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Saturday, May 2, 2009

It's Not About the Bling Bling - Ecclesiastes 6

Title: “It’s Not about the Bling Bling”
Text: Ecclesiastes 6:1-12

Solomon now comes to the middle chapter of his sermon in the book of Ecclesiastes. He continues his discourse on the futility of wealth and fame and how it will not bring us happiness and satisfaction. As we looked at our last study, God showed Solomon in Ecclesiastes 5, the vanity and emptiness of money and riches. Solomon explained that there is an epidemic among those who peruse such wealth and riches in their lives with greed; they find no pleasure in their riches.

Solomon identifies three false hopes about money in the world:
A. Having money will make you happy.
B. Having money will take care of every problem.
C. Having money will give you peace.

Solomon pointed out in Chapter 5 the results of loving money:
1. Money Brings Stress (v. 5:12)
2. Money Brings Pain (v. 5:13)
3. Money Brings Problems (v. 5:14)
4. Money Brings Disappointment (v. 5:15-17)

Chapter 6 concludes Solomon’s argument about the emptiness there is in money. This chapter hinges the book of Ecclesiastes. It is the middle chapter of this book and Solomon shares with us some great wisdom for our lives; that we will not find joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction in the world. Therefore do not pursue the things of the world. Do not play in the world. Do not put your trust in the things of the world. Do the live for the things under the sun on earth, but the things in the Son Jesus Christ.

Norman Giesler shares a great point about the book of Ecclesiastes, “The person of Christ stands out in two ways significantly in this book. Christ is the Water of Life that quenches our thirst for happiness and the Wisdom of God that satisfies our desire for knowledge.”

Solomon will explain to us that our lives are not about the outside, but essentially the inside, our soul. The world shouts, “It’s all about the bling bling, but the word of God says it’s all about the King of Kings Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!"

Solomon sees more emptiness and vanity in life. What is it?

1. (v.6:1) “Common evil among men.” – This means that there are many who face this evil thing in their lives. It is common with man because everyone wants to be rich. (Fashion & Fame, Possessions & Pleasure)

A. This Chapter can be broken down into three sections:
1. Wealth and Fame will not give you joy. (v. 6:2)
2. Welfare and Family will not give you satisfied. (v.6:3)
3. Work and Fear will not give fulfillment. (v.6:7)

I. Wealth and Fame will not give you joy.
2. (v.6:2) Here are some of the things the wealthy and famous people have, except they cannot enjoy them completely:
A. Wealth – Riches, money, investments, treasures, etc.
B. Honor – Fame, Popularity, good favor with others, etc.
C. Lacks nothing – Has all the materials and possessions on needs to be completely happy in life. D. Does not have the power to enjoy it – This person cannot enjoy their wealth and honor because it is a gift from God.

Ecclesiastes 3:13 says, “And also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor - it is the gift of God.”

Ecclesiastes 5:19 says, “As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor - this is the gift of God.”

If you enjoy the Giver (who is God), then you can enjoy the gift. They cannot enjoy their gifts because they do not acknowledge the Giver. Enjoyment without God is merely entertainment, and it does not satisfy, but enjoyment with God is enrichment and brings true joy and satisfaction.

II. Health and Family will not give you Satisfaction.

3. (v.6:3) – Health and family will not give you satisfaction if goodness is not found.

A. What is goodness? It is the soul quenching satisfaction given to men by God to those who give Him glory. True goodness comes from God, who alone is holy, righteous, merciful, and loving.

B. Better to be a stillborn – Solomon is using a hypothetical analogy of how painful and empty life is without God’s satisfaction in life.

There are some people in Scripture who wanted to die or wish they never were born:
1. Moses (Numbers 11:15)
2. Elijah (1 Kings 19:4)
3. Job (3:21, 7:15)
4. Jeremiah (8:3, 15:10)
5. Jonah (4:3)
6. Paul (2 Corinthians 1:8)

C. No Burial – This is a perfect example of a wasted life. Solomon is noting that a person who has no burial is one, who lived a dishonoring and disrespectful life, that when he died, no one came to honor his life at the grave. In Solomon’s time, this was one of the worst things that could happen to a person. He compares this to having a life with no satisfaction.

4. (v. 6:4-6) These are details about the severity of not having any goodness from life, comparing it to not existing or being born.

A. 1000 years – Living all those extra days to find satisfaction will be useless unless you have God in your life. Adding years to your life will never bring you satisfaction; bring life to your years will bring you meaning. Everyone is guaranteed to die, so make your life count! Do not plan to live, but live the plan. God wants you to be satisfied with everything he has bestowed to you. It is our job to use those things to glorify God! III. Work and Fear will not bring you fulfillment.

5. (v. 6:7) – This is the most important verse in this chapter.

A. Man labors for his own mouth – His life is focused on his popularity, personage, and pleasure. He works for himself and not for anyone else, yet his soul is not satisfied. There is an emptiness God has placed in human and the hole stays until God fills it (Romans 8:20). There is not fulfillment in life without God because he is the one who gives us promise and purpose!

6. (v. 6:8) – The fool and the wise both have holes in their hearts, and they both experience the same things. Unless the Lord fills up that void in their life they are both will live a life without fulfillment and have to fear death one day.

7. (v. 6:9) – Better to see things happen that to dream about things happening. This is talking about the wandering or wishing one does to be satisfied. “If I only had that!”

A. Solomon is telling us once again that we are to enjoy only what God has given us, and not dream and wish we had more things. “Dreams have a way of becoming nightmares if we don’t come to grips with reality.” It is good to dream good and godly things like achievements and accomplishments, or maybe having a godly marriage and having godly family, or a vision to do ministry.

8. (v. 6:10-12) – Solomon repeats himself about how there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9, 3:15).

People say, “All you need in life is something to life for, something to love, and something to hope in.” Those things are true, but they are living, loving and hoping in the wrong things. God says, “I do all three of those things! I am who you live for (1 Cor. 10:31), who you love (Matthew 22:37), and who you hope in (1 Peter 1:21).

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