When Bad Is Better (Eccl. 7:1-10)
This is our Siri searching for heaven on Earth. And this is our message, the title of the message today, when bad. Is better. When bad is better. And what we're going to talk about today? Is Flom of the understanding the paradoxes of life? And there's a lot of paradoxes in the Bible. So what I want to do this morning starting out if I want to give you a little quiz, okay, and I will take this quiz together. There's four questions worth 25 points each. Now, when we put these questions up, don't overthink them just Just just buy Common Sense. Answer. Mmm. Okay, and we'll answer these together. All right, here they are. Would you rather laugh or cry course you should? Everybody wants to wants to cry number to? Would you rather be complimented or criticized? Complimented. No one likes criticism. Do they even if it's constructive it can be destructive, you do so.
Would you rather go the long way? Or take the shortcut shortcut? Why you want to take shorter? It's easier. That's right. You would rather go the easy way. Then the hard way, you would rather go the shortcut. Then a long way, or I don't have one more. Would you rather live or die live? We all want to live you die. Is final is over.
You just scored a hundred. That was my little quiz that I gave you this morning and you are everybody here. Just scored 100. But let me tell you the problem. The problem is I'm not giving the key of Solomon is. And if you, if following would have given you this quiz this morning, we all scored a big fat zero.
A big fat zero you say with that doesn't even make sense. Well, that's because it's a paradox. The Solomon. It's better to be sorrowful than to laugh. The Solomon. It's better to be criticizing compliment. He's going to explain all this today. It's better to go the hard way then to take a shortcut. And it's actually better to dye. Your death deck is better than your birth date. I think about that we would at the way we answer everybody would have said exactly what we did except for follow it. So that's what we're going to look at today. Now, here's what I want you to understand the key to what phylum and teaches today is the word better. We going to look at 10 versus and the word better is found 11 times. Now, he's not teaching about things that are right and wrong in life. He's teaching about how some things are better than other things at certain point. In other words, better. Meaning that we get more out of it. We learn we become more wise is what Solomon is saying. So difficult. He's the Hard Road, death morning. All of these life experiences in our life. That's what Philemon is say. So I have four points this morning in Solomon is actually going to answer and very questions that we just took on the quiz. So here is number one. Sorrow is better. Then laughter. Solder than laughter. Let's look at it. In verses 1 through 4. This is what Solomon says, please. Yes, D7. A good name is better than precious ointment. And the day of death. Then the day of one's birth. What he saying is the day of death, is better than today. Then the day of one's birth.
Better to go to the house of mourning. Then to go to the house of feasting. For that is in the end of all men and and the living will take it to heart. And I look at this verse 3, sorrow is better than what laughter for by sad. Countenance, The Heart Is Made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of Mirth. Solomon says that it is better to sorrow, then to laugh. Then he gives two examples here in the first one is letter. A He says, looking back. And looking forward. All right. Now look at it as it's hard to imagine how one's death could be better than the day that someone is born when we go to a funeral. What are we do? We cry. We don't laugh. When someone is born. What are we? All we do is laugh, have a good time, shake and hug, you may cry, but it's tears of happiness. It's not tears of morning. But Solomon here is not at some dark more Rozier that likes death more than birth. Fall math. And there's a time to dance following is the one that told us all over in Ecclesiastes. Enjoy life. Enjoy your vacation. Enjoy making money and just enjoy life sucks. Said that 30 times in the Book of Proverbs Solomon says to enjoy life and look at what he said in Proverbs 17:22. Look at this proverb 17:22.
It's coming. It's going to come. It won't, it won't until it was quick. I couldn't I couldn't read that one, but
Inca. Play it in Proverbs 17:22. Better, Mary Hart, Mary Hart, the spirit drives, the bone. Why in the world? Would he say? It's better to be sorry for Mary Hart. Someone who's someone who just have a lot of joy and fun and laughter, and smile, all the time. That does good like a medicine. Yes, just to have a good positive attitude is like a medicine. Will then why in the world would he say that sorrow is better than laughter? And why would he say that? The day of death is better than one's birth. Well, to understand it. You have to go back to first one that look at verse 1. He says a good name is better than Precious on. Now. He's doing a word play here. While a man is in the Hebrew language. The word for name is Sim s h, e m, And the word for ointment is Shimon shemen, so he's saying a good shim name is better than a precious shimming ointment. So, what is he trying to say? He's saying this that there's two days in life. When a person's name is prominent the day, he's born and the day that he dies. What happens between those two days? Determines. What happens between those two days determines, whether your name is a precious Shimon? Or if it kind of smells. You see what he saying? What? What he saying here? If you die with a good name, your name can never be tarnished, but if you're born, You have an entire life ahead of you to mess your name up. But you look back to someone who's lived a Godly life and they have a good name back. But you look at someone that just born and you say why like what type of life that person is going to live. So Solomon says, he's looking back. He says looking back on a good name or a good life is better than looking forward to an unproven, is what Solomon is saying there for one's death person and in the sense of the death day. Is better than laughter on the birthday. That's what Solomon is saying here. So he says, looking back. It's better than looking forward, but he says something else. He says, learning from morning is easier. Then learning from feasting, or is better than learning from feasting. Now, Solomon now moves to the heart what it takes to call someone to learn and to become wise. In other words. We learn more from adversity, than we do from from the valley. Then we do on the Mountaintop. We learn more about our sales in the valley, and we learn more about God in the valley, then we do on the mountain, top wisdom is 4 of trouble and tribulation and difficulty. You see a person in a person who who laughs all the time and it will look at it in person for that is the end of all men and the living will take it to heart sorrow is better than laughter for. By said countenance. The Heart Is Made better. Heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of Mirth. In the house of mourning. You learn more, you, you get closer to God a person who laughs all the time, is a person who denies reality ever known anybody like that. They would laugh at everything that, I mean. I can lose your job and I'm just laugh about it or someone could die. You see them kind of over in the corner, just kind of telling jokes and punching people. It's like they couldn't mourn date. They denied, what happened. Life is not. A party all the time. There's plenty of time to laugh and joke, but there's also times to mourn and weep is what Solomon is saying, and I know the deepest growth in my own life. Just when I've gone through adversity, through losing a job through having heart surgery, not understanding why this is happening, but a deeper spiritual growth will occur in, adversity and difficulty. Then it will, when you're on the Mountaintop, aw Tozer said this, God cannot use a man until he hurt that, man. God will not. Make us. Until he breaks us. Through adversity and difficulty. I remember when Martha's dad passed away. And he at his funeral and I and I always thought of his funeral and Martha's brother did the funeral but it was like everybody there. It's like, it wouldn't like a funeral. It was like, everybody was celebrating. Everybody was smiling. And I'm just kind of looking around. They would be telling, you know, stories about him and and he was a godly man. He taught Sunday school for 50, some years and he loved life. And it was like, it was a celebration kind of like a celebration of life because of The Godly life and he had established a good name for himself and the funeral was like a celebration of his life. That's what Solomon is saying when he says that the death day is better than the birthday in the morning. Teaches us. Molder difficulty teaches us more than prop. This is what Philemon it say, when a baby is born. We pray that it's going to live a good and godly life, but we don't know. There's no person reaches, the end of his life and you can look back on the goodness and godliness of that person. The day of mourning is better than rejoicing at the birthday. That's what Solomon is saying and despite what we owe for mrs. Osteen. Man's highest purpose is not to be happy. Man's highest purse. Purpose is to know God and we know God best when we Face things that we can't face without him. That's when we get to know. God, best trouble causes all of us to stop the routine and ask more, serious questions about life. And for that reason, Solomon says sorrow is better than laughter number 2. Rebuke is better than praise. In other words to be criticized. Is better than to be complimented. You say what? How does this work? Look at it in verse 5 & 6. It is better here. There's that word again. Better. It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, from a Godly person. From a friend that you have this Godly that gives good advice. And they come to you and they see something that needs to be corrected in your life. And they're not afraid to tell you, they'll tell you in a spirit of love, but they will tell you, they're not going to tell you, just what you want to hear. But look at it here. It says, here. It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song of fools. In other words, somebody telling you what you want to hear, and look what he says in verse 6 for like the crackling of thorns under a pot. So is the laughter of the fool. This also is Vanity now. I hope you beginning to sense by. The answers to Solomon's quiz is opposite than ours. And you going to be probably be surprised to learn that. Solomon says, rebuke. It's better. My man. Now, most of us we resist when someone tries to rebuke us knowing, if you at work and and you work hard, you've done your best and you have your review and they say, what you did this. Well, well well, but you a little bit below average on this. We don't like that. Do it. We don't like it. Now the good person will stay with one but somebody like me, he was just a lie, you're not right, you know, so I don't like rebuke, you know, don't tell me what I need to do to, to get better. So solomon-like is the praise of a fool duration from Biblical days. When they need it, in those times, a short burst of heat, something that would heat up really quick. What they would do, if they would get the branches. From a Forney tree or thornybush and throw into the fire and the fire was just blaze up, really quick. Now that was good if you wanted temporary heat, but if you wanted a night, like if it's a cold night and you won't your fireplace going, you wouldn't throw thorns in there because it wouldn't last that long. You see Thorns would never be used for that. What he's saying is, the praise of fools is really intense really hot when you hear it, but it's only temporary. It's only temporary but the rebuke of a wise man has long lasting benefits. If somebody's wise and they say, Mike, here's what you need to do. You need to change here. And if I listen to that person, it will have long-term effects for the good. For me. Accepting rebuke is a sign of wisdom. Look at what Solomon says Proverbs 13 and 18. Poverty and shame will come to him. Who disdains? Correction can't stand to be corrected, says poverty and Shane, but he who regards a rebuke will be honored. Look at next Proverbs, 15:31 and 32. The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise. He who disdains instructions despises his own soul, but he who he's rebuke understanding for Solomon saying here that if a wise person comes to you and tell you something, you don't want to hear, but they're telling you this for your own good. You better take heed. Here's why he says it. Look at the next scripture that we have here. And that is Proverbs 27:6. Look at this. Faithful are the wounds of a friend. But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Do you hear that? Fateful? When a person tells you what you need to know, even though maybe something you don't want to hear those wounds, it may hurt but it's, they're being faithful. But the kisses of the enemy is deceitful. We'd rather be kissed happening than to be hurt. You see what Solomon is saying here. You better? Beware of the flatterer. The person who's constantly flattering you telling you everything that you want to hear, they'll pump you up, but they probably doing that cuz they want to get something out of Youth and that's why they keep pumping you up like that friends. What they'll do is they will stroke you. But before long, they will strike you. That's what a flatterer will do. So Solomon says that we ought to be more interested in the rebuke of someone who is wise and who loves us, then the songs and the flattery of someone who's trying to use us to get something. Now, would you rather be complimented or criticized? Go ahead and complimented that we had? But Solomon, says the opposite. That's why we failed the test. He says the opposite and if we'll practice is principal. It will probably read benefits in our life and it'll help us to avoid the downfalls of flattery. So, what if we said so far sorrow is better than laughter. That makes sense, but it is. And then we also said, rebuke is better than praise number 3.
The long way is better than the easy way. Or the long way is better than the shortcut. Now. Everybody likes the shortcut. We all want to take a shortcut. I remember one time I was riding with somebody. I can't remember who it was. I was going, we're going to a ball game and I said, all right. We just need to go down here and turn. Here is about three miles up there on the right. He said, nah. Nah, I know a shortcut. I know a shortcut and he knew one. All right, we got on a dirt road and we got on this and we got lost and the ball game was halfway over before we ever got there. He didn't know any shortcut. You see, look what the Bible says, in verse 7 & 8, Surely oppression destroys a wise, man. Reason I look at this and I bribe the bases, the heart, the end of a thing is better than its beginning. What is a bribe? Yes, I shortcut. Somebody bribe, you say look. I'll give you this amount of money if you'll make this happen for me, and I'm thinking it would take me. It take money. I can get it right now. All I have to do is make this happen. I can get that money right now. You see a bribe is a short is trying to make something happen faster than it otherwise would. But Solomon says, the end of a thing is better. Again, it, why does he say that? Because we ought to be focusing on where we were headed before. We begin a journey. In other words, before we say something or do something, what will be the results of my actions? And the outcome of my Deeds. Just don't do it. And I think about because Solomon says here, that we ought to focus, the end of a thing is better than the beginning, friends. Let me tell you something. About Satan and about God. Satan is better in the beginning. He makes things look so good in the beginning. But God himself saved his best for last, you know, that you think about this being media and initial impact of alcohol will make you feel good drink. It makes you feel good. And, you know, it kind of calms you down, sometimes, and you're able to say things, maybe that you normally wouldn't say do things. What if it's just fun, maybe that the media in the back or drugs or illicit, sex, whatever all that is exciting on the front end. But the back end, it leads to destruction. But it's all fun at the front. It just looks so good. Why Simon says the end is better than the beginning. A person who ends well, is a person who made wise decisions on the front end. That's why he says that the ending of a thing is better than the beginning. We have to make wise decisions on the front end. And then the ending that we want, will be exactly what we were looking for. And you can, you can see this saying someone to people this married. white people say,
The first years of their marriage was the best. They said it was just a fun and I like that. But now you you think about it. They're probably the noisiest. And the most tumultuous, you know, especially when you start living with the person who don't put the toilet paper on ride, toothpaste, and, and don't do things the way you do and all the sudden you're living with someone. Do it like that. Why do you do it? You remember that episode on All in the Family? When Mike was putting a sock in a shoe on and Archie stopped and said, what are you doing? And everybody in America in a sock on and then the soccer shoes or whatever my said, no, that's crazy. You know, it all he got on his nerves. Well, you see here when someone to marry they say we're the best years of my marriage, was the first years with off to be the later years because the more you get to know someone in the more you can put up with maybe their habits or whatever you out to love that person more in the later years than you did in the first years. You know what many people would say the opposite. That's why Simon says, the end of a thing is better than the beginning. It's what Solomon says. Well, we have one more. And that is this.
Today is better than yesterday. You say, what? What do you mean by that? Are you tell me if you've ever done this, I do it all the time. if you ever just sat around and followed about, Or like they were in the good old days. Don't you just sit around and think sometimes I wish. The times that we live in was like they were when you used to be able to leave your windows up and doors, open and leave your house and didn't have to worry about someone breaking in and crime. And all of that. When things were so much simpler. I'm constantly thinking back to what I would think is the good old days, but, you know, something, there are no good old days, the good old days, don't exist. Think I did. The days that we live in right now. 30 years from now, will be the good old days. In 30 years from now, we would say, I wish I could go back to 2022. I thought the way it is here for you. Just wait for 30 years and see you waiting 30 years and see if, if we keep going down the way we're going, you would wish it was 2022. This is what Solomon is say, you see the days we live in 30 years from now than they do. Now. How many of you watch there's a show? I don't know why. It's on the History Channel. It's called Swamp People. Do y'all ever watch that? Y w, a s these guys in and I just love to see them catch, you know, shoot them the alligators and all in it. They're in the boat out on the lake. I just love to watch that. I was watching the show the other night and a guy, the end he was showing video of, in Louisiana, back in like the 1910 1920 had video of people on boats and they were following these Big Cypress trees down and let them fall, and then they would push him down river. And the water would make them flow down to where the Lumberyard was, when he said, they didn't get all of those trees out of the river. So he takes his fishing boat. And, you know, I'm out of fish. They have this electronic now, where you can see for the water or where the fish, maybe he said when you see a little bump, he said that tells you there's a log there. So he goes down there and get the Cypress logs. That's been laying there for a hundred two hundred years and he said one, that's maybe eight or 10 ft long, you get $2,000 for that and he takes them back to his house. Got a little Watering Hole. He puts them in and he says, he said, no, she had that a hundred or so years ago, and he said I've come to the conclusion. He said that I was born 100 years too late. In other words, he said, I wish I lived. But then he wanted to live in the past. You say, Solomon says, don't say what were the former days? Look at it first 10. What Solomon says, do not say, why were the former days better than these? For you, do not inquire wisely concerning. This Simon says, don't sit around it and wish that I could live back in such-and-such time. He said that's not a wise thing to do. What are you saying is they weren't better. He wants us, not to live our lives in the past those days, only appear good to those who are trying to avoid living in the house. We don't want to live in the present in or in the present. So look at what Solomon better than laughter. He says, looking back is better than looking forward specially when stopping about death. Learning from morning is better than learning on the learning in the valley is better than learning on the Mountaintop. Rebuke is better than praise. It's better to be criticizing complimenting. Don't take the Shorties better than the short way. And he says today is better than yesterday, don't look back. So I wish I could go back to the good old days. He said there was no such thing, 30 years from. Now. These days will be the good old days. This is what Solomon is saying, so you think about the paradoxes in Scripture? Scripture says that the way down is the way up. If you want to be a great God kingdom. You have to be a lot of man. A servant. If you want to be lifted up, you have to. That's not what the world says. A contrite, spirit leads to a rejoicing Spirit repenting soul is the Victoria soul. That doesn't sound right. The world wouldn't agree with that. To have nothing is to possess at all. The bear, the cross wear the crown. That doesn't make sense. If you really, it is better to watch to give than to receive the Bible, says the Liberals always made fat. In other words, the more you give the more you have the world has known. The more you have, the more you hoard. You see if opposite, these are paradoxes. The glory of God is found in the valley, not on the Mountaintop. Why? Because when we were in the valley, we don't have anything we can do, but look up to God. That's why God says in Romans 8:28, we know that all things work together for good. He's talking about good things, and bad thing. He told my bad things like noon is better than laughter for that in to good. You see, he takes things that look like they're the opposite of good and he causes them to work together for good for you. And for his glory, the world would say, well, the easy way is better than the hard way too, short cuts better. The France when God gets through rearranging things in your life, the hard way, the Long Way always turns out better. So friends, that's this is the Christian Life. We live in the mix of paradoxes that the world says his foolish, but we say our fruitful. So let's go back to the quiz. Next slide unless it is again based on what site. You are the laugh or cry. Based on what Would You Rather Be complemented by criticize? Especially if someone don't have your best interest at heart? You really got a long way. Would you rather be brides and take the shortcut? Long ways. Always. Better, always better to ride or die. You want a good name? Do you want to give up? You've already established? Amen? Let's pray. Father. We do. Thank you and praise. You. Love you today. Lord for your word for. We know we live in the midst of paradoxes, and many times. We don't understand them. We got we know that you take all things in our life. That means days of laughter days of crying. Days of rejoicing days of mourning. Days of war and days of peace.
Days of dancing. And days of discouraging and you blend them all together. For our good and for your boy. Lord, we thank you for that. And even though it's hard to say, we thank you, Lord, that sometimes in Christ name we do pray.