<< Previous | Index | Next >>"THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES" Wisdom To Endure Life's Vanities - II (Ec 10:1 to Ec 11:8) INTRODUCTION 1. As mentioned in the previous lesson, there are things in life that we cannot avoid... a. Such as the inevitability of death b. The governments of men -- Both of which can contribute much to the "vanity" of "life under the sun" 2. But with the right kind of wisdom... a. We can endure the imperfect and often wicked governments of men b. We can live joyful lives despite the certainty of death [...and so the Preacher (Solomon) continues with "Wisdom To Endure Life's Vanities" in chapters ten and eleven. As we look now at chapter ten, we find him expounding upon...] I. THE HARM OF FOLLY A. FOLLY DEPLORED... 1. Folly mars the finest of reputations - Ec 10:1 2. Folly constitutes an unsafe guide (the heart of a fool is not in the right place) - Ec 10:2 3. Folly will invariably betray its own stupidity - Ec 10:3 -- In contrast, the wise person will be patient, steadfast, and conciliatory, even when opposed by those in authority - Ec 10:4 B. FOLLY OFTEN MANIFESTS ITSELF IN GOVERNMENT... 1. An evil observed by the Preacher - Ec 10:5-7 a. Error proceeding from the ruler b. Folly exalted while the rich are debased c. Servants in power while true princes are humbled 2. Those who labor with foolishness hurt and hinder themselves - Ec 10:8-10 a. As illustrated through several examples given by the Preacher b. The wisdom of the wise will know how to expedite his labors 3. The foolish seldom know how to restrain themselves - Ec 10:11-15 a. They do not know how to hold their tongues b. They do not know how to direct their labor 4. How folly and wisdom affect the condition of the country - Ec 10:16-19 a. Woe to the land whose leaders are childish and feast in the morning, their laziness resulting in broken down buildings b. Blessed is the land whose leaders feast at the proper time, whose successful rule provides for true happiness and meeting every need C. MEANWHILE, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY... 1. Do not curse the king - Ec 10:20a 2. Do not curse the rich - Ec 10:20b -- For what you say will likely reach their ears - Ec 10:20c [As in chapter nine, much of what the Preacher says in chapter ten pertains to how to endure the vanity of living under governments often ruled by wicked men. As he continues in chapter eleven, we find him describing...] II. THE VALUE OF BENEVOLENCE A. AN EXHORTATION TO BENEVOLENCE... 1. Verses 1 and 2 are parallel, encouraging kindness and hospitality - Ec 11:1-2 2. The benefits of such benevolence: a. It provides blessings for the future b. It provides blessings for when days are evil -- Similar benefits of a benevolent spirit are described throughout the Bible - Psa 41:1-2; Pro 19:17; Lk 6:38; Lk 12:33; Ga 6:9; 1 Ti 6:18-19 B. FURTHER REASONS TO EXERCISE BENEVOLENCE... 1. Calamities (like rain and wind storms) will come... a. We cannot stop the clouds full of rain from falling b. Trees will lie wherever they fall ...if we spend our time just watching and not doing, we will not sow and reap - Ec 11:3-4 2. There are things we cannot comprehend... a. Like the way of the wind (or spirit) b. Like the development of the child in the womb ...so we cannot comprehend God's working; therefore do not restrict your charity - Ec 11:5-6 3. There will be days of darkness... a. It is great to be alive when one is well b. But even if one lives many joyful days, he should know that evil days will come - Ec 11:7-8 CONCLUSION 1. We may not be able to escape the days of darkness in this life... a. Evil days often brought on by the governments of men b. Evil days that occur for which we have no explanation 2. But thanks to the Preacher, we know how best to endure life's vanities... a. Avoid making things worse through our own folly b. Sow the seeds of benevolence that can help us later when the days are evil 3. Of course, besides the Preacher (Solomon), we also have the Good Shepherd (Jesus)... a. Who has given His life that we might have an abundant life - Jn 10:10-11 b. Who provides true peace although we may live in a world of tribulation - Jn 16:33 Are we following the Shepherd who leads His sheep to life eternal? - Jn 10:27-28<< Previous | Index | Next >>
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