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Seeking Life…Finding Death Part 1: Is All I See Vanity? Seeking Answers A Study in Ecclesiastes Lesson 15, January 22, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Seeking Life…Finding Death Part 1: Is All I See Vanity? Seeking Answers A Study in Ecclesiastes Lesson 15, January 22, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Seeking Life…Finding Death Part 1: Is All I See Vanity? Seeking Answers A Study in Ecclesiastes Lesson 15, January 22, 2012

2 Todays Scripture Ecclesiastes 3: What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? 10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. 11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. 12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. 13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. 14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. 15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

3 Todays Scripture Ecclesiastes 3: And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. 17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work. 18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. 19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. 20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. 21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? 22 Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?

4 Thought for Today The Almighty has his own purposes. -- Abraham Lincoln

5 You may delay but time will not. -- Benjamin Franklin -- ??????

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7 Solomons Use of Wisdom Literature Techniques: Reflective wisdom – designed to promote thought and contemplation (7:13-14) Shock – 1:2 Vanity of vanities, all is vanity… 6:1 There is an evil… Repetition – 1:2 Contrast in themes and statements – wise/fool, righteous/wicked, rich/poor Proverbial statements – 7:1-8 Rhetorical questions – 1:3

8 Solomons Sensory Observations Lead to Some Inexorable Conclusions: The Inexplicable Purpose of God: Man cannot predict it, control it, or explain it: a time for every purpose under heaven (3:1-8) [Solomon] now raises a subject characteristic of ancient Near Eastern wisdom literaturethe proper time. After all, it is the wise person who knows the right time to say or to do the right thing (Prov. 15:23).... In the final analysis [Solomon] powerfully expresses that everything is frustratingly out of the control of human beings." -- Tremper Longman III. The Book of Ecclesiastes. The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, p 111.

9 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: … be born … die … plant … kill … break down … weep … mourn … cast away … embrace … get … keep … rend … keep silence … love … war A time to... and a time to... … pluck up … heal … build up … laugh … dance … gather … refrain … lose … cast away … sew … speak … hate … peace

10 The fact that Solomon utilized polar opposites in a multiple of seven and began his list with birth and death is highly significant. The number seven suggests the idea of completeness and the use of polar oppositesa well-known poetic device called merismossuggests totality (cf. Ps. 139:2-3). -- Donald R. Glenn, "Ecclesiastes, in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament, p. 983.

11 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: … be born … die … plant … kill … break down … weep … mourn … cast away … embrace … get … keep … rend … keep silence … love … war A time to... and a time to... … pluck up … heal … build up … laugh … dance … gather … refrain … lose … cast away … sew … speak … hate … peace

12 [The events of the poem] cover a span of human emotions, both positive and negative. These events, however, should not be assigned any moral significance. All of them are proper activities along our timeline. This cannot, however, be the claim for immoral behavior… -- G. Scott Gleaves, Seeking a Life that Counts, p. 76.

13 Some pairs that would not fit: A time to be wise and a time to be foolish A time to be righteous and a time to be wicked A time to be holy and a time to sin A time to be slothful and a time to be industrious A time for generosity and a time for greed A time for oppression and a time for justice A time for intelligence and a time for stupidity

14 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: … be born … die … plant … kill … break down … weep … mourn … cast away … embrace … get … keep … rend … keep silence … love … war A time to... and a time to... … pluck up … heal … build up … laugh … dance … gather … refrain … lose … cast away … sew … speak … hate … peace

15 Solomons Sensory Observations Lead to Some Inexorable Conclusions: The Inexplicable Purpose of God: Man is unable to predict it, control it, or explain it: a time for every purpose under heaven (3:1-8) The Unfathomable Purpose of God: Man is unable to determine it apart from Gods revelation (3:10-11) The Immutable Purpose of God: Man is unable to alter it (3:14-15)

16 The Inexplicable Purpose of God: Man is unable to predict it, control it, or explain it: a time for every season (3:1-8) The Unfathomable Purpose of God: Man is unable to determine it apart from Gods revelation (3:10-11) The Immutable Purpose of God: Man is unable to alter it (3:14-15) Solomons sensory observations of life under the sun leave him baffled about the purpose of God Acknowledge, accept and enjoy the good things that come your way in life – they are Gods gift (3:12-13; 9:7-9; 2:24; 5:18-19; 8:15) God does things so that man will respect and revere Him (3:14) Accept the mystery of time and the uncertainties of life (7:13-14) Anticipate the misery of time and accept that bad times, as well as good times, come to all (7:27-29) Place yourself in Gods hands for all time (9:1) Yet Solomon offers some help in dealing with the vanity of life under the sun

17 What Solomon Further Saw that Brought Him to Feel that All Is Vanity: In the place of judgment, there was wickedness (3:16) In the place of righteousness, there was iniquity (3:16) How can we make the transition from the first 15 verses of Ecclesiastes 3 to verse 16? How are the subjects related, or are they?

18 Savanna born Aug 18, 2000

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22 God allows injustice to test mens heart (3:18-21) Man is no better off than the beasts of the field As one dieth, so dieth the other Man has no advantage over a beast Both return to dust Man cannot know if the spirit of man goes upward or simply goes to the ground Solomons sees more examples around him of the vanity of life under the sun Acknowledge, accept and enjoy the good things that come your way in life – they are Gods gift (3:22; 3:12-13; 9:7-9; 2:24; 5:18-19; 8:15) God will judge the righteous and the wicked (3:17) There is a time for every purpose and for every work Yet Solomon again offers some help in dealing with the vanity of life under the sun


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