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Meaning(less) – A series on Ecclesiastes

Part 6 – 6/13/2021

 

INTRO: We learn too late, what we should’ve known early.  Life is not acquiring and exhibiting.  Faithfulness to God, His Word, and your family is what is meaningful in life.  

Success is attaining to something great – you can be successful at all the wrong things.  We need to have a correct perspective on life.  

6:1 I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on mankind: 2 God gives some people wealth, possessions and honor, so that they lack nothing their hearts desire, but God does not grant them the ability to enjoy them, and strangers enjoy them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.

  • The man they are talking about has external wealth, but he doesn’t know what to do with it, he doesn’t enjoy it. – He is a shell without the core…internally he is dead.
    • A stranger enjoys it – he dies and his stuff is sold to someone else.

6:3 A man may have a hundred children and live many years; yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity and does not receive proper burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he.

  • No matter how successful you are…100 children, long life, etc
    • You’re better off a miscarriage than a long life and not enjoyed life – to be Ebeneezer Scrooge.

6:4 It comes without meaning, it departs in darkness, and in darkness its name is shrouded.

  • The child born dead is compared in vv. 4f. with the dissatisfied rich man of v. 3. 

 

6:5 Though it never saw the sun or knew anything, it has more rest than does that man

 

  • The stillborn child will be buried in peace, but even in death, people will point to the grave of the dissatisfied rich man and call him a fool.

6:6 even if he lives a thousand years twice over but fails to enjoy his prosperity. Do not all go to the same place?

  • KEY: It’s not what you made, it’s how you enjoyed it.  

6:8 What advantage have the wise over fools?  What do the poor gain by knowing how to conduct themselves before others?

  • “The only thing money gives you is the freedom of not worrying about money.” ~Johnny Carson

6:9 Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite.  This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

  • This is the application: enjoy what you have – don’t keep looking towards the ends of the earth for something to make you happy

6:10 Whatever exists has already been named, and what humanity is has been known; no one can contend with someone who is stronger.

  • God has declared what everything is, and you won’t change it (sky, stars, animals, man) – Man is made for God and who can contend with that?

6:12 For who knows what is good for a person in life, during the few and meaningless days they pass through like a shadow? Who can tell them what will happen under the sun after they are gone?

  • God must be the one to tell man of the ultimate meaning in life.

7:1 A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.

  • Character and obedience to God is better – “a good name”

7:2 It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.

  • A funeral can be good – it can make you smart – Scrooge saw the reality of his destiny if he didn’t turn

7:4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.

  • God will shape you through trials/pain

7:7 Extortion turns a wise person into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart.

  • Good people can be led astray by money.

7:8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.

  • The end of a matter is when you have completed it – you did something
  • How you finish is what counts – therefore pain is often better.
  • Pain will stretch you and God uses it.

POINT: Life is not acquiring and exhibiting.  Faithfulness to God, His Word, and your family is what is meaningful in life.