Faithlife Sermons

Ecclesiastes 10



Seed Sowing Saturday, this Saturday, January 2.
This coming Sunday, we will be revealing the church theme for 2021.
Evangelist Bruce Frye will be ministering to us on Sunday, January 17.
Our Scripture Assembly is still planned for the weekend of January 29-31.
Couple’s Overnight Retreat @ The Wilds, February 12-13

Prayer Requests

Mrs. Virginia Cornish’s mother (school parent) is in the hospital due to uncontrollable afib.
Barron Moon with possible pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis.
Laurels and Havens - another resident passed away and three staff members have tested positive for COVID-19
Mrs. Elrine Baer’s sister has been diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer
Bill Crawford’s sister has tested positive for COVID-19. Both Bill and Bill’s dad were also exposed. (They’ve had no symptoms.) Bill’s brother-in-law is a truck driver, stuck in Wisconsin, very sick and unable to drive.
Run-off Elections in Georgia

Verse Memorization

In the coming year, we will review 2 Timothy chapter 3, which we memorized as a church family, in 2016. We will review 2 Timothy throughout the month of January and then we will launch into memorizing 2 Timothy chapter 4. You are welcome to begin working on memorizing 2 Timothy chapter 4 at any time, though.
2 Timothy 3:1–17 KJV 1900
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Ecclesiastes Chapter 10

Turn to and read Ecclesiastes 10:1-4. Pray.
Ecclesiastes 10:1 KJV 1900
Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.

Deaths of Despair

“Deaths of Despair” is a term that was coined by scientists in a 2015 study of death statistics but it is a term that has been used more frequently during COVID-19.
Alongside the thousands of deaths from COVID-19, the growing epidemic of “deaths of despair” is increasing due to the pandemic—as many as 75,000 more people will die from drug or alcohol misuse and suicide, according to new research...,Center%20for%20Policy%20Studies%20in
A Nov. 2 article on the Science News website is titled:

“Deaths of despair” are rising.

Scientists have identified seven indicators of despair:
Feeling hopeless
Having low self-esteem
Feeling unloved
Frequent worry
Feeling sorry for oneself
Recent surveys have found a rise in mild to severe depression symptoms among U.S. adults as the coronavirus pandemic flared this year, relative to rates of depression symptoms before the pandemic.
But, in this article, the writer states that these “deaths of despair” cannot simply be attributed to mental illness, mental disorders, or mental sickness.
In addition, many emotional reactions to the pandemic detected in surveys may reflect understandable demoralization and grief at painful losses of jobs, social contacts and loved ones felled by the virus...Demoralization...involves experiencing a loss of meaning and purpose in life, accompanied by frustration, anger and a feeling that one is fighting a losing battle.
The article concludes with:
How despair, depression and the pandemic may overlap is still fuzzy. But what is clear is that deaths of despair can’t be blamed on mental disorders and can lead to real costs to society, Case and Deaton contend. And that won’t end with a vaccine. “Deaths of despair are a long-term phenomenon that will be with us after the COVID-19 crisis is over,” [one scientist] says.
You may be thinking, “What does this have to do with Ecclesiastes 10:1?”
Ecclesiastes 10:1 KJV 1900
Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.
Dead flies = flies of death; flies that would introduce a deadly parasite into the ointment
The ointment = the base oil to which something is added, such as essential oils, in order that it might be applied.
Example: My wife uses a number of different essential oils. Often, she does not apply them directly to her skin. Instead, she will add those essential oils to coconut oil and then apply it to her skin.
The apothecary = Solomon is literally referring to that which a doctor could “prescribe.”
Send forth a stinking savour = One meaning of this phrase is that that ointment became rancid;
Solomon was at the place in his life after he had studied everything, mostly the things he had done personally, and in his great despair he was thinking about a mixture that could be ordered by doctors from the local apothecary that could hasten his death.
Philips, John; Hastings, Jim. Exploring Ecclesiastes (John Phillips Commentary Series) . Kregel Academic & Professional. Kindle Edition.
I believe that Solomon was experiencing the same thing that many people are experiencing today: Hopelessness, despair, helplessness, isolation, a loss of purpose and meaning in life, the sense that they are fighting a losing battle.
While many today are blaming these things on COVID-19, I would counter that ultimately these feelings are a result of leaving God out!
In this coming year, I’ll be going the pastoral epistles - 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus - quite often. Paul begins his first letter to Timothy in this way:
1 Timothy 1:1 KJV 1900
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;
I cannot imagine how an unsaved person has been able to bare up under all of the hopelessness and helplessness that came with 2020.
And yet, as Christians, if we are not careful, we can succumb to the same feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
Earlier, I shared with you that scientists have identified seven indicators of despair. How should we respond?

How do we respond to feeling hopeless?

Psalm 43:5 KJV 1900
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, Who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Psalm 71:5 KJV 1900
For thou art my hope, O Lord God: Thou art my trust from my youth.

How do we respond to low self-esteem?

Colossians 2:10 KJV 1900
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

How do we respond to feeling unloved?

Jeremiah 31:3 KJV 1900
The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: Therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
John 3:16 KJV 1900
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

How do we respond to worry?

Matthew 6:33–34 KJV 1900
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Philippians 4:6–7 KJV 1900
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Isaiah 26:3–4 KJV 1900
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on thee: Because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: For in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

How do we respond to loneliness?

Deuteronomy 31:6 KJV 1900
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Joshua 1:9 KJV 1900
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Hebrews 13:5 KJV 1900
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

How do we respond to feeling helpless?

Proverbs 3:5–6 KJV 1900
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; And lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he shall direct thy paths.
Hebrews 4:16 KJV 1900
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

How do we respond to feeling sorry for ourselves?

Hebrews 12:1–3 KJV 1900
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
We may not go so far as to contemplate “death of despair” but we can still, if we are not cautious, give in to despair.
We must keep our eyes firmly fixed upon Jesus Christ.
O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.
His Word shall not fail you, He promised; Believe Him and all will be well; Then go to a world that is dying, His perfect salvation to tell!
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