Summary: Ecclesiastes ‘represents a brilliant argument for how someone would look at life if God did not play a direct, intervening role in life, and if there were no life after death.’ But because there is a God, and life continues after death, let us fear God!
THE WISDOM TRILOGY #2: PURPOSE – MEANING OF LIFE (BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES)
INTRO TO TOPIC:
• How many of you have read the book of Ecclesiastes before? What is it about?
QUOTE: “The book of Ecclesiastes is puzzling to the novice reader because its skepticism can be overwhelming. Those who are not prepared for such a philosophical book wonder if, as a joke, an atheist sneaked into the printer and stuck his own ramblings into the middle of Holy Scripture.” (R. C. Sproul, What’s in the Bible).
• My goal this morning is to help unravel some of the mystery of this book and encourage you to read through it on your own!
• “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable!” (2 Timothy 3:16, NKJV).
1. INTRO TO SOLOMON AND HIS BOOK ECCLESIASTES:
• Ecclesiastes means “The Preacher” or “The Teacher.”
• One of five OT wisdom books: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs.
“These are the words of the Teacher, King David’s son, who ruled in Jerusalem. “Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!” What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:1-3, NLT).
• v.1: Author: Solomon: “And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore… He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five.” (1 Kings 4:29,32).
• v.2: Theme: Life has no meaning! (Vanity of vanities in the old KJV).
• v.3: Question: What is the purpose of life?
TESTIMONY: I asked that question the fall after I graduated from high school. It was at an all-nighter drive-in. “There’s got to be more to life than getting drunk, dating girls and partying!”
• Have you ever wrestled with that question? If so, may this message encourage you!
2. SOLOMON SAYS: NOTHING IN THE WORLD SATISFIES:
“4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. 5 The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again. 6 The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles. 7 Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea. 8 Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.” (Ecclesiastes 1:4-8).
• Here he says nothing ever changes, and nothing really satisfies.
• He sounds like quite the pessimist!
STORY: THERE MUST BE A PONY IN HERE SOMEWHERE!
Once there were five-year-old twin boys, one a pessimist and the other an optimist. Wondering how two boys so alike could be so different, their parents took them to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist took the pessimist to a room piled high with new toys, expecting the boy to be thrilled. But instead he burst into tears. Puzzled, the psychiatrist asked, "don't you want to play with these toys?" "Yes," the little boy cried, "but if I did I'd only break them."