Seeking Answers A Study in Ecclesiastes Lesson 19 – Seeking Clarity…Finding Confusion – A Meaningful Life in a Meaningless World Brian K. Davis February 5, 2012
Where Are We and Why Are We Here? Focus Thesis: “All is Vanity” Proof: “Life is Vain” Counsel: “Fear God” 1:12 6:12 7:1 12:14 1:1 1:11 Divisions Introduction of Vanity Illustration of Vanity Proof from Experiences Proof from Observations Coping in a Wicked World Counsel for Uncertainty Conclusion: Fear and Obey God 10:1 – 12:8 12:9 – 12:14 1:4 – 1:11 1:12 – 2:26 3:1 – 6:12 7:1 – 9:18 1:1 – 1:3 Topics Declaration of Vanity Demonstration of Vanity Deliverance from Vanity Subject Sermons Summary Place Universe (“Under the Sun”)
Overview of Chapter 8 • Admonition to Use Wisdom in the Work of Solving the Problems of Life (v1) • Work in Submission to the king (v2 – 8) • Work even when One Discovers the Oppression of the Righteous (v 9-13) • Work even when One Cannot Understand the Working of God (v14 – 17)
Admonition to Use Wisdom in the Work of Solving the Problems of Life (v1) • Life is full of problems – Solomon addresses three in this chapter and encourages the use of wisdom to work through these challenges • Wisdom is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgments and actions in keeping with this understanding • Using wisdom when faced with life’s challenges ‘man face will shine’ and his ‘sternness is changed’
Work in Submission to the king (v2 – 8) • Man should submit to civil authority, even when the administration is wicked (v2) – Consider Romans 13:1-7; I Peter 2:13-17 • Man should not be hasty to ‘go out of his sight,’ that is, participate in rebellions and insurrection or even question the king (v3-4) • The man who obeys will ‘experience nothing harmful’; a wise man heart discerns time and judgment (v5-7) • The king cannot control the spirit – it will return to the One who gave it; the wicked cannot resist God’s decree of death and the judgment that follows (v8) – Consider Ecclesiastes 12:7; Hebrews 9:27-28 & Hebrews 9:27-28 - And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
Work even when One Discovers the Oppression of the Righteous (v 9-13) Psalm 73:12 – 17 Behold, these are the ungodly,Who are always at ease;They increase in riches.Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain,And washed my hands in innocence.For all day long I have been plagued,And chastened every morning. If I had said, “I will speak thus,”Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children.When I thought how to understand this,It was too painful for me—Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end. • Solomon saw this evil: a king ruling over men in such a way as to do them harm (v9) • Hypocritical worship was reward with a proper burial (v10) – Consider Jeremiah 22:19) • Evil men are not punished speedily – the sons of men are turn to evil – Evil begets evil! (v11-13) – Consider the Psalmist in 73 • The righteous suffer and the evil prosper in life under the sun – it has been said that “the same sun that hardens the clay melts the wax!
Work even when One Cannot Understand the Working of God (v14 – 17) Romans 11:33-36 - Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the Lord?Or who has become His counselor?”“Or who has first given to HimAnd it shall be repaid to him?” For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.