A Life of Adventure
Intro: In the last two chapters of the book Solomon does kind of a reversal of some of his viewpoints that had been his themes throughout the book. You will remember that he had taken a rather pessimistic position that reoccurred in four main themes. They were:
1. The monotony of life
2. The vanity of wisdom
3. The futility of wealth
4. The certainty of death
In concluding our studies in the next several weeks, we will how he changes his position on these subjects and we begin tonight with how he changed from seeing life as a monotonous, predictable, repeatable exercise. When he came to his senses he realized that life was really an adventure that is to be lived by faith.
It takes an adjustment to our attitude to realize that life is an adventure instead of a hassle. On Wilderness trips I always began with the realization that anything that happened was “all part of the adventure”, in life in the “real world” that realization has not always been my focal point. How about you? What is your view of life? Like Solomon at times do we see it as not worth the hassle? It certainly can seem that way at times.
Solomon gives his advice on how to properly view life and it is a go for it risk taking adventure. Do you like to take risks? If you were to identify what was the last risky thing you did, what would it be? We tend to take less risks as we get older and sometimes that is unfortunate because we should have developed the wisdom that is needed to make taking risks, less risky!
Here are his insights.
There are two occupations that Solomon references in his discussion in the first six verses that talk about risk taking, patience and faith.
1. The Merchant vv.1,2
a. He is to cast his bread upon the water. I don’t think that this is talking about giving even though many pastors have preached messages to the like.
b. He is talking about business opportunities.
c. What kind of business advice does he give?
d. In verses 2,5,6 there is a reoccurring statement. What is it?
e. Because that is true, what is the advice that Solomon seems to be giving and how does it make sense?
2. The Farmer Vv.3-6
a. Although farming has never been easy work, it did used to be a lot harder before all the modern equipment. The ground in Palestine was rocky and light. They did not have the modern irrigation equipment that we see circling fields today. They were totally reliant upon rainfall.
b. What does verse three seem to indicate? I see it saying that there are certain things that come into our lives that we can’t control. They are what they are. It rains when and where it will and a tree falls wherever it may. (On the church property it seems like they always fall across the two track that I try to keep open)!
c. What is the person who looks at the wind and the clouds do or don’t do? The foolish and lazy person might have a fatalistic outlook on life and reason that what is the use of trying since they have no control.
d. How does Solomon answer such a response? Mans inability and ignorance are not an excuse for doing nothing. How do the two examples in verse 5 make his argument?
e. Why has Solomon replaced his views on the monotony of life?
f. Since He says that we do not know what God is going to do what should be man’s response? Verse 6
g. What should we do with our lives because we don’t know what God is going to do?
h. What keeps us from taking risks?
i. What keeps us from stepping out in faith?
j. Why can we be big risk takers as believers?
k. What would be some risks that God might lead us to take?
l. Not all want to take part in the “adventure”. Why not?
m.Are we sitting around thinking that it might rain or that it is too windy? God who makes them both says, who knows you might be great at it!
Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 (NCV)1 Invest what you have, because after a while you will get a return.
2 Invest what you have in several different businesses, because you don’t know what disasters might happen.
3 If clouds are full of rain, they will shower on the earth. A tree can fall to the north or south, but it will stay where it falls.
4 Those who wait for perfect weather will never plant seeds; those who look at every cloud will never harvest crops.
5 You don’t know where the wind will blow, and you don’t know how a baby grows inside the mother. In the same way, you don’t know what God is doing, or how he created everything.
6 Plant early in the morning, and work until evening, because you don’t know if this or that will succeed. They might both do well.
Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 (KJV)
1 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. 2 Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. 3 If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. 4 He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. 5 As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. 6 In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.