Sermons on Ecclesiastes - m-jahn.info
The verses from the middle of Ecclesiastes - Ecclesiastes enforce the . Solomon repeats his text, VANITY OF VANITIES, ALL IS VANITY. m-jahn.info - Ecclesiastes 12 Sermons. Ecclesiastes - Message # Ecclesiastes David E. Ecclesiastes ,14; Ecclesiastes Read Ecclesiastes - 'Tagalog: Ang Dating Biblia ()' translation - Ito ang wakas ng bagay; Ecclesiastes Full Chapter Ecclesiastes →.
Don't wait, serve God now. Serve Him from your first days. That's the point of verses one through eight. Then in verses nine through 12 a second exertation, use knowledge rightly. Understand the use and the purpose of knowledge. It's there to be put into practice, it's there to work, and it's there for life. And then thirdly, in verses 13 and 14, he summarizes the totality of the positive teaching of this book.
He says that we must grasp that the key to living a life of joy in this fallen world, in this frustrating world, is to fear God and to keep His commandments. In light of the brevity of life, we ought to serve God with joy and energy from the first of our days.
Sometimes the reality of seeing a person lose the desire to live, and then, of course, the final reality that we all face unless the Lord comes in His glory before our time, the reality of death. Those three things he presses home.
Then, verses two through seven describe to us the deteriorating human body. Verse one describes to us that person who has lost the will to live. Look at the language. I just don't want to live any more. And then of course verses seven and eight point out to us the grand finale, death. And in light of the deteriorating body, and in light of people who have come to the point that they no longer desire to live, and in light of the ultimate certainty of death, he presses home this call to live for God now.
Live for God with joy and energy now. Remember, behind this call is the assertion throughout the book of Ecclesiastes that the life of joy and fullness and happiness and true blessedness is the life of faith.
The world doesn't believe that. And you've got to be free to do what you want in order to get pleasure and satisfaction and meaning in life, you have to ditch God. That's where you find the real marrow of life.
And the whole point of Ecclesiastes is that is one of the biggest ruses that has ever been perpetrated on humanity. The whole point of Ecclesiastes is that no solid joys and lasting treasures are found in departing from God, in neglecting God, in living life for self and not worshipping the living God. But in fact, the only solid joys and lasting treasures that are to be experienced in this life are experienced by Zion's children, as we sing in the hymn. That's the life of joy, that's the life of fulfillment, that's the life of meaning.
Don't wait until the peak of your capacities and energies and abilities have left you. Start now living that life of joy with God.
Let's look at each of those pictures. Things are getting darker and things are getting fuzzy. Even after the rain has stopped it still looks cloudy. The sight is dimming and becoming fuzzy. Look at verse three. And yet ironically at 3: So you can't hear all day but you sure can at night. And you can't sleep at night, waking up early in the morning. Verses six and seven picture for us the deteriorating body and finally death.
Ecclesiastes: A study guide
Live for God from the very earliest days. He's saying that a full life has to be lived in light of those realities coming. Live for God now. You know it's a statistical fact that most of those who won't live for their Creator in the days of their youth will never live for Him.
And the Preacher is saying, that's a timely word for us, isn't it, here in Jackson? Get it out of your system.
Then you can come back from college and be a respectable, upstanding citizen and marry a nice girl and have a family and settle down. But, sow your wild oats now. Remember your Creator in the days of your youth. Worship Him now in the way you live. Worship Him by honoring Him with your care of your body. Worship Him by honoring Him in living as an upstanding young woman or young man. Worship Him in all of life. Live life in light of the ugly realities to come, trouble and death. The difficult realities of life in this fallen world.
Serve God and delight in Him now and thus experience the fullness of what this life can be. Malcolm Muggeridge, the great journalist, famous writer and editor, for years a dedicated Marxist and atheist, a left-wing columnist for the liberal media. He came to Christ in the latter days of his life, and when he wrote his biography he titled it, Chronicles of Wasted Time.
Live if for God because the life lived for God is the only life of delight in this world and if you won't live for God then you will neither experience delight in this world or the next.
The believer must understand the right use of knowledge. And then he may seem to digress when he gets to verses 9 through It may seem like he pauses to give you a brief biographical note and then a commendation on being wise and then a warning about the pitfalls.
But this isn't one of those non-linear things going on. It makes perfect sense. You see, the Preacher is saying that the believer must understand the right use of knowledge if she, if he is to wield that knowledge effectively. He's been talking about wisdom, he's contrasted wisdom and folly at numerous points in this book, but here he's pointing out to us the practical function of truth. We need to know what truth is for.
We need to understand what wisdom's purpose is. And he tells us about himself in verse nine. It's not just that he was considered a wise man; it's that he had pursued wisdom in order to teach people knowledge.
The reason that he weighed diligently and arranged carefully his teaching is so that people's lives would be changed. He didn't learn what he learned just so that he could be considered smart.
He didn't learn what he learned so that he could know a few more things. He learned it because he wanted to help people.
Ecclesiastes - Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion
He knew that God's truth is for God's people. It makes their lives better. And so he tells us in verse 10 that he chose His words carefully in order to have a maximal effect. The Preacher sought to find delightful words and to write words of truth correctly because he knew that words which were well considered and words that were well aimed were more apt to have the maximal effect that would be lost with slap dash and ill-considered words.
And so he was careful with the words. But the reason that he was careful was not to tickle your ears, but because he wanted your life to be changed by the truth conveyed in those words. He goes on in verse 11 to say that His words were designed to do two things: Not only to prod you in the right way but to prick your conscience, to goad your conscience, to convict the conscience. And then also to anchor the truth.
Prods point you in the right direction. The prods convict and direct. Nails keep things in place. The nails anchor you in the truth. And, of course, in verse 11 at the very end he says ultimately these words were not my words, they came from where?
They came from one shepherd. Here's the doctrine of inspiration, the inspiration of scripture that every word of this book proceeds from the mouth of God. It's all given by inspiration. It's breathed out from the word of God. They are ultimately God's words. Be warned, the writing of books is endless. Excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body. But this isn't just a practical, common sense observation about how writing books is hard and reading books is hard.
It's something much deeper than that. He's warning his young son, his student, his disciple, about one of the dangers of study. He warns certain readers not to read his book.
I've never seen a writer, at the beginning of his book warn you that you might be better off not to read his book, but Thomas Brooks does. This is what he says in his word to the reader at the beginning of Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices. It is not the bees touching of the flower that gathers honey, but her abiding for a time upon the flower that draws out the sweet.
It is not he that reads most but he that meditates most who will prove the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian. Know that it is not the knowing nor the talking nor the reading man but the doing man that at last will be found the happiest man. Ah, how many Judases have we in these days that kiss Christ and yet betray Him?
In their words profess Him but in their works deny Him. That bow their knee to Him and yet in their hearts despise Him. That call Him, Jesus, and yet will not obey Him as Lord. Reader, if it be not strong upon thy heart to practice what thou readest, to what end dost thou read? To increase thine own condemnation? If thy light and knowledge be not turned into practice, the more knowing man thou art the more miserable man thou wilt be in the day of recompense.
Thy light and knowledge will more torment thee than all the devils in hell. Thy knowledge will be that rod that will eternally lash thee, the scorpion that will forever bite thee, the worm that will everlasting gnaw thee.
Therefore, read and labor to know in order that thou mayest do or else thou art undone forever. When Demosthenes was asked what is the first and second and third part of an orator? A heaven of joy, peace and comfort on earth and a heaven of glory and happiness after death.
The Preacher's words aren't meant to interest him or to amuse him or simply to make him smarter than other people around him. They are meant to change his life. God's words aren't meant to interest or amuse us but to change our lives. True knowledge of God is fellowship knowledge. It is both personal and propositional. It comes in a personal relationship with God, and God speaks it in words and sentences which are objectively true.
It comes from God. Reflection belongs to older heads; spontaneous action is more characteristic of youth. Therefore, they specially need to make efforts to bring clearly to their thoughts both the unseen future and Him who is invisible.
The advice is specially suitable for them; for what is begun early is likely to last and be strong. It is hard for older men, stiffened into habits, and with less power and love of taking to new courses, to turn to God, if they have forgotten Him in early days. Conversion is possible at any age, but it is less likely as life goes on. The most of men who are Christians have become so in the formative period between boyhood and thirty.
After that age, the probabilities of radical change diminish rapidly. Perhaps you will never be older. Probably, if you are, you will not want to turn the leaf. If you do, what a shame it is to plan to give God only the dregs of life! You need Him, quite as much, if not more, now in the flush of youth as in old age. Why should you rob yourself of years of blessing, and lay up bitter memories of wasted and polluted moments?
If ever you turn to God in your older days, nothing will be so painful as the remembrance that you forgot Him so long. Therefore he sets it at the close of his meditations. This is the practical outcome of them all. Forget God, and life is a desert. So much is clear, but the question of the precise meaning of these verses is much too large for discussion here. The older explanation takes them for an allegory representing the decay of bodily and mental powers in old age, whilst others think that in them the advance of death is presented under the image of an approaching storm.
Wright, in his valuable commentary, regards the description of the gradual waning away of life in old age, in the first verses, as being set forth under images drawn from the closing days of the Palestinian winter, which are dreaded as peculiarly unhealthy, while Ecclesiastes Still another explanation is that the whole is part of a dirge, to be taken literally, and describing the mourners in house and garden.
I venture, though with some hesitation, to prefer, on the whole, the old allegorical theory, for reasons which it would be impossible to condense here. It is by no means free from difficulty, but is, as I think, less difficult than any of its rivals. Interpreters who adopt it differ somewhat in the explanation of particular details, but, on the whole, one can see in most of the similes sufficient correspondence for a poet, however foreign to modern taste such a long-drawn and minute allegory may be.
The former is the more probable rendering and reference. The allegory is dropped in Ecclesiastes The next clause is best taken, as in the Revised Version, as describing the failure of appetite, which the stimulating caper-berry is unable to rouse. The connection of the long-drawn-out picture of senile decay with the advice to remember the Creator needs no elucidation.
That period of failing powers is no time to begin remembering God.
Therefore it is plain common sense, in view of the future, not to put off to old age what will bless youth, and keep the advent of old age from being wretched. If a future of possible weakness and gradual creeping in on us of death is reason for the exhortation, much more is the certainty that the crash of dissolution will come.
The allegory is partially resumed in these verses. Be this as it may, the general thought is that death comes, shivering the precious reservoir of light, and putting an end to drawing of life from the Fountain of bodily life. If death is annihilation, what reason is there for seeking God before it comes? But there is no contradiction. It is because man is twofold, and at death the spirit returns to its divine Giver, that the exhortation of Ecclesiastes The closing verses are confidently asserted to be, like Ecclesiastes It is a remarkably easy but not very logical process.
Benson Commentary Ecclesiastes Fear God — Which is put here for all the inward worship of God, reverence, and love, and trust, and a devotedness of heart to serve and please him; and keep his commandments — This is properly added, as a necessary effect, and certain evidence of the true and genuine fear of God. Make conscience of practising whatever God enjoins, how costly, or troublesome, or dangerous soever it may be. For this is the whole duty of man — Hebrew, The whole of man, or all the man: This makes him a man indeed, worthy of the name, and by this, and by this alone, he answers the end of his creation, and of all the divine dispensations toward him.
For God shall bring every work into judgment — All men must give an account to God of all their works, and this alone will enable them to do that with joy. With every secret thing — Not only outward and visible actions, but even inward and secret thoughts. Reader, think of this, and prepare to meet thy God! Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary These are the words of one that could speak by dear-bought experience of the vanity of the world, which can do nothing to ease men of the burden of sin.
As he considered the worth of souls, he gave good heed to what he spake and wrote; words of truth will always be acceptable words. The truths of God are as goads to such as are dull and draw back, and nails to such as are wandering and draw aside; means to establish the heart, that we may never sit loose to our duty, nor be taken from it. The Shepherd of Israel is the Giver of inspired wisdom.
Teachers and guides all receive their communications from him. The prophets sought diligently, what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. To write many books was not suited to the shortness of human life, and would be weariness to the writer, and to the reader; and then was much more so to both than it is now.
All things would be vanity and vexation, except they led to this conclusion, That to fear God, and keep his commandments, is the whole of man. The fear of God includes in it all the affections of the soul towards him, which are produced by the Holy Spirit. There may be terror where there is no love, nay, where there is hatred. But this is different from the gracious fear of God, as the feelings of an affectionate child.
The fear of God, is often put for the whole of true religion in the heart, and includes its practical results in the life. Let us attend to the one thing needful, and now come to him as a merciful Saviour, who will soon come as an almighty Judge, when he will bring to light the things of darkness, and manifest the counsels of all hearts.
He makes our duty to be our interest. May it be graven in all our hearts. Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is all that concerns man. Barnes' Notes on the Bible literally, "The conclusion of the discourse" or "word," equals words, Ecclesiastes 1: To revere God and to obey Him is the whole man, constitutes man's whole being; that only is conceded to Man; all other things, as this book teaches again and again, are dependent on a Higher Incomprehensible Being.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary The grand inference of the whole book. Fear God—The antidote to following creature idols, and "vanities," whether self-righteousness Ec 7: Matthew Poole's Commentary The conclusion of the whole matter; the sum and substance of all that hath been said or written by wise men, so far as it is necessary for us to know. Fear God; which is synecdoically put here, as it is very frequently in Scripture, for all the inward worship of God, reverence, and love, and trust, and a devotedness of heart to serve and please God, and a loathness to offend him, and an aptness to tremble at his word and judgments.
Make conscience of practising whatsoever God requires, how costly, or troublesome, or dangerous soever it be.