Ecclesiastes Chapter 7 verse 1 to 13.
Sermon Notes: Ecclesiastes Chapter 7 verse 1 to 13.
Imagine changing the whole way that you look, not just your appearance, but the whole way that you look at life and the way that you are living life.
1: Look again at the painful times you go through in your life and learn to value them more – you can learn so much through them.
V1, ‘A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.’ What a person is like on the inside is so much more important than the perfume and aftershave they wear, and the day of death is more important than the day of your birth. Because it tells far more about you, the kind of person you were and the life you loved. But what kind of person would write verse 2, ‘It is better to go to a funeral than to a party, funerals remind us that we all must die.’
Psalm 39, ‘Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be, remind me that my days are numbered and that my life is fleeing away.’
Why? Because I keep forgetting! I keep pushing the issues to the back burner of my mind. The strange thing is this, that death will teach us more about what is really important in life and in our lives than anything else!
V3-4, ‘Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us. A wise person thinks much about death, while the fool only thinks about a good time now.’
Psalm 90, ‘We live for seventy years or maybe we might make it to eighty. And what do we have to show for it? Trouble – Toil and trouble. Lord teach us to live well. Teach us to live wisely and well.’
Challenge Question: So, what can we learn from the painful trials and troubles you have come through in your life so far?
2: Look at what God is doing in your life through those painful times and learn to appreciate him more.
V14, ‘That way you will realize that nothing in this life is certain. So unpredictable.’ And yet Christians believe that we are not just random beings blown about on the seas of life, by the winds of chance, that God is God. That God is in charge – in the good times and the not so good times. And yet the truth is that you don’t always feel His presence in the middle of your pain and turmoil.
So, what do you do? You go back over God’s goodness to you in the past. You consider v13-14, ‘Take a long hard thoughtful look at what God has Done! His faithfulness to you in the past! He has not let you down in the past -He will not let you down now! His promises do not fail!
Challenge Question: Are you going through a particularly difficult and painful time in your life right now? Can you learn more about trusting God even when everything seems so fractured, twisted and broken right now?
3: Look at the restless searching going on in people’s lives all around you. Does it not make you want to search for God’s answers and to live your life by God’s Word and by God’s way! 7:23-8:1.
People are restless, searching, trying to find answers to the meaning of life and find peace in the turmoil of life.
Solomon here is telling us about his search for answers – v25-29. And in verse 29 Solomon says, ‘I have discovered.’ ‘I have discovered that God created people to be upright, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.’
Isn’t that what the core of sin is? We can know deep down how God wants us to live, but time and again we turn away from Him! To do things ‘our own way.’ To live by our ‘own rules’. To choose what I want to do rather than what God has commanded me to do! And yet it’s those choices that can bring pain and unhappiness into our lives. but what joy returns, change comes, whenever we turn back to God and surrender to His will and His ways for our lives. That’s why 8:1 says, ‘How wonderful to be wise – Wisdom lights up a person’s face, softening it’s hardness. When you find Jesus in your life there’s often a new joy, a new lightness, a new softness that fills our hearts and spirits and even changes the very appearance of our faces.
Challenge Question: Have you discovered the meaning and the purpose of your life? Have you got a purpose in living and a peace and a confidence about eternity?