Summary: Both foolishness and wisdom fail to satisfy. Both lead us to find the answer somewhere else.

The Test: Is Foolishness the Better Choice?

(Ecclesiastes 2)

Note: The illustrations in this sermon were mostly borrowed from Sermon Central


1. This is the 100th anniversary of powered flight! It was 100 years ago that the Wright Brothers successfully flew the first airplane at Kitty Hawk.

After Wilbur and Orville Wright’s successful flight on December 17, 1903, they joyfully sent a telegram to their sister in Dayton, Ohio. The message read: "First sustained flight, 59 seconds. Home for Christmas."

The sister, also elated, ran all the way to the newspaper office with the telegram. Laying the message on the editor’s desk, she announced, "I thought you would want to see this for tomorrow’s paper."

Sure enough, the next day it was in the paper, but you had to look for it. It was buried on page 16, underneath the obituaries. The notice said, "Local bicycle merchants to spend Christmas at home."

Can you believe it? One of the major events of the 20th century and the editor completely missed it.

That editor is not the only one. Many of us have a difficult time sorting through the events of life trying to understand what is important and what is unimportant.

2. When it comes to the meaning of life, many miss the boat and assume the philosophy of hedonism. Hedonism is a way of thinking advocated by the ancient Greek epicureans. It says, "pleasure is the main purpose of life." Or, to put it in the words of an old Schlitz beer commercial, "You only go around once in life, so you may as well get all the gusto you can."

3. This way of thinking runs opposite of the Biblical perspective. The Bible distinguishes legitimate pleasure for the illegitimate. The difference is often a matter of degree and priority. The Bible is not anti-pleasure, but it is God first. It is not wrong to love pleasure. It is wrong to be a lover of pleasure rather than a lover of God.

4. Others try to live life by the exercise of wisdom; whereas this is a major step upward from the foolishness of hedonism, apart from an eternal perspective, even wisdom cannot satisfy.

MAIN IDEA: Both foolishness and wisdom fail to satisfy. Both lead us to find the answer somewhere else.

TS--------„³ Note with me some observations about this theme.

I. Foolishness is Often A Choice (1-11)

1. Possessing wisdom is not the same as acting wisely

2. Most people who do stupid things experienced some sort of red light first!

Of course, this is not always true:

(1) the difference between gullibility and foolishness

---easily tricked (anyone can be tricked, but gullible people are easily tricked)

----Matt10:16, "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."

(2) often foolishness is a choice

(3) we go through great efforts to make it look like sin overtakes us; we orchestrate situations so that we feel overwhelmed but at least made a fight--sabotage for the sake of our conscience! We really want to give in to our feelings, but we want to set up some sort of self-defense; we tried but failed

(4) Solomon was honest and direct about his choice; he did not pretend otherwise, nor did he rationalize; he purposely and intentionally gave himself over to foolishness

3. Note all the extremes Solomon went too as he choose to embrace foolishness (stats from Sermon Central):

a. Palaces, houses, vineyards, orchards, water pools - 1 Kings 7:1- 12

b. 700 wives, 300 concubines - 1 Kings 11:1-3

c. 550 officals - 1 Kings 9:23

d. Money 120 talents of gold from Hiram - 1 Kings 9:14

420 " " from Ophar - 1 Kings 9:28

120 " " from the Queen of Sheba - 1Kings 10:10

e. Treasures such as spices and fine stones - 1 Kings 10:10

f. Food - for one day - Crops - 30 cors of flour & 60 cors of meal - 1 Kings 4:22

. 10 fat oxen, 20 Grade A cattle, 100 sheep, harts, gazelles, roebucks, chickens, ducks, and some birds - 1 Kings 4:22-23

----he fed thousands daily (servants, wives, children)

4. As David Zimmerman said, "He used his wealth and influence to get anything that caught his eye. "whatsoever my eyes desired". If he saw a beautiful woman, he added her to his harem. If he saw a thoroughbred that promised to be faster than any others, it went into his stables. If he saw a new model chariot on the showroom floor - sleeker, racier --he bought it."

5. Solomon was in a unique position to take it all the the ultimate degree: richest man, smartest man, most powerful man in the world, he did as he pleased.

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