Settled In Heaven Blog

Home » SIH Lesson Themes » Doctrinal » Ecclesiastes: Chapter 4 Verses 4-16

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 4 Verses 4-16

Follow Us And Keep Updated On All SIH Postings ...


As The Lord Wills...Upcoming Series On SIH Blog. Don't Miss Out!

No upcoming events

Blog Subscription Tools:


Blog Stats

  • 221,464 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,581 other followers

Follow SIH Ministries On:


SettledInHeaven.org

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 13)

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spritiual truths of God to those in his nation and to Christians throughout time.

Keep in mind, Solomon learned these truths by trying to find the meaning to life through experiencing all this world has to offer.  Solomon was uniquely suited to learn these lessons and share these truths with the people of God…

First of all, very few men possess sufficient wealth and power to be able to sample all this world has to offer (1 Kings 10:23).

Secondly, only Solomon and a few others throughout time, have been universally respected causing his teachings to be taken very seriously and thoughtfully by all (1 Kings 4:30-34).  (Keep in mind, even Christ Himself and His teachings were rejected by many of those around Him.)

Solomon was God’s man, in God’s place, at God’s time, by God’s grace, to learn this most important truth and proclaim it with authority to those he loved.  May we all listen carefully as Solomon reveals to us the true meaning to life and answer the question…  “What Is Our Life If Not Lived for The Lord ?”.

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Eccl 4:4-16

Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit.  The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.  Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.  Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun.  There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.  Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.  Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?    And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.  Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.  For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor.  I considered all the living which walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his stead.  There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them: they also that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit. 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Solomon now considers wisdom (as characterized by diligence and contentment) and foolishness (as characterized by laziness envy and coveting) …

  

Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit. 

Solomon begins his examination of wisdom and foolishness by looking at those who painfully labor seeking to do what is upright, moral and proper.  Instead of him being honored and emulated, he is only envied and criticized by those who are foolish

Solomon sees that without the Lord and a coming judgment, the man who seeks to do right is wasting his time.  All of the pain and abuse he endures makes his labor worthless and frustrating.

 

 

The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.  Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit. 

Solomon then examines the opposite of the wise, diligent man… the fool.  He sees that the fool labors only for his minimum needs and lazily rests whenever possible.  Basically he does without much to avoid labor.  In that sense, he is feeding upon himself.  He takes from himself to feed his own laziness.

After seeing the lazy fool, Solomon comes to see, that if there is no eternity, nor final judgment, it is better to be the fool.   Solomon reasons that it is better to be content with the smallest possible amounts and live lazy, lives of inactivity, than work diligently bringing pain to oneself, only to be envied and criticized.

 

 

Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun.  There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail. 

Solomon then turns his attention to another area of earthly life that is short-lived and worthless… a man who labors to accumulate goods solely for his own personal benefit.  Solomon sees a man who is alone, he is responsible to care for no one but himself, he is lonely, has no one to care for him, and no one to whom he can leave an inheritance.  Perhaps, he is alone because he forgot and ignored those around him, being so obsessed with accumulating earthly wealth.

In any case, Solomon sees him laboring to an extreme, never being satisfied with the wealth he has accumulated.  He does all of this without having anyone to care for, nor anyone to leave an inheritance.

Solomon sees this attitude is one of short-lived, eventually becoming worthless, and labor that only produces pain and suffering.

 

 

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.  Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?    And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. 

Solomon sees that two people working together is better than one person working alone.  He sees that there lies rewards in working together…

  1. when one falls the other can help him to stand
  2. when one is cold the other can help to heat him
  3. when one is attacked, the other can help fight off the attacker.

Based upon all of these, Solomon comes to the conclusion that a threefold cord is not easily broken.  In other words, where two can be a great help to one another, so too, a third friend added to the equation makes the group almost invincible.

However there are a few other lessons we can see presented in the “three-fold cord”:

  1. First of all, the three fold cord can represent the two friends along with Jesus as their Leader. When two the friends include the Lord in their plans and labors, they will be able to accomplish great things while standing up against the strongest of their foes.

 

Also, based upon 1 John 5:7-8, the three-fold cord can also represent two other truths…

1Jn 5:7-8 –“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.  And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”

 

  1. The three-fold cord can represent the three persons of the Godhead and their work of redemption. The Father’s eternal decree of election, the Son’s work which secured the salvation of the elect, and the sealing of the Spirit, guarantee the salvation of God’s people and their preservation into eternity.
  2. Finally, the three fold cord can also represent the the Spirit, and the water, and the blood. These bear witness in the earth of the redemption of God’s people. The indwelling Spirit testifies of God’s redemption, the water of baptism publically declares the salvation that has taken place in the life of the believer, and the shed blood of the cross testifies to the great payment of sin debt that was made to save God’s people from their sins.

 

 

Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.  For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor.    

Solomon now looks at wisdom versus foolishness in the exercise of authority…

Solomon sees it is better to be poor, inexperienced, and under the authority of others but possessing wisdom, than to be old and experienced, ruling over all others, but being a fool.

The child has the opportunity to be exalted and receive great authority to reign over others than a foolish king who is destined to a public fall.

 

 

I considered all the living which walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his stead.  There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them: they also that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Solomon concludes by looking at the succession of generations of mankind.  Solomon saw that as one generation passes, another generation comes to take their place.  As he said “There is no end of all the people”.

Solomon also sees that with the coming of each new generation, the preceding generation is not honored nor appreciated for their acts of diligence and wisdom, but in actuality, forgotten.

Once again, Solomon’s summary of life on earth, without God, a consideration of eternity and His judgments of mankind, comes to the conclusion that earthly life is “vanity and vexation of spirit”.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all come to understand the insignificance of wisdom and diligent living if we do not use these to serve our Lord and prepare for our eternal life.

 

 

Solomon’s pursuit of the meaning of life included:

 

1. 2:1-3 The pursuit of carnal desires  (the base pleasures found in a fallen world)
2. 2:4-11 The pursuit of material possessions through human labors
3. 2:12-17 The pursuit of worldly wisdom, madness and folly
4. 2:18-23 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #1
5. 2:24-26 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #2
6. 3:1-8 A recognition of the Lord’s sovereign control over all life events   Prt #1
7. 3:9-15 A recognition of the Lord’s sovereign control over all life events   Prt #2
8. 3:16-22 A recognition of our need of Christ to see the nature and purpose of our life.
9. 4:1-3 A recognition that never being born is better than the sufferings of this life.
10. 4:4-16 The pursuit of earthly wisdom, diligence and living responsibly

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Translate This Blog Into Other Languages...


Search Our Site For All Your Favorite Postings...


Guide To Our Current Postings…

Currently Being Updated For 2012-2013

%d bloggers like this: