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Ecclesiastes: Chapter 8 Verses 6-15

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SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 25)

 

 

 

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 8:6-15 –

(6)  Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.  (7)  For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be?  (8)  There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.  (9)  All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt.  (10)  And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity.  (11)  Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.  (12)  Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:  (13)  But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.  (14)  There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity.  (15)  Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Eccl 8:6-15 –

Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.  For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be? 

To fulfill every purpose of the Lord under the sun, there must be a time (an opportunity open for us to serve) and a judgement (answering to the Lord for our level of faithfulness in that opportunity).  These can be seen through the exercise of Godly wisdom.  Those who are wise can see beyond this physical world.  They can understand the need to be faithful in the opportunities opened to us, they understand that eternity holds a time of reckoning between God and every man on earth.

Lost mankind, due to their inability to please the Lord in any area of opportunity, finds themselves in a miserable condition.  Apart from God’s gracious intervention in their lives, they are condemned to living lives of disobedience with God’s hand of judgment awaiting them…

Job 14:1-5  Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.  He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.  And dost thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee?  Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.  Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;

 

 

There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it. 

Not only does man lack the ability to serve the Lord, but he also lacks the ability to avoid death, or delay its coming.   Physical death is like a war against man that he always loses.  There is no escaping that war, all men eventually face physical death.

Even Satan himself, and all the powers of wickedness in this world, cannot deliver men from death.

 

All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt.  And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity. 

Solomon saw that wicked men abused those who are under their authority.  He saw them live their lives selfishly, only considering their own lustful desires.  Not only did Solomon see these things, but he also desired to come to understand why these things are so.

Even though the wicked cruelly ruled over those under their authority, Solomon saw that death took them from this world.  Although they lived selfishly, doing all they could to escape death’s grasp, it was all to no avail.

Solomon saw that living selfish lives misusing others only holds short-term gain and, when all is said and done, holds no eternal gain.

 

Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.  Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:  But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God. 

Solomon saw that fallen mankind loved for immediate gratification without considering the long term results of their actions.

One reason for this is because, many times, the human governments of this world do not faithfully uphold their God-given responsibility to swiftly punish the wicked acts of man.  This allows men to commit many transgressions without receiving any punishment for those sins.

Also please keep in mind, although the Lord promises to always punish the sin of the lost, due to His longsuffering and mercy, He withholds His eternal judgment until the death of the transgressor.  He does this to give lost men an opportunity to repent of their sins and trust Him as Lord and Savior.

Because of man’s judgment being delayed, lost men can sin freely and seem to live long happy lives with no retribution for their actions.  In spite of all of this, Solomon knew that eventually lost men would stand before the Lord and feel the results of their sins.  The Lord would not bless them with extended life nor happiness, at their appointed time He would take them and place them in eternal judgment.

In contrast, those who serve the Lord (which proves they have experienced genuine salvation work in their hearts), will most certainly be blessed of God eternally.

There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity. 

Solomon also noted that many of the same events of life under the sun happen to both the wicked and the righteous.  Based upon Solomon’s observations of our physical world, he sees that there is no reason to serve the Lord and live righteous lives.

Because of this Solomon comes to the conclusion that, if we limit our investigation to this physical world,….

 

Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. 

Men should simply enjoy their physical life on earth and “party it up” because there is no benefit to service to the Lord.

However, we must keep in mind that, Solomon tells us all of this to emphasize the importance of Godly wisdom for our lives.  When we possess Godly wisdom, our sight is not limited to the things found in the world “under the sun”.  With Godly wisdom, we have the ability to understand that the benefits of serving the Lord are found in eternity and not necessarily in the world in which we live.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all have reaffirmed in our hearts the importance of having Godly wisdom in a world that is not under our control nor rewards faithful servants of the Lord.   For it is with this Godly wisdom that we can see the true benefits to faithful service to the Lord.

 

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
19. 7:24-29 The pursuit of Godly enabling
20. 8:1-5 The pursuit of proper submission to authority  based upon Godly wisdom
21. 8:6-15 The recognition man needs Godly wisdom because he cannot control his own life nor see the eternal benefits of service to the Lord.

 

 

 

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