Not The Way It's Supposed To Be (Eccl. 1:1-2)
Good to see everyone. Good to see this. Good number. We got about the same amount over here is over there. That's nice there. I like that. That's right. That's exactly right. Well good to see you. Glad that you're here. It's cold this morning. I know and thank you coming out and I'm glad that you are here glad that you're feeling better. I know we've already said Jenny about about you and you probably tired of hearing it. We are glad that you are here and God has answered prayers. And I said myself, hadn't told you any of this. But I said myself the first day she comes back to church the next week. I'm going to go out and I'm going to buy her a new push mower. If I push mower and a conversation she can push that. They don't need a riding lawn mower anymore. I buy push mower and it's cheaper to it. That's right. All right, we're good to see you today. We're so glad that you hear God's been good to us as a church. Had me. He's been very good to us. And we need to thank him each and every day for the things that he has given us. Well, today we're going to start. A new series and I've got the I think I have a slide up here with the title of the series who for heaven on Earth. And we're going to start in the book of Ecclesiastes today. How many of you have read Ecclesiastes lately? How many of, you know, if it's in the old or new testament? Okay, it's right after Proverbs. If you, if you want to turn there, you can. What I'm going to do today is I want to introduce this. So this is going to be a little bit different. Type of sermon will look at the first two today, but that's about all we going to look at in here today. But I want to talk to you about why that we're going to study this and
When I picked this book out here and I was praying about it. And the Lord said, you know, this would be a book that many people. I think I would get something out of it. Let me say something about this book before we dive in the next few weeks. If you read the book of Ecclesiastes about 12 chapters. You will find that. This is the most negative. I'm pessimistic book in the Bible. You say, why do you want to preach on a negative pessimistic book? Because it looks at life.
When it is live without God. Now you say, well, you must be talkin about to non-christians. Most of us here this morning. We're Christians know, I'm talkin to Christians because many times we live. As if God doesn't exist, took. and what we do is we try as hard as to find a Little Bit of Heaven on Earth.
And in our search for meaning and purpose in life. Invariably what happens is we take the good gifts that God has given us. And we become so obsessed with them. That those Good Things, become bad things and we end up serving them instead of almighty God. And it's so easy to do. So, as I start this morning, I want to ask you this question.
Have you ever thought to yourself or to someone else? If I Only Had fill in the blank, I would be happy. Now, we've all said that. We've all said, if I just have a better job. If I just had more money. If I just had a bigger house for my family. If I just had a girlfriend or boyfriend, y'all grazing is an right there. If I just had a wife, a spouse, a child. If I was just successful in my job, I would be happy. Well.
You ever look at your life, and if you ever thought of your life is that you're just interrupt have no meaning and purpose in your life. Have you ever noticed how you do the same things every single day? Almost at the same time. It's Jesse life is just a boring monotonous drudgery at times. And dream in wonder if I just had this. I would be satisfied.
Well, the fact of the matter is most of us have said that and most of us has we've had this and we still wanted something else. Doesn't satisfy eternally, maybe temporarily but not eternally, so tell me if you can, if you can relate to this year, it's Monday morning, you get up and you get the alarm goes off and it's 6 a.m. How many of you hit the snooze button? I know. Marching the first one raised. Her hand will hit the snooze two or three times and then we'll sleep 10 and 12 more minutes. You stumble into the bathroom. You take a shower, you brush your teeth to get dressed to go get the car, you sit in traffic as you're going to work, or to school. And then when you get to work, if you work a few hours, you take a lunch break for a few more hours. And then you punch out on the way home. You may stop at Planet Fitness and either walk on a treadmill or pedal a bike you go. Call me Fixer-Upper. You eat? You said only, can you go upstairs? You brush your teeth and get in the bed and then all the sudden. It's Tuesday morning. And what do you do? The same thing over and over and over again? You see, we're stuck in a rut going through the motions, trying to figure out what in the world does life. Mean. What, what is the meaning of life? I keep doing the same thing over and over again. It's just a monotonous drudgery. I can remember when I used to work 3rd Shift. And I was an hour and 20 minutes away from work one way. And I would leave at 10:30 at night so I can get there at 12. And I would come home, I get off at 7 in the morning. I come home when I get home by 8:20 person in the world who assassinated because I was in the same place every day at the same time and I met the same people on the way home. I can tell you right now. There's one lady that live near me about a mile from me from home and I met her on the ghost in Pittsboro road every day. And I guess, I guarantee you I met her within a hundred feet everyday, that same road, and I'll just way better everyday. I just got so sick of that, just meet in the same. People going the same way every single day. Well supervisors at your company. They understand this. I mean, if you've been at work for a company or something, you'd have something like Hawaiian shirt day. You know that let you wear a shirt or I know Martha says, many times. It's casual Friday. We get to wear blue jeans. You see, that's what that's what they want to break the monotony up because we do we wear the same clothes every single day and many people deal with reality in life, in different ways. I remember, I had a professor in seminary who said when he was in seminary, he took a job at a factory, to help pay for school and he was in his early twenties and he said, he worked with men who were in their forties and fifties doing the same job in this fact. He said they would stand there in a simile line doing the same thing. I were after our day after day, month after month, year after year, decade after decade doing the same thing. And he said, me and we'll talk about how they couldn't wait to punch out on Friday. So they could go downtown to the local bar and drink and get drunk and then watch sports on the weekend and stay drunk. Then just sober up enough on Monday morning so they can come back to work. That you'd be surprised. You may not go and get drunk and things like that. But you'd be surprised at the things that we try to do just to break the monotony. Is he that was the only way they knew how to deal with all the redundancy and board them in they dis week to week and just live from Friday to Friday until they can punch out and go get drunk and some people look at substances from people. Look for pleasurable experience is all they want to do just have fun. I just want to do something fun all the time. It so it's pleasure. They're trying to fill their life with Pleasures. Some people love their job so much that they go to work and they don't want 5 p.m. To come. They'll work overtime and keep working and they throw their self in their job because their job is, what gives them meaning a while, but then they'll see that, that enslaves you as well, you end up neglecting your family, that boy. Wade, in your life. Other people turn to romantic relationships. I knew a girl back home. She was 23 years old, and you only been married three times. Is she told me one time she said, this is the right one. This isn't, he's the right one and she was 24 on her third, marriage. You see, she tried relationships. Some people try to accumulate possession. Some people even look to religion because they think, if they could just do all these rituals or purpose. So, in Ecclesiastes, we find the guy. Who faced the monotony of life and he tried to find meaning, and all of these things that I do that everything? Was meaning. So here here's a statement. I'm going to make
your life. And everything that's in your life. This morning.
It is all. Meaning. You say, but that's not a very nice thing to say. I have a family, I married. I have a job. When you mean it's meaningless. Well, let's look at Ecclesiastes chapter 1. Inverse 1. The words of the woods. Your translations say, preacher words of the preacher, the son of David King in Jerusalem, who was the son of David and who was the king in Jerusalem, and who was the wisest, man in the world? Solomon Solomon. Wrote This Book. The words of the here. In verse 2. He says, vanity of vanities, says the preacher. Vanity of vanities, All is Vanity that when King David died. He handed the kingdom over to Solomon. His son and God came to Solomon one night. And Solomon was just a young man, and God told him. He said, Simon you ask what you will and I'll give it to you and you had a dream and God said to you, you ask whatever you want and I will give it to you. What would you say? What would you tell God that you want? I bet it's not patience. I bet it's not persevere. I bet it may have something to do with money. Give me millions of dollars. You young and inexperienced. You know what he asked God for wisdom. He said, Lord, give me the wisdom. I need to judge these people. So he asked for wisdom and God gave it. Gave it to him and saw him and became the wisest. Man. This world had ever known, and all his wisdom is contained in Proverbs, The Song of Solomon and the Book of Ecclesiastes. Now, let me tell you something about Simon. That's why we should listen to him because he's in the world. But this wise man became a greedy lustful. Power-hungry idolatrous food later in life at his life in please. He asked these and he said, I'm here to tell you everything that we do. Everything that we pleasure possessions, acceptance every single thing. Don't Mount to a hill of beans. Because you can't take it with you. He says it Mount to nothing and he likes to use this phrase life under the sun. Now, when he says that wouldn't understand that he's talking about when we live our Earthly life in pursuit of all this stuff and things and do not regard. God, life is meaningless. This is what he saying when you live at this. God does not exist friend. You might as well go out here and plow water or shovel smoke because you're not going to be able to do it. It's not going to. It's all going to come down to a big fat zero. You going to have good times in life. You going to have bad times. You going to birth children, children's going to die, parents going to live, parents going to die. You going to have a job. You like, you going to have a job. You don't like it all amounts to zero in the end. It is useless. And worthless, and purposeless, a life without God. Well. Phylum is message here. I think it's just as relevant to that. Then I would be happy to show you some facts of life. These are Facts of Life. That Solomon is going to tell us and there's about five of them here.
And it will come up, I bet. At some point, it's going to come up.
I stopped right there. That's okay. Stop right there. Remember in in verse to Solomon says vanity and vanity says the preacher vanity of vanity. All is Vanity Fair's, The Facts of Life. Here's what we need to know, life is short, life is redundant, life is hard, is unfair and a life Under the Sun is meaningless. Now. That's not all, he's going to say about life. But just look at that and I guarantee you, you can relate to that. Vanity main. So let's go back to the other slide. If you would wear the definition of vanity. Exactly. What does that mean? You see, Solomon had tried everything in life. And at the end of his life, he said, you know, I've done it all, I've had it all. And so he says vanity of vanity that word vanity in the Hebrew is the word pebble. You see it there and it literally means breath or vapor. He saying life is like just a breath. Life is like a vapor. He says he raised the idea of something that's just fleeting and short-lasting. When you breathe on a cold day. You can see your breath. How long can you see it? Just a split second and it's gone. You put a toad and all the sudden you see the steam coming out. How long does it last? You just see it and it's gone. That's what Solomon says. That's what life is like. Look what James says and Jane Shepard. James, he kind of gives us this similar idea of what life is like. He says, we're as he said, you do not know what will happen tomorrow for, what is your life in that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. You may live to be 100 years old, but your life is short compared to each other. It's like a Viper and it vanishes away. So, Solomon uses this word, heavilin the Hebrew over and over to express the idea that life is vain. It is meaningless. It is frustrating and it is futile. So basically, the word carries the concept that life is just pointless and worthless and frustrating be used with idols. And I think this is what the Bible means here, in Ecclesiastes, because here's what we do. People try to find satisfaction. In created thing, Gator and seeking satisfaction in anything or anyone other than God is a Dollar Tree. And friends, that's exactly what we fall into we fall into idolatry. You see, the search does not work because created things cannot bring ultimate satisfaction. That's why, when we say, if I just had more money. I just had this relationship. If I just had the right job. Everything would be remember. I used to say, if I could just make $40,000 a year, I could just I could live and have what I wanted. Well, I made $40,000 a year, and yes, what? It wasn't enough. Now, I want more. We always want more, we marry our spouse, and this is just the perfect person. This is the perfect person for me, and that person a person is perfect for 6 months, maybe, but then you start seeing these little things you suck. If I just and then you start the if game again, how many times you are upset about yourself? If I could just meet the right person. You meet the right person. Then somebody else a better always grass is always greener on the other side and it's not that pleasure and money and stuff and possessions and sex and success are bad things. But when those things become ultimate things to us, they always let life is just meaningless and purposeless because nothing will satisfy. They let us down. I've got a slide here. I want to, I put together and I want to show you this. It's the good and the bad. And I want to show you this slide here because This is our kind of tells us, I want you to look at, I want you to write this down in your heart if you don't write it on paper because this is so important money, success, acceptance. Job, just fill in the blank. Anything that's important to you, good things. Can become bad, bad Obsession, friends. When these good things up here at the top, when they rule your life with about, when you think, if I just had this, I would be happy. That thing has become a ruling thing. That thing has become a vital and it has taken of God. That's what that it's. So we can all these things here that we like pleasure. Have fun sex with our spouses ships. All those things are good things. But see what we do is we all those things are gifts from God. He gives us these things for us to enjoy. What we do is we turn God's gifts into a God in and of themselves and we start serving them instead of God, and that's what we do. And you going to see throughout this book, religious things. They look like they can bring us true happiness, but it's all a lie. It's all a lot. Let me tell you the biggest lie ever. The American dream. You'll never find the American dream. If you look at it on Earth, you will never find it. You will work yourself to death to have success on a job and see that it won't satisfy. It's just a figment of the imagination. There's no such thing as the American dream. The problem is none of these things is ever enough. They don't last is fleeting is meaningless in. Whatever you trying to build your life on other than Jesus is utterly meaningless. It's what Solomon is going to tell us. So as we study this book, I want you to keep in mind, he's asked these, why should I want to look at the Garden of Eating? Because when Adam and Eve rebelled against God, God threw him out of the garden and he placed a cherubim. Remember the shirt and the Bible says, even the creation groans until the day of redemption. You see when man rebelled against God's design, a frustrating curse was brought into the world. That's why nothing works. Right? Nothing is as if I want to be just like the title of the sermon. It's just not like it should be. And so we we work and we suffer the consequences of going Our Own Way disease, death, poverty, evil, murderer, Injustice. We see it all arrests. And so the creation of humanity, and the fall in the sea and that's the background of all of Solomon's. Obbs. Remember that we live in a fallen World, things aren't going to be right. Things aren't going to go, right. There's going to be deaf. There's going to be a loss of job. There's going to be relationships that break up. Why become World? It will know. So God created the design for everything. He created a perfect home for his children and he's like, what, food family drink relationship. I designed all these good as he intended and the ending of them Smith. God has given you a car boat jobs, accept money. All all the good things that God has given you was designed to come to desire him, you know, the rent in this world, why God allows evil things to happen to us, back to him. That's what he thought. We have that in the worth it to him. So when we, when we drank, and when we enjoy sex with our spouse and all these activities and gratitude to God for his good, he had we have rebelled against God's design and we began using his gift pleasure sex in ways. He did not intend. We turned themselves and not just gifts and God wants us to use all these good things and not as a. So, we salts and create rather than the Creator. God in that brought on the world. How there's death in Brokenness and things do not what studying this. Bible. That typifies exactly what I'm talking about. Why she was trying everything to find meaning and purpose in all the wrong things. You remember the woman in John chapter 4, when Jesus the Samaritan woman at the, well, Is she come to draw water? And Jesus are never need that water? She said, give me some of that water. He said, go get your husband. Remember what she said. I don't have a husband. He said you're right. You don't have a husband. He said, but you've had five in the man that you living with now is not your husband. What he was saying is, you have tried everything in your life relationships with men to find, meaning and purpose in life. And all you have to do is drink the water that I give, and you'll never thirst again, but this woman tried to find meaning and purpose in relationships in life. We abused the gifts. So that now pleasure becomes an addiction drink becomes drunkenness and sex Play, We reject Our God given roles in marriage. And now our work is frustrating and Now ladies have pain in childbearing. That's a part of the curse. And think of this, we're going to die one day and we're going to turn to dust unless the Lord comes back together. We just going to go back into God made man and woman took forever in the Bible says, this world is the path of the purse. The world stays here and we're the ones that die. And not only that we go and turn back into dust it. Supposed you see there's so much frustration. It seems I am meaningless in life, The Atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell I found, I found a quote by him that I want to read you. Remember, this man is not a Christian. He's an atheist or of an ocean crying to the night and The Emptiness, sometimes the voice answers out of the darkness, but it is a boys of One drowning. And in a moment, the silence returns. The world seems to me to be quite Dreadful. The unhappiness of most people is very great and I often wonder how they all in your now listen to his here. This is so telling, To know people Wale tragedy. Think about the know someone well, I suppose, if they did not live, most of the time, in the things of the moment. They would not be able to go on. That was an atheist who said that. And he's exactly right. He's exactly right. We know we know each other most of the time because of the tragedy in our life. That's what we know in like children. We don't say thank you for Christmas presents. Why? Because we worship the gifts and not the giver. We looked a temporary things like pleasure, sex, money stuff, popularity, and success for lasting satisfaction, in friends. It cannot Hibbett. It will not come through for you. And remember it's not that these things are bad. They're good gifts from God. But when a gift turns into a God and we seek ultimate satisfaction in it. It will let us down and it will enslave us. So here we are. Getting ready to start a new series. We live East of Eden separated from God. We live in a cursed meaningless, existence. And we're seeking lasting joy and things that will eventually let us down. That's why life is so hard. That's why life is meaningless. Life is fleeting. This is the reality of Life Under the Sun that Solomon is going to unfold in this book. So in closing, let me say this.
I want you to fill in the bank this morning.
If I had blank. I would be happy. Billy. Didn't you already have? I know, it's some point you lie. You've already thought that way. If this would change in my life. Everything would be good. All I need is blank to be happy.
You see if life is boring and monotonous to you. If there's no if there's no Rhyme or Reason to your life, you like, meaning and purpose and joy in your life. We're friends. Let me say you've come to the right place because the wisest man who ever lived is going to tell and when he does, we can have joy and Abundant Life. We can have a little piece of heaven on Earth. Amen. Let's pray. Father. We do. Thank you and praise. You and love you today. Lord, for this very important book that we're about to study. Lord, I pray for the one that's here today. Did they just have no meaning and purpose in life?
That like me many years ago. They just do the same thing over and over their life is just a monotonous drudgery. And we can't seem to see how we are to be thankful for the 9 to 5 jobs. For the sink full of dirty dishes. For the clothes, hamper, being full for changing. All those dirty diapers. We don't understand how or why we should be thankful for that. Lord, I pray in this series that you're going to open up our hearts and our minds and our eyes to see the truth. The Lord whenever we choose anything of this world, whenever we choose any of the good gifts that you've given us. And we base our meaning and purpose and life and significance on those gifts. Lord that we're going to be dissatisfied. We're going to be angry. We're not going to be content, and we're going to live a meaningless life. Lord, I pray right now for that one, whose wife seems just seems not to count. I pray. Lord that you would show that person that life indeed has many. If we all live life with you as our number one priority and then enjoy the gifts. That you get. In Christ's name, I do pray. Amen. All right. Well, thank you so much for being here.