Summary: This sermon show how King Solomon tried everything in life only to find that the only thing that satisfied was loving God.
What is really important in life ? What is my purpose ?
“It’s almost impossible to overestimate the unimportance of most things“.
Life is short - Maybe we need to reevaluate and reorder it.
Take a lesson from Solomon - he tried everything.
He tried Science, philosophy, humor, drinking, architecture, gardening, possessions, wealth, music, fatalism, deism, morality.
He had the worst mid life crisis ever.
Purpose of the Book of Eccl. : To show us what is really important.
SOLOMON’S HISTORY :
Father - David, Mother - Bathsheba, Born 1033 B.C.
Nathan called him “Jedidiah” - Beloved of the Lord.
Became 3rd king at age 18.
SOLOMON’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS :
Reigned 40 years (1015 B.C. - 975 B.C.).
Built the temple.
Established a lucrative commerce business.
Wrote Eccl., Song of Solomon, Proverbs, and 2 Psalms.
I) THE EMPTINESS OF WISDOM Ch 1
A) The value of wisdom
He became wiser than all before him (Eccl 1:16)
He told us the benefits of wisdom ... it :
1) Keeps us from sin : fools go astray because they don’t listen to criticism.
2) Extends life
Prov 4:10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.
3) Makes us happy
Prov 3:13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
4) Is more valuable than rubies, silver, or gold.
Prov 3:14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
Prov 8:11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
B) The grief of being obsessed with wisdom
Eccl 1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
Wisdom is good, obsession is bad.
Our society tries to find fulfillment through philosophies :
Humanism - Man is the center.
Naturalism - all can be explained by natural law
Skepticism - Dedication to human reason, science, and education.
Liberalism - Miracles don’t happen
Existentialism - Emphasizes individual experience,
regards human existence as unexplainable.
Human philosophy ultimately disappoints.
Solomon’s conclusion :
Eccl 2:16 (NIV) For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered; in days to come both will be forgotten. Like the fool, the wise man too must die!
II) THE EMPTINESS OF PLEASURE Ch 2
A) Solomon’s folly with pleasure
He tried : Humor, drinking, building projects, cultural arts, labor.
His conclusion 2:1 ”This also is vanity”.
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-74) Wrote Summa Theologica “No man can live without delight, and that is why a man deprived of spiritual joy goes over to carnal pleasures”.
Jesus said that it was the pleasures of life that choked out the word of God. Lk 8:14
Our society has exchanged Christian morals for moral relativism.
We must all be “tolerant” except to Christians.
There are no moral absolutes - is that an absolute ?
III) THE EMPTINESS OF MATERIALISM Ch2
A) The proper attitude toward riches
Money is not evil, the love of it is.
Many godly men were rich :
Solomon - built the Temple.
Jehoshaphat - Military power.
Abrham - Gave offering to Melchesedek.
Job - Stayed faithful to God.
Hezekiah - Reformed Israel.
Solomon tells us the attitude to have :
Prov 30:8,9 ...give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
Solomon was the richest man to live (Eccl 2:7)
He owned :
Houses, vineyards, gardens, parks, fruit trees, slaves, flocks, singers, made silver common as dirt, gold shields, an ivory and gold throne, a fleet of ships, robes, weapons, spices, mules, peacocks, 1,400 chariots, 12,000 horses,
2:10 He was denied nothing his eye desired.
B) The vanity of riches
Barna Research Group - the average American adult believes he needs an additional $8,000 - $11,000 per year to live comfortably. Tracking studies show, however, that even when adults reach or exceed the income levels to which they aspired, they still claim they need another $8,000 - $11,000 to live comfortably.
The best things in life aren’t things.
Solomon’s insights :
Eccl 2:18, 19 We leave them to somebody else.
Who knows, he may be a fool.
Prov 23:5 Money grow wings.
Prov 23:4 Don’t wear yourself out to get rich
Prov 27:24 For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?
IV) THE EMPTINESS OF
MERE RELIGIOUS PRACTICE Ch 5
A) Don’t substitute religion for relationship
He sought fulfillment in religious practice - and found it empty.
Eccl 5:1(NIV) Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.