Week 10: Life just doesn’t add up… but we can still resolve to live it up

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Ecclesiastes 9:1–18
Chapter 17: Have a Blast While You Last! (9:1–10)
Chapter 18: An Objective View of the Rat Race (9:11–18)

 

The enjoyment of this life does not come from figuring out life’s deep enigmas — 3 areas of wrestling… 1 area of resolve.

I. (:1-6) WRESTLING WITH THE FATE OF THE RIGHTEOUS VS THE FATE OF THE WICKED – SINCE IT LOOKS LIKE THEY END UP THE SAME

  1. (:1) Man’s Fate Lies in the Hand of the Sovereign God
    1. Should be a source of comfort and encouragement to the Righteous
    2. But Unpredictability is Unsettling
  2. (:2-3) No Difference Between the Righteous and the Wicked – in terms of their fate
    1. Same Fate Awaits All
    2. Five Sets of Contrasts Between the Character of All Men / Yet One Fate for Both
    3. One Fate for All Men / Character of Men Apart from God is Ultimately the Same = Evil and Insanity – Moral and Mental Twistedness
    4. Same Fate Awaits All
  3. (:4-6) Hope Remains as Long as Life Lasts
    1. Hope is an Intrinsic Part of Life
    2. Illustration: Life is always better than Death
    3. Expectation of death better than Cessation of thinking
    4. Death Quickly Erases All Legacy and Reward in this life

II. (:7-10) RESOLVING TO LIVE THIS LIFE TO THE FULLEST – ENJOYING ALL THE GIFTS GOD HAS GIVEN

Four Areas of God’s Gifts to Us in This Life:

  1. (:7) Grateful Eating and Drinking
  2. (:8) Joyful Enjoyment of the Comforts of Life
  3. (:9) Refreshing Love and Companionship
  4. (:10) Diligent Labor and Accomplishment

III. (:11-12) WRESTLING WITH THE VALUE OF AMBITION VS THE FUTILITY OF FINITENESS AND FAIRNESS – SINCE MAN’S FATE IS UNPREDICTABLE AND UNDESERVED

  1. (:11) What’s the Point of Trying Hard in Life?
    1. Futility of Life Under the Sun
    2. Five Inequities of Life
    3. Enigma of Finiteness and Fairness – Fate is Unpredictable and Undeserved
  2. (:12) Man’s End Comes Suddenly and Surprisingly

IV. (:13-18) WRESTLING WITH THE VALUE OF WISDOM VS THE FUTILITY OF WISDOM – SINCE WISDOM IS IGNORED AND DESPISED RATHER THAN RECOGNIZED AND REWARDED

  1. (:13) Expectation that Wisdom Would be Rewarded as Impressive
  2. (:14-15) Parable of Wisdom Ignored and Despised – Packed with meaning
  3. (:16-18) Contrast Between the Value of Wisdom and the Futility of Wisdom
    1. Better than Strength? Despised and Ignored
    2. Better than Political and Military Power? Fragile and easily Destroyed