise (1-11)

Note the word “meaningless” in V.2. It means super vain, completely empty, nothing

to it. When you live under the “sun” without the “Son” you’re purposeless and clueless. Look at Solomon’s thoughts concerning:

A. Occupation (V. 3): The word “gain” means advantage. When all is said and done, when the red-headed, pony-tailed, guitar strumming philosopher sings “Turn out the lights, the party’s over” (That’s Willie Nelson for all non-cultured people), what’s the advantage? Nobody has a net gain. You won’t take anything with you.

B. Generation (V. 4): He speaks here of nature’s cycle. The expression here is one of futility.

C. Creation (V. 5-7): “Sun”. This is like a runner endlessly running around a race track. “Wind”. Goes round and round. It’s monotonous and purposeless. “Streams”. These accomplish nothing. Do you get the picture? Life without God is like running in circles, going nowhere fast and not making any difference.

D. Explanation (V. 8): He doesn’t have one.

E. Summation (V. 9): Solomon’s point is not to drive us to despair but to God.

II. His Pursuit (12-17)

A. His Dedication (V. 12): “Study” – to seek, to investigate the roots of an issue. He researched. He made notes. “Explore” – to experiment. He got involved. He stopped at nothing. Here’s a man who has “been there, don’t that”. He speaks to us from his experience. He says to us “Life without God is purposeless.” The booze, affair, money, fame and fortune won’t ever satisfy you.

B. His Meditation (V. 16): He stopped at nothing.

C. His Application (V. 17): He tried labor, now he tries learning. “Twisted” – cannot be solved. “Lacking” – missing data. Some things cannot be solved and some things we can never find out.

D. His Frustration (V. 14, 17): “Chasing the wind”. You can’t catch it. If you do, you don’t have anything.

III. His Pessimism

The whole passage is negative. Such is the case when one omits God.

Conclusion: Chuck Swindoll in his book Living on the Ragged Edge makes two excellent observations:

1. If there is nothing but nothing under the sun, our only hope must be above it.

2. If a man who had everything, investigated everything visible, then the one thing needed must be invisible.

Are you purpose driven or just purposeless? Life without God is meaningless!

End of discussion.

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