Saturday, August 6, 2022

DISTRACTIONS OF LIVING



Bobservations Column
Pastor Bob Lawrenz

In this last chapter of Ecclesiastes, “The Preacher” sums up the eleven chapters prior to this one. So, it becomes apparent that God had a plan, and perhaps an outline for this book. As this chapter summarizes what Solomon has learned over the course of His reign, God’s intent seems to have been to address life’s distractions and expose the vanity of each of them.

Verse 9: “And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.” This verse lets us know that Solomon lived all the things he had written of and managed to teach the people of life’s pitfalls and distraction that draw them away, and into themselves. This verse also tells us that his life experiences have been the basis for the Book of Proverbs which Solomon wrote subsequent to Ecclesiastes.

In all of this, God used Solomon’s life to teach His people, the Holy Spirit bringing to mind all of his life’s disappointments, and purposeless endeavors. In 2 Timothy 3:16, the Apostle Paul writes “All scripture is given by inspiration of God…” which affirms the Apostle John’s 14:26, that one role of the Holy Spirit is "to bring all things to our remembrance, whatsoever I (Jesus, the Word of God) has said unto you.” This affirms all of Solomon’s three books which have been included in the Cannon of Sacred Scripture. God’s
“stamp of approval” is all over this book, and Proverbs, and Song of Solomon.

Solomon grew up in the household of his father, King David, of whom it is written, "was a man after God’s heart" (1 Kings 11:4).  It becomes evident that in all of his life-distractions, and dead ends, Solomon always kept God to fall back on; literally, God had his back, even though Solomon’s heart was not perfect before God, as his father David’s was.

How easily we can all get our eyes off God and be turned to empty vanities. Solomon’s narrative teaches us all that nothing satisfies, nothing fulfills, and no vain thing can complete us. Only the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit can do that. Solomon learned it the hard way. The Prodigal son learned it the hard way. Listening to empty promises, can lead us off as Eve was led away, then Adam, then Cain…we are all susceptible.
“Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

Today's Audio Message:
Ecclesiastes 12:1-14 - "Distractions of Living"

Summary/Notes:

As we come to the end of the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon, now an old man, has come to the conclusion that all of his pursuits seeking happiness in worldly things are vanity. Solomon, though very wise, explored every form of worldly pleasure, and none of it gave him a sense of meaningful purpose. In fact, his attitude toward the world and life drastically changed. Disillusioned with the world system and its humanistic values, Solomon remembers the God of his youth, the Lord God our Creator who created each of us with a purpose. In the end, his faith is renewed, and he writes to instruct and exhort young men, and to all readers, to acknowledge God from youth, and to follow His will.

Chapter 12 is really a masterpiece of literature. His dissertation on old age and dying is unique and poetically picturesque as he warns us that old age and death comes to everyone. Solomon is not writing primarily to those who are experiencing these difficulties, but to those who are still “in the days of thy youth.” Younger people who know nothing from personal experience of the realities he is describing, are urged to live and think in the light of the fact that dark days, as he describes them, are coming.

With that in mind, what better time to remember, and know, and serve your Creator than in the prime of your life? These are the years of opportunity, ability and strength. They are easy years compared to the difficulties that come with old age, and finally death. Ultimately, each of us will stand before God and give an account of our life, and whether or not we have received salvation through Christ. Solomon wants to impress on younger people that they need to enjoy the life that God has given them, and to serve God while there is still time.

If we are seeking meaning and fulfillment from the “things of this world,” we will find that our lives will be empty. Sadly, Solomon realized at the end of his life, that he should have centered his whole life pursuing God.  Though we may have strayed away from God, God is merciful, and He is able to lead us to repentance. He is able to accomplish in us what we ourselves cannot do, and to make us what He wants us to be.

In verses 10- 11, Solomon considers the words of the wise. Words like those of the Preacher. He says that they are like goads. It’s meant to move man to righteous living, provoking us to do what is right in God’s eyes.

These wise words are intended to be unmovable - unshakable - never changing.

This world offers a never-ending supply of worldly wisdom from philosophers, writers of self-help books, psychologists and so forth, and all of it is empty and void of meaning, purpose, and lasting joy. Books come and go, they lose their value over time, but God’s Word is eternal.

2 Timothy 3:16 tells us, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

There is only one Shepherd, He is the Lord, the One who breathe out Scripture and preserved since the beginning. His word never fails. It’s infallible. And that is why it remains so relevant even to this day!

Finally in verse 13, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the duty of man.”

Everything hangs upon that word, "Fear God." Life isn’t just lived under the sun, life on earth isn’t all there is to it. We were created by God in His image, for His purpose and His glory. And though we all will face physical death; our souls will live on in eternity.  

We can't hide from God. He is evident in all our life. He knows everything that goes on; he knows every thought of the heart, every word of the mouth. He knows the motives that we seek to hide from others. He sees the duplicity, the deception, the lovelessness. He has made provision for it all; nothing can be hidden. Everything is going to come out in the open at last. All the illusions by which we seek to convince ourselves that things are not the way the Bible says they are, will be stripped away and we will see ourselves as he sees us; and there will not be a voice lifted to challenge the righteousness of his judgment.

We ought to be living our lives fearing (or reverencing) God. Everything we do ought to be a reflection of the love that we have for Him. So, as Solomon urges young people, and all of us, live your life with an eye on the judgment that is to come. Get ready to meet God and give an account to him.

Jesus shed His blood and died on the cross for our sins, that we might be reconciled to God. His blood is sufficient to cover all of our sins. 
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news that God loves the world enough to give His only Son to die for our sin (John 3:16). The gospel is good news because our salvation and eternal life and home in heaven are guaranteed through Christ (John 14:1–4).

I Peter 1:3-5 -
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.






 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Visit Us

WhitestoneCF Media - Web TV

WhitestoneCF Media - Web TV
CLICK TO VIEW