<< Previous | Index | Next >>"THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES" Wisdom To Endure Life's Vanities - I (Ec 8 & 9) INTRODUCTION 1. The Preacher (Solomon, Ec 1:1) has been sharing with us counsel for dealing with life... a. Counsel gleaned from his own search for meaning - Ec 7:27 b. Counsel guided by wisdom given him by God - cf. Ec 1:16; 1 Kin 3:12 2. In previous lessons we have noted that the Preacher offfered... a. Counsel for better living - Ec 7:1-14 b. Counsel for balanced living - Ec 7:15-29 -- Helpful to taking a proactive approach to improving one's sojourn "under the sun" 3. Yet no matter what we do, there are things... a. We cannot change b. We cannot escape -- Things which certainly add to the vanity of life "under the sun" 4. Two such things are "death and taxes"; in other words... a. We cannot escape the inevitability of death b. We must endure the governments of men [Wisdom can help (Ec 8:1), however as the Preacher continues, he shares "Wisdom To Endure Life's Vanities". Beginning with...] I. ENDURING THE GOVERNMENTS OF MEN A. SUBMIT TO AUTHORITIES FOR GOD'S SAKE... 1. Obey the king's command - Ec 8:2-3 2. Respect his power, and you will be unharmed - Ec 8:4-5a 3. A wise man will understand that judgment will come in its own time, so don't resort to wickedness (i.e., rebellion) to alleviate misery - Ec 8:5b-9 -- Compare this counsel with that given to Christians - Ro 13:1-7; 1 Pe 2:11-17 B. ANTICIPATE WICKED RULERS... 1. There will be times when men will rule to their own detriment - Ec 8:9 2. But they will soon be forgotten after their demise - Ec 8:10 3. Why do some persist in their evil rule? Because their judgment does not occur immediately - Ec 8:11 4. Even so, it is still better to fear God - Ec 8:12-13 C. EXPECT TO BE PERPLEXED... 1. Sometimes the righteous suffer, and the wicked prosper - Ec 8:14 2. One cannot always understand why things happen the way they do (remember Job?) - Ec 8:16-17 D. ENJOY LIFE... 1. Delight in the fruits of your own labor - Ec 8:15 2. This is the advice given throughout this book - Ec 2:24-26; Ec 3:12-13; Ec 5:18-20 [There is little value in getting all worked up about the wickedness in the governments of men. As long as there are imperfect men, there will be imperfect governments. It is better to simply obey the laws, do good, trust in God, and enjoy the fruits of one's labor. In chapter nine, we find wisdom for...] II. ENDURING THE INEVITABILITY OF DEATH A. DEATH HAPPENS TO ALL... 1. It happens to both the righteous and the wicked - Ec 9:1-3 a. While the righteous are in God's hands b. The sons of men are full of evil 2. While we live, there is hope (Ec 9:4); when we die... a. We know nothing of what goes on here on earth - Ec 9:5-6 b. Others' memory of us soon fades - Ec 9:5 -- We cannot escape death B. ENJOY LIFE... 1. While death is inevitable, we should still enjoy life - Ec 9:7-8 2. Live joyfully with the wife God has given you - Ec 9:9 3. Work diligently while you are here - Ec 9:10 -- While we cannot escape death, there is no reason to give up on life! C. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED... 1. Time and chance happen to all - Ec 9:11 a. Being swift and strong does not mean you will always win b. Being wise, understanding, and skillful does not always ensure that you will be fed, rich, and the recipients of good favor 2. Sometimes death will come unexpectedly, like animals caught in a trap - Ec 9:12 -- Anticipating the unexpected, we are less likely to be overwhelmed when it occurs D. APPRECIATE THE VALUE OF WISDOM... 1. The Preacher saw how wisdom saved a city - Ec 9:13-15 a. Even though found in a poor man b. Even though the man was soon forgotten 2. Therefore he praises the value of wisdom - Ec 9:16-18 a. As better than strength b. As better than weapons of war -- Though often despised when it comes from a poor man, wisdom spoken quietly is better than the shout of a ruler of fools CONCLUSION 1. We may not be able to escape all of life's vanities... a. There may be times we find ourselves under wicked governments b. Unless the Lord returns in our lifetime, death is inevitable 2. But we can endure life's vanities with the aid of the Preacher's wisdom... a. Enduring the governments of men by: 1) Submitting to authorities for God's sake 2) Understanding that wicked rulers will occur 3) Expecting to be perplexed at times 4) Enjoying our life as God gives us opportunity b. Enduring the inevitability of death by: 1) Remembering that death happens to all 2) Enjoying family and work 3) Expecting the unexpected 4) Utilizing wisdom that is available to us In our next study, we shall consider more from the Preacher on the value of wisdom and diligence in enduring life's vanities. In the meantime, let's not forget that we have another "Preacher" who has established the perfect kingdom, and delivered us from the fear of death: Jesus Christ!<< Previous | Index | Next >>
About These Outlines ~~~ Submit An Outline ~~~ Back To Main Outlines ~~~ Home Page
If you find mistakes in these outlines, or would like to make suggestions that would make them better, please let us know.