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Meaning(less) – A series on Ecclesiastes

Part 1 – 10/4/2020

 

Life can be hard, and sometimes we struggle to make sense of it.  There are struggles in this world.  Evil exists in this world.  Ecclesiastes shares how to deal with pain in life.  

 

**One view is that God is an absentee landlord. DEISM

**Another view is that we are doing something wrong – like Job.  Bad things don’t happen to good people.

 

Chapter 1 – 

1:2  2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.

“Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”

NASB says it this way:  

2 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”

Vanity of vanities is a hebraism.  If holy of holies is the most holy, that vanity of vanities is the most vain – life doesn’t have profit, when you die you lose everything.  Everything you work for is gone. 

 

This book is written to all mankind.  Use of Elohim (common) instead of Yahweh (for the Jew).  The machine of earth continues to rotate.  You live and you die.  There is no climactic event.  I.E. Bands that I knew that younger generations don’t…

 

1:9  9What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again;

there is nothing new under the sun.

 Man will never find anything in himself (within the realm of his knowledge and reach) that is new and a fountain of youth.  All you’re going to do is repeat old errors.

 

1:12-13 12I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind!

 

Solomon tried to find virtue and the best way to live with the least amount of pain.  Solomon drew these evaluations.  Life is a painful venture

 

Chapter 2 – hedonism, pleasure

2:1-2 1I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2“Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?”

 

Partying – did you ever look around at your life, in the midst of hedonism, and wonder “What am I doing?  This is crazy.

 

Trying materialism

2:4-84I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards…

 

Solomon first tried intellectualism, then he tried hedonism, now he is moving to materialism.  But Am I Happy????

 

2:1515Then I said to myself, “The fate of the fool will overtake me also.

What then do I gain by being wise?” I said to myself, “This too is meaningless.”

Why be wise?  It is vanity.  Solomon is the classic man, with all the wealth, all the power.  He shows us what man is with all the knowledge and pleasure…

 

2:1717So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

 

He is depressed/despair – when you find what life has to offer

 

2:2424A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God,

 

Conclusion – there is nothing man can do to work under the sun (not talking about man’s work for eternity) and be happy…for it to be good, he has to go outside himself (God)

 

2:2525for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?

 

POINT: Without God, life is impossible.

 

UNLESS God has told us what a man is (created in the image of God), why there is death (sin), what the solution is (Christ will come to die), where life truly comes from – rebirth in Christ.  HOPE!