Summary: If we ever hope to discover the true meaning of life, then we must address these three "W".
Introduction: What is this title all about? It’s simple. I want to communicate (.com) with you from Ecclesiastes 5 (ECCS) about three issues that all start with the letter “W.” A few sermons back we talked about the letter “I.” Here, let’s talk about the letter “W.” If we ever hope to discover the true meaning of life, then we must address these three items.
I. Worship (v. 1-7)
In chapter 4 Solomon went to the courthouse. In this chapter we find him at the
church house (temple). When you think about it, the church house he attended – he built! The tragedy was his worship did little to change his ways. He teaches us the futility of insincere worship. Solomon offers to us some basic counsel on worship when going to the church house:
A. Guard Your Steps (v. 1) – approach with care. Come with reverence. Tip-toe! Take off your shoes because you are standing on holy ground! God is present! (see Ex. 3:5) Some come and sit or sleep. Others read, talk or write notes. Some just listen and leave. You can do all those things later, but for now you had better pay attention!
B. Lend Your Ears (v. 1) – God has his ears on, do you? Listen. Why? Because God is communicating. Note “sacrifice of fools.” Here’s one who goes through the motions or worship but is unchanged in heart.
C. Watch Your Mouth (v. 2) – Underline the words “quick,” “hasty,” “few.” We don’t impress God with flowery language or bloated promises.
D. Control Your Mind (v. 3) – Stop daydreaming. Stop drooling. Many sit in church and think of everything but God.
E. Keep Your Promise (v. 4-7) – note “vow” (commitment or promise) is mentioned five times. You vowed it – you keep it. Keep your word. God took you at your word and he doesn’t forget. He takes our promises seriously. This is no time for games!
II. Wealth (8-17)
Let me comment on verses 8-9. “Don’t be surprised.” Our government may not be
the best, but it beats anarchy. You will always have a few “bad apples” in the basket. It’s inevitable that some will be corrupt.
Now, onto the subject of wealth. It’s not a sin to be rich! (Abraham/Job/ Solomon). The issue here is making the pursuit of wealth your priority or primary purpose in life. Here’s some sound advice on wealth. Solomon knows what he’s talking about. The man was loaded, but he was also miserable. For those whose goal is money, take careful notes.
A. He Who Hungers for Money Will Find that His Heart is Never Satisfied (v. 10)
Note: It’s not that he possesses it, but that he loves it. (See I Tim. 6:10). Enough is never enough. “Meaningless” = empty. Only God can satisfy.
B. He Who Has Money will Find that His Friends are Multiplied (v. 11a)
Ever noted all the leeches, parasites and blood-suckers of society who attach themselves to someone who has money?
C. He Who Harbors his Money will find that His Worries are Magnified (v. 11b-12). – More money-more people-more worries-more anxiety-less sleep (see Proverbs 19:4-7). He spends all his time guarding his fortune. He can’t sleep.
D. He Who Hoards His Money will Find that his Sickness is Intensified (v. 13)
Here’s the picture of a miser who ruins himself. Note the word “harm.” “Those who grabbed and rose to the top will ultimately release and drop to the bottom.” (Swindoll).
E. He Who Hugs His Money will Find that his Security is Nullified (v. 14) - He made an unsound investment and lost it all (See Proverbs 23:4-5).
Note verses 15-17 – “carry in his hand.” What we carry with us when we die?
Nothing? Also underline the words “frustration,” “affection,” “anger” (verse 17). We depart as we came – in our birthday suit without a skinny penny!
III. Word (v. 18-20)
Here are some keen observations about work.
A. Accept Your Lot – mentioned twice. Accept your station. The grass is not always greener on the other side.
B. Fulfill Your Labor – Work! Be steady.
C. Enjoy Your Life – Don’t get caught in the greed trap. Laugh more. Lighten up. Relax.
D. Serve Your Lord – Invest in his kingdom’s work. Be content with Jesus. He’s enough.
Conclusion: Externally, everything looks good. But what about the internal? Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom…and all these other things will be added to you.” Perhaps you need to visit or revisit www.eccs.com.