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Ecclesiastes: Chapter 7 Verses 11-23

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SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 22)

 

 

 

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 7:11-23  – Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.  For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.  Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?  In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.  All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.   Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?  Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?  It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.  Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.  For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.  Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:  For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.  All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me. 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.  For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

Although there is no value to accruing wealth and leaving an inheritance to the fool; for those who possess Godly wisdom, an inheritance is a very beneficial thing.  There are many beneficial uses for an inheritance which is controlled by a Godly man.

Both Godly wisdom, and wealth possessed by the wise can be used as a great protection  against poverty and abuse of the wise or those around him.

The highest type of knowledge reveals that Godly wisdom gives spiritual, eternal life to those who possess it.  This is because Godly wisdom leads a man to see his sinful condition; identify his Savior, Jesus Christ; and persuade him of the need to turn to Him for deliverance from his sin.

 

Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?  In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider:

Solomon now reminds us that the events of this life are under the absolute sovereign control of the Lord.  No man can change that which the Lord has decreed.  No man can make straight what He has made crooked.

In the pleasant days, be joyful and thankful to the Lord realizing He is the One that has brought it to pass.  In the days of affliction, stop and think…  the Lord is also in control of this and is allowing it to take place for a purpose.

 

God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him. 

The Lord does all of these things to be a constant reminder of our total, absolute reliance upon Him.  He does this by constantly bringing new events into our lives, doing things in our lives we cannot change, and not allowing us to see what tomorrow holds for us.

 

All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.   Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?  Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time? 

Before Solomon came to an understanding of the true meaning to life and the importance of Godly wisdom, he observed that a man who lived a lawful life died at a young age while a man who lived wickedly lived a long life.

This seemed to indicate that it is useless to pursue living a moral, lawful life because it only ends up hurting us.  Likewise, we should not go to the opposite extreme because excessive lawlessness can result in living lives of imprisonment, sickness, suffering and also, at times, early death.

 

It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all. 

Based upon these examples, Solomon now reveals the true principle that we should cling to and never forget… The man that fears with Lord with a Godly type of wisdom will excel over both the earthly wise and earthly foolish man.  This is because the God fearing man will use this physical life to prepare for the eternal life that is to come.  He will do this by recognizing his sinful condition, recognize Christ as the only Savior, and turn from their sins to Christ in faith.

  

Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.   For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. 

Godly wisdom will lead the leaders of a city to reign in righteousness and lead others to follow the Lord.  This is a greater protection to the city than ten mighty warriors who fight in their own power and are not empowered by the Lord.

The greatest reason why Godly wisdom is so important for all mankind is because all men have sinned and are separated from the Lord due to their sins.  All men are in need of a Savior

 

Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:  For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others. 

Another important principle that is known by the wise is to not listen to those who speak against us.  When we hear them, due to our sin nature, we will turn against the speaker and seek vengeance against him.  This will lead to possible mistreatment of the speaker.

If we stop and consider, we will realize that we are guilty of speaking against others and have no place to judge others who speak against us.

 

All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far

from me. 

These are all lessons Solomon has proven to be true as he gained Godly wisdom from the Lord.  This, in turn, helped him to understand the great need for wisdom in his life.  However, he also came to understand that true, Godly wisdom, cannot be gained through our good works nor our desire for them.  True Godly wisdom is a gift that is given by God, sovereignly, to those whom He chooses to receive it.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, throughout this lesson, we have seen the need for Godly wisdom emphasized again and again by Solomon.  As Christians, may we all come to understand the great need for Godly wisdom in our lives and the need to humbly come before the Lord and seek that wisdom which cannot be gained through human merit, education, nor desire.

Likewise may those who do not know Christ, come to an understanding of their great need for Godly wisdom as well.  May they see that the first step to gaining Godly wisdom is through possessing a personal relationship with Christ through repentance from sin and belief in Christ as Lord and Savior.

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
11. 5:1-7 The pursuit of worldly vows, contracts, and promises
12. 5:8-17 The pursuit of worldly riches
13. 5:18-20 A recognition that enjoyment of this earthly life is God’s gracious gift to man
14. 6:1-2 A recognition of man’s inability to enjoy that which God has given to him.
15. 6:3-10 A recognition of man’s sinfulness, mortality and need of humility before God
16. 6:11-12 A recognition of the vanity of all that lies under the sun.
17. 7:1-10 The pursuit of prideful living
18. 7:11-23 The recognition of the value of Godly wisdom

 

 

 

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