Faithlife Sermons

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If you were with us last week, we spent our time looking at the JOY OF THE LORD...
And I was grateful that we were able to do that...
Not only because of what came before it...
But also for what’s coming today...
Today, we’re going to begin making our way through the book of Ecclesiastes...
and so I think it’s beneficial to have in the back of our minds...
a biblical view of the JOY OF THE LORD...
…as we march through this book.
See, Ecclesiastes is attributed to Solomon…the wisest man of his time...
And in this book he takes on a BIG QUESTION...
He takes on - the question of - MEANING IN LIFE...
NOW - this isn’t something that we’re NAIVE to...
1,000’s of books have been written - CLAIMING to have all the answers...
Claiming that if you use THESE’ll find success and happiness!
Well - I think Solomon had something to say about all of that...
Let’s get to it...
Initially in this text we see a pointer as to who wrote the book...
the SON of DAVID…being Solomon
And then it’s v3 that really is the crux of the entire book.
This is a HUGE question!
What does man gain...
What is the BENEFIT of all of man’s pursuits in this world…in life…?
NOW - the world would give you a plethora of BENEFITS!
We pursue a mate so that we can procreate, pass on contributing members to society for future generations...
WHY? - so that the human race can progress and carry on
We pursue jobs so that we can make money, and take care of our families
We pursue money, not only to take care of our families, but so that we can stay alive, and help others do the same
We pursue success because that’s how we can maintain a consistent style of living, and because it feels good to succeed
We pursue knowledge so that we can gain skills and wisdom in order to help ourselves and humanity exist and continue on...
We pursue a lot of things, with seemingly good motives and outcomes...
The problem with the world’s answers to questions like these is this - the world doesn’t contemplate...
The world will give you all of these answers...
We pursue money, not only to take care of our families, but so that we can stay alive, and help others do the same....
The question BACK to them should be - OK, but why is THAT a good thing?
WHY should we DO WHAT WE CAN to help others STAY alive?
Why is that good?
Why is that something that should be pursued?
Their typical response?
- just makes sense
They don’t know WHY it makes sense…
Solomon here - is going to walk through ANSWERING that question...
What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?
And the first thing he’s going to do is this…LOOK TO CREATION
SLIDE: CREATION: A Testament to Futility
We’re going to skip v4 for now, and come back to it later...
As Solomon points to creation here, we can get a sense of the point that he's trying to make...
- The sun rises, goes back down...
- But then 'rushes' back to the place it began...
- The wind blows to the south...
- ..and then goes around to the north...
- But no progress... 
- All streams run to the sea, BUT what?
- there is no progress.
- The sea is NOT full...
- where the streams flow to...there they continue to FLOW...
- But there is no progress
- The sea is not full...
What we see Solomon do here is go straight to the Big Stuff...
- He wants us to see that EVEN:
- Light
- Air
- Water (the big 3)
- All have fallen into FUTILITY (pointlessness)
And you might say, well Light isn't pointless...
- Air isn't pointless
- Water isn't pointless
But think through it...
Ask the ULTIMATE question...Yes, Light helps things exist..
..but to what end?
Yes, Air helps things to exist...but to what end?
Yes, Water helps things to exist....but to what end?
Paul tells us in Romans what happened to Creation when sin entered the world...
So creation, in it's current state, does not operate as it was originally intended...
Because of man's SIN - creation itself - experienced the FALL
Cursed is the ground - BECAUSE of you!
Although the natural world is not itself fallen or disobedient to God,
Adam’s sin brought the created order into bondage:
to death (animals, trees, stars, all of these things - subject to death)
decay (Copopa - left empty for 4 years - what happened?
- WHY are we putting a new roof on this place?)
corruption (
and futility (we read before the absence of progress in creation)
And so what Solomon is wanting to do here by pointing to CREATION is to show us - that even CREATION...
...which DIDN'T earn FUTILITY - is CHAINED to it!
And CANNOT escape unless God does something!
Creation is indifferent to you and your existence.
It was here before you, and it will be here, UNCHANGED, after we go...
It’s also TRAPPED in a cycle of monotonous and meaningless motion...
It’s FOREVER moving, yet accomplishing nothing!
And if Creation (which didn't CHOOSE futility) is bound to FUTILITY Then SURELY MANKIND - who DID choose futility - would also be bound to it!
SLIDE: MANKIND: A Testament to Futility
And so what is Solomon saying here?
*If you were to go out in the woods and find a large stone there on the ground...
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