Faithlife Sermons

Adverse Prosperity or Prosperous Adversity? (Ecclesiastes 6:1-7:14)

Ecclesiastes  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 74 views

Prosperity is not always good. Adversity is not always bad. God has made one as well as the other so that man will have to TRUST HIM.

Notes
Transcript
Handout
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Ecclesiastes

1.2-3: What is the point of life?
Ch 1-2: Life without God is meaningless.
Ch 3:1-15: God is Sovereign
1.2-3: What is the point of life?
3.11 - God has put ‘eternity’ into the heart of man
Ch 3:1-15: God is Sovereign
3.14 - God has set life to so that man will (and can) trust in Him.
3.11 - God has put ‘eternity’ into the heart of man
Ch 3:16-4:16 - Issues with God’s Sovereignty
3.14 - God has set life to so that man will (and can) trust in Him.
Ch 3:16-4:16: Issues with God’s Sovereignty
1 - Wickedness exists
2 - Death exists
2 - Death exists
3 - Suffering (from oppression) exists
3 - Suffering (from oppression) exists
Ch 5: Reactions vs Responses to God’s Sovereignty
4 - Rivalry/envy and selfish ambition exists
4 - Rivalry/envy and selfish ambition exists
5 - Loneliness exists
Don’t Trust your mouth or your money . Don’t gripe, don’t complain, don’t make deals.
5 - Loneliness exists
Don’t gripe, don’t complain, don’t make deals.
6 - Popularity exists
6 - Popularity exists
Be careful as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than offer the sacrifice of fools. Thus, FEAR GOD.
STOP and PRAY
- Hitting the SNOOZE.
Proverbs 16:2 NASB95
2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the Lord weighs the motives.

Prosperity does not always lead to peace

Ecclesiastes 6:1–2 NASB95
1 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun and it is prevalent among men— 2 a man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor so that his soul lacks nothing of all that he desires; yet God has not empowered him to eat from them, for a foreigner enjoys them. This is vanity and a severe affliction.
An ‘evil - adverse/adversity, affliction, bad, calamity - that is a big deal among men
God has given these so that a man ‘lacks nothing of all he desires.’
Riches
Wealth
Honor
BUT God doesn’t allow him to eat from them - to be satisfied by them.
Problem: Prosperity is not always a good thing. It does not always lead to more prosperity or peace or satisfaction.
It can lead to laziness and self-reliance.
King David, JUDGES,
Jeremiah 5:27 NASB95
27 ‘Like a cage full of birds, So their houses are full of deceit; Therefore they have become great and rich.
Deuteronomy 32:15 NASB95
15 “But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked— You are grown fat, thick, and sleek— Then he forsook God who made him, And scorned the Rock of his salvation.
Jeremiah 5:28 NASB95
28 ‘They are fat, they are sleek, They also excel in deeds of wickedness; They do not plead the cause, The cause of the orphan, that they may prosper; And they do not defend the rights of the poor.
Malachi 3:15 NASB95
15 ‘So now we call the arrogant blessed; not only are the doers of wickedness built up but they also test God and escape.’ ”
Job 12:6 NASB95
6 “The tents of the destroyers prosper, And those who provoke God are secure, Whom God brings into their power.
Habakkuk 1:4 NASB95
4 Therefore the law is ignored And justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore justice comes out perverted.
But - why then does God allow us to be prosperous?
; , ; ;
Ecclesiastes 6:3–6 NASB95
3 If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, however many they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things and he does not even have a proper burial, then I say, “Better the miscarriage than he, 4 for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity; and its name is covered in obscurity. 5 “It never sees the sun and it never knows anything; it is better off than he. 6 “Even if the other man lives a thousand years twice and does not enjoy good things—do not all go to one place?”
Ecc 6:3
SIGNS OF PROSPERITY
fathers a hundred children: progeny is a mark of prosperity
lives man years: long life
PROBLEMS
not satisfied with ‘good things’ - the things of God
does not have a burial
either does not have a proper burial - showing his final sorry state of life
OR does not have a burial - another exaggeration of living a LONG LIFE w/o being satisfied.
Better to not have ever been born, than to be so close to not needing God - to being able to rely solely on self (and thus achieve god-status) but to not attain it.
Good things - that life has meaning. That time was well spent. - - the Parable of the Talents.

Prosperity does not satisfy

Ecclesiastes 6:7–9 NASB95
7 All a man’s labor is for his mouth and yet the appetite is not satisfied. 8 For what advantage does the wise man have over the fool? What advantage does the poor man have, knowing how to walk before the living? 9 What the eyes see is better than what the soul desires. This too is futility and a striving after wind.
Wise Man vs Foolish Man -
Wise in this context means wealthy, a fool refers to one who is not wealthy, but wishes to be.
The fool wants what the wealthy man has, b/c he thinks it is working for the wealthy man.
How to ‘walk before the living’ - how to put on a show.
Jennifer making her own clothes growing up.
- Enjoy what you have not what you do not have.

Do not chase prosperity - BE CONTENT

Ecclesiastes 6:10–12 NASB95
10 Whatever exists has already been named, and it is known what man is; for he cannot dispute with him who is stronger than he is. 11 For there are many words which increase futility. What then is the advantage to a man? 12 For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?
Man cannot dispute with God, the Creator of man. God is sovereign.
Do not trust in prosperity - TRUST IN THE LORD!
James 4:13–17 NASB95
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
Christmas Wish-Lists

Adversity builds character

Ecclesiastes 7:1–8 NASB95
1 A good name is better than a good ointment, And the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth. 2 It is better to go to a house of mourning Than to go to a house of feasting, Because that is the end of every man, And the living takes it to heart. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter, For when a face is sad a heart may be happy. 4 The mind of the wise is in the house of mourning, While the mind of fools is in the house of pleasure. 5 It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man Than for one to listen to the song of fools. 6 For as the crackling of thorn bushes under a pot, So is the laughter of the fool; And this too is futility. 7 For oppression makes a wise man mad, And a bribe corrupts the heart. 8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.

4 Ways Adversity Develops Character:

Death reveals and reminds the wise of the brevity of life.
Ecclesiastes 7:1–2 NASB95
1 A good name is better than a good ointment, And the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth. 2 It is better to go to a house of mourning Than to go to a house of feasting, Because that is the end of every man, And the living takes it to heart.
Sorrow and mourning lead to reflection.
Ecclesiastes 7:3–4 NASB95
3 Sorrow is better than laughter, For when a face is sad a heart may be happy. 4 The mind of the wise is in the house of mourning, While the mind of fools is in the house of pleasure.
Righteous indignation comes when the wise are confronted with the sin of fools.
Ecclesiastes 7:5–6 NASB95
5 It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man Than for one to listen to the song of fools. 6 For as the crackling of thorn bushes under a pot, So is the laughter of the fool; And this too is futility.
Ecclesiastes 7:5–7 NASB95
5 It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man Than for one to listen to the song of fools. 6 For as the crackling of thorn bushes under a pot, So is the laughter of the fool; And this too is futility. 7 For oppression makes a wise man mad, And a bribe corrupts the heart.
Ecclesiastes 7:3–4 NASB95
3 Sorrow is better than laughter, For when a face is sad a heart may be happy. 4 The mind of the wise is in the house of mourning, While the mind of fools is in the house of pleasure.
Patience is only developed when we must ENDURE hard things.
Ecclesiastes 7:7–10 NASB95
7 For oppression makes a wise man mad, And a bribe corrupts the heart. 8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit. 9 Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools. 10 Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.
Ecclesiastes 7 NASB95
1 A good name is better than a good ointment, And the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth. 2 It is better to go to a house of mourning Than to go to a house of feasting, Because that is the end of every man, And the living takes it to heart. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter, For when a face is sad a heart may be happy. 4 The mind of the wise is in the house of mourning, While the mind of fools is in the house of pleasure. 5 It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man Than for one to listen to the song of fools. 6 For as the crackling of thorn bushes under a pot, So is the laughter of the fool; And this too is futility. 7 For oppression makes a wise man mad, And a bribe corrupts the heart. 8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit. 9 Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools. 10 Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this. 11 Wisdom along with an inheritance is good And an advantage to those who see the sun. 12 For wisdom is protection just as money is protection, But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors. 13 Consider the work of God, For who is able to straighten what He has bent? 14 In the day of prosperity be happy, But in the day of adversity consider— God has made the one as well as the other So that man will not discover anything that will be after him. 15 I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness. 16 Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? 17 Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time? 18 It is good that you grasp one thing and also not let go of the other; for the one who fears God comes forth with both of them. 19 Wisdom strengthens a wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city. 20 Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. 21 Also, do not take seriously all words which are spoken, so that you will not hear your servant cursing you. 22 For you also have realized that you likewise have many times cursed others. 23 I tested all this with wisdom, and I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me. 24 What has been is remote and exceedingly mysterious. Who can discover it? 25 I directed my mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness. 26 And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her. 27 “Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “adding one thing to another to find an explanation, 28 which I am still seeking but have not found. I have found one man among a thousand, but I have not found a woman among all these. 29 “Behold, I have found only this, that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices.”
Ecclesiastes 7:8–9 NASB95
8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit. 9 Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.
James 1:2–4 NASB95
2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Weight lifting - Resistance Training. (IF TIME PERMITS)

Wisdom Is An Advantage

Ecclesiastes 7:11–12 NASB95
11 Wisdom along with an inheritance is good And an advantage to those who see the sun. 12 For wisdom is protection just as money is protection, But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors.
Vs 11 - Wisdom, like an inheritance, is good.
The Fear of the Lord is a GOOD THING! Why? It leads us to TRUST IN THE LORD!
Protection from SIN.
: DAVID AND UZZAH and the ark.
DAVID AND UZZAH and the ark.

What Now?

Remember WHO is in control.

Ecclesiastes 7:13–14 NASB95
13 Consider the work of God, For who is able to straighten what He has bent? 14 In the day of prosperity be happy, But in the day of adversity consider— God has made the one as well as the other So that man will not discover anything that will be after him.
Observe God’s work: What He does cannot be changed by anyone else.
Be THANKFUL for times of prosperit
We can enjoy the times of prosperity when they are not what we trust in for our salvation.
Remember that prosperity is not necessarily a blessing nor is adversity necessarily a consequence.

Who Are You TRUSTING?

Do not PURSUE PROSPERITY. Pursue faithful obedience to God.

Hebrews 10:24–25 NASB95
24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Related Media
Related Sermons