Settled In Heaven Blog

Home » SIH Lesson Scripture Texts » Ecclesiastes » Ecclesiastes 02:

Category Archives: Ecclesiastes 02:

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 2 Verses 24-26

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 8)

 

 

 

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 2:24-26 –

(24)  There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.  (25)  For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?  (26)  For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

After Solomon saw that devoting our lives to accumulating this world’s riches was a vain pursuit.  He begins to understand that our material possessions were given to us by God to meet our physical needs and give us comfort in this life…

 

There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour.

One of the great purposes for the creation of this world was to meet the needs of mankind. When man labors, it allows him to meet his physical needs and bring temporal joy during his life on earth.

 

This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God. 

Solomon understood that the ability to labor and the receipt of the riches of this world come only through the gracious intervention of the Lord in our lives.

It is the Lord that created the world and all things in it, He is the One who gives us the ability to labor to reap the world’s offerings, and it is He who gives us the wisdom and knowledge to know how to use the world’s possessions for our good and His glory.

 

For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I? 

Solomon understood the blessed societal standing that he had been given by the Lord. Solomon was perhaps the most wealthy man on the face of the planet during his lifetime.  If anyone could enjoy the material blessings this world had to offer, it would have been Solomon.  He could enjoy the best foods, drinks, and joys this world had to offer.

 

For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God.

Solomon attributes to the Lord earthly wisdom, knowledge and joy which enables him to labor and receive the goods this world has to offer.  For the man that is Godly, he uses his God-given wisdom and knowledge to use properly and bring much joy to his heart.

However, for the wicked man, earthly wisdom and knowledge results in great pains.  This is because he uses his abilities to accumulate and hoard great wealth.  This then leads to discontentment, selfish hoarding and constant coveting of another man’s goods.

Also, the Lord, in many cases, will meet the needs of his people through the wealth accumulated by the lost man which eventually can end up in the hands of the saved.  This can take place in many ways, through inheritance, business transactions, or charitable giving etc.

 

This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Solomon saw that this is “vanity” (short-lived with no lasting value) and “vexation of spirit” (grasping for the wind that can never be caught).

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

 

May we all come to understand the futility of living our lives for the accumulation of worldly wealth and may we learn to use our assets wisely to care for our needs, enjoy life that the Lord has given to us and give to help meet the needs of God’s people and work.

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

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Is The Main Goal Of Our Life Center On Being Frugal In The Things Of The World? … If So, It Is A Vain Pursuit!

Eccl 2:18-23 –

Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.  And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity. 

Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.  For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil. 

For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?  For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity. 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4vq

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 2 Verses 12-17

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 6)

 

 

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 earn 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 2:12-17 –

“And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.  Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness. The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.  Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.  For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.  Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly:

Solomon now begins an investigation of the benefits of:

  1. worldly wisdom – worldly skills, abilities. Knowledgable of worldly things
  2. madness – foolishness, boastful ravings
  3. folly – silliness, jesting, joking

Do any of these hold a lasting value for us?  Solomon will be seeking to answer this question for us.

 

for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done. 

Solomon was very thorough in his examination of these things.  Apparently, he had observed and/or experienced many different aspects of wisdom, madness, and folly which allowed him to draw a conclusion on this subject.  So much so that men who would come after Solomon would not be able to experience any differing aspects of the three nor draw any different conclusion than he.

 

Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.

As Solomon examined these he found that wisdom far excelled over folly.  In other words, Solomon saw that exercising worldly knowledge and abilities far outweighed spending time performing acts of foolish jesting.   As a matter of fact, these were as different as day and night.

  

The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all. 

A wise man perceives and understands what is taking place around him, because his eyes are in functioning properly. He sees the dangers that lies ahead and makes adjustments to avoid that danger.  He sees the true nature of events that take place around him, giving him a clear view of his coming needs.  The fool, on the other hand, is much like a man walking in a darkened room.  He cannot see anything around him due to the darkness that blinds his eyes.

Based upon these differences, it seems as if worldly wisdom holds great lasting benefit for man, however….

 

Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity. 

Solomon came to realize that the wisdom of the world only holds very limited benefits for man during his life on earth, and then holds no lasting benefits in the afterlife.

Solomon saw that the worldly wise men share many difficult life experiences with fools.  They both get physically ill, they both labor to meet their needs, they both face times of loss and heartache, they both grow old and eventually die. The list is endless.

This caused Solomon to recognize that both worldly wisdom and foolishness were vanity.

 

For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten.  And how dieth the wise man? as the fool. 

Another proof that both worldly wisdom and foolishness are both vain is the universality of death and man’s accompanying irrelevance.

Again, we can see the limited temporal value of worldly wisdom and the worthlessness of worldly wisdom following death.

 

Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit. 

After seeing that the pursuit of carnal pleasures (vs 1-3), the pursuit of material possessions (vs 4-11) and the pursuit of worldly wisdom (vs 12-17) are all short-lived and without eternal benefit, Solomon says “I hated life”.  He saw no purpose in living, saw that life only involved a hard existence with no lasting benefits, and realized that seeking long-tern value in this life is simply grasping at the winds.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Solomon’s quest led him to examine wisdom, madness and folly.  After looking at many different aspects of each, Solomon saw that the possession of worldly wisdom did hold its temporal benefits for man.  However, as Solomon looked at these things from a standpoint of lasting benefit for man, he came to the conclusion that “this also is vanity”

 

Folks, sadly, in many ways, human talents and knowledge, prideful boastings, and meaningless joking and acts of silliness, are highly valued by many in the world today.  However, Solomon was able to clearly show us that these human attributes can never bring us genuine lasting joy and fulfillment to our lives.

 

May we all seek to see these things as they are, not as the world sees them, and seek to live our lives in such a way that places that which gives our life meaning and joy the first priority.

 

 

 

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

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 2 Verses 4-11

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 5)

 

 

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 2:4-11 –

“I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:  I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:  I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:  I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:  I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.  So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.   And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Solomon next examines human labor that produces great material possessions…

 

I made me great works;

Solomon begins to describe all of his abundant wealth that was the result of his human labors…

 

I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:  I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:  I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: 

Solomon possessed many great Real Estate assets which were produced through his labors.

You may be wondering what Solomon’s labor was that he performed.  As king, Solomon’s labor was, almost certainly, not physical.  However, he was the one that planned these great works, financed them, accumulated the materials that was needed, oversaw the projects, and then made arrangements for their upkeep.  In that sense, they truly were his labors and he was to be given the credit for them.

This can be likened to someone like Donald Trump who, probably, never actually did any manual labor, but is given the entire credit for the real estate empire that was built by his administrative labors.

 

I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house;

Also, Solomon held authority over many workers that increased his productivity and his material possessions.

 

also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: 

Through his labors, Solomon accumulated great numbers of various types of livestock which also increased his productivity and wealth.

  

I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces:

Solomon accumulated great riches of precious metals and all the natural resources that held value (different types of wood, animals, ointments, vegetation etc).  He got them from the Kings of the the various countries that surrounded Israel.

  

I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. 

His labors also allowed him to own musicians who were totally unproductive, but only possessed for entertainment purposes.

 

So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.   

When Solomon stepped back and looked at his enormous wealth, he could only describe himself as:

  1. great – He was “excellent”, “magnificent”, “worthy of boasting” – from a human standpoint Solomon was greater than all others and had sufficient reason to boast of the world possessions he had accumulated.
  2. increased more than all that were before me – he had accrued more wealth than all the Israelite Kings before him.

Besides the continuing accrual of physical possessions, Solomon retained his great wisdom to rule over Israel.

 

And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.

olomon had gathered so much wealth from his labors that he could have anything that he desired… and he did just that.  The ability to obtain whatever he desired gave his heart great temporary joy.

He believed that the ability to get his heart’s desire was the well-earned allotment for all his labors.

 

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” 

At the end of his labors, Solomon now stands back and investigates their true worth to man.  He came to understand that all was:

  1. “vanity” – short-lived with no lasting value
  2. “vexation of spirit” – grasping for the wind
  3. “no profit under the sun” – no gain in anything accumulated in this fallen world.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

What we have just read we see taking place around us all the time.  In some ways, today’s equivalent would be holding a very prestigious job (medical doctor, lawyer, investment banker, RE mogul etc) that allowed an individual to accumulate great wealth and obtain anything his heart desired.

Sadly, these types of positions are highly respected in society due to the great wealth that comes with the job.  However, Solomon clearly tells us that to live lives of labor for the sole purpose of accumulating great material possessions can never truly be satisfied nor possess lasting benefit.

Also, please notice the key word in all of these verses was the word “I”…

“I made”, “I builded”, “I planted”, “I made”, “I planted”, “I made”, “I got”, “I had great possessions”, “I gathered”, “I gat”, “I was great”, “I kept not from them”, “I withheld not”…

In all these Solomon did not give any credit to the Lord for allowing him to labor and obtain his great wealth and possessions.  This is the nature of accumulation of the things of this world… it is a self-centered accumulation that keeps self in the forefront of the mind.

If we keep the Lord in the forefront of our mind, we will see the need to devote our lives to Him and His will for us with the material possessions of this world taking a back seat.

 

Solomon’s pursuit of the meaning of life included:

 

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

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Living A “Party-Life” Holds No Lasting Pleasure For Anyone!

SIH HALTAL ICONEccl 2:1-3  – “I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.  I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?  I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.” 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 2 Verses 1-3

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 5)

 

 

 

 

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 2:1-3  –

 “I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.  I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?  I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.” 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

 

Solomon continues to commune with his inward man and desires…

 

I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. 

Solomon resolved to be about the important business at hand and experience mirth (parties or other celebrations) which bring temporal pleasure (worldly entertainment and happiness) to men.

What did Solomon find out from partaking in a party-lifestyle?  “This is also vanity”… simply like a bubble that is short-lived with no lasting value.  A party lifestyle will bring very short-term happiness and joy during the celebration, but soon after all that joy and happiness is lost.

 

I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it? 

During these party times Solomon experienced “laughter”.  “Laughter” comes from a Hebrew word that means to have pleasure/joy from mockery, or scorning others.

Solomon came to understand that the pleasure we get from mocking others is actually a type of “madness”, or a type of foolish boasting in an attempt to make us shine in others eyes.  Oh how very true.  When we make fun of others, it is normally our sinful attempt to exalt ourselves over them.  How sad, stupid and sinful!

Solomon then asks the question what good do these attempts at partying, humor, and mockery really do for us?  The implied answer is that these attempts hold no real lasting value to our happiness and purpose of life.  In many ways, it sidetracks us from that which will give lasting joy and peace to us.

 

I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine,

Solomon then turns himself over to drunkenness.  “Give myself to wine” isn’t speaking of simply drinking wine moderately, but it is describing a state of drunkenness where wine is the controlling force in his life.

 

 yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly,

While he was experiencing drunkenness he applied his earthly wisdom to find the answer to his question.  What does he mean by this?

Perhaps, he was thinking that, perhaps, being intoxication added to wisdom may reveal to him something he could not see with wisdom alone.

Or he is saying that while he was drunk, he was using his earthly wisdom to see if his drunkenness was the real source of happiness and purpose in life or an act of foolishness.

Please keep in mind, several places in the Bible, drunkenness can speak of allowing any of our carnal, fleshly desires to control us.  Perhaps in this portion of Scripture, we see Solomon testing out all the desires of his flesh, seeing if any of them will bring him true joy and purpose to life.

 

till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.” 

As Solomon tested drunkenness to see what would hold lasting benefit to mankind.   In other words, he wanted to see into what men should invest their lives to bring to them the greatest amount of lasting, eternal benefits.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, in Solomon’s search for the true meaning to life, he first eliminated living a “party-life”, or in other words, living to fulfill the carnal desires of his flesh.   Solomon came to understand that these things only led to a living a wasted, unfulfilled life.

May we all learn from Solomon’s experience and seek after the things which are above, not the things that are found in a fallen world that is “under the sun”.

 

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)

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com