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“…an old, foolish king” (Ecclesiastes 4:13).  “After you have taken possession of the land that the LORD your God is going to give you and have settled.

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Presentation on theme: "“…an old, foolish king” (Ecclesiastes 4:13).  “After you have taken possession of the land that the LORD your God is going to give you and have settled."— Presentation transcript:

1 “…an old, foolish king” (Ecclesiastes 4:13)

2  “After you have taken possession of the land that the LORD your God is going to give you and have settled there, then you will decide you need a king like all the nations around you…The king is not to have a large number of horses for his army, and he is not to send people to Egypt to buy horses, because the LORD has said that his people are never to return there.” (Deuteronomy 17:14-16)  “Solomon had forty thousand stalls for his chariot horses…” (1 Kings 4:26)  “…the export of chariots from Egypt.” (1 Kings 10:29)  “Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt” (2 Chronicles 1:16)

3  “The king is not to have many wives, because this would make him turn away from the LORD; and he is not to make himself rich with silver and gold. When he becomes king, he is to have a copy of the book of God’s laws and teachings made from the original copy kept by the levitical priests. He is to keep this book near him and read from it all his life, so that he will learn to honor the LORD and to obey faithfully everything that is commanded in it. This will keep him from thinking that he is better than other Israelites and from disobeying the LORD’s commands in any way. Then he will reign for many years, and his descendants will rule Israel for many generations. (Deuteronomy 17:17-20)

4  “In the eighth month…in the eleventh year of Solomon’s reign, the Temple was completely finished exactly as it had been planned. It had taken Solomon seven years to build it.” (1Kings 6:38)  “Solomon also built a palace for himself, and it took him thirteen years.” (1Kings 7:1)

5  “Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides the daughter of the king of Egypt he married Hittite women and women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, and Sidon. He married them even though the LORD had commanded the Israelites not to intermarry with these people, because they would cause the Israelites to give their loyalty to other gods. Solomon married seven hundred princesses and also had three hundred concubines. They made him turn away from God, and by the time he was old they had led him into the worship of foreign gods.”

6  “He was not faithful to the LORD his God, as his father David had been. He worshiped Astarte*, the goddess of Sidon, and Molech, the disgusting god of Ammon…On the mountain east of Jerusalem he built a place to worship Chemosh, the disgusting god of Moab, and a place to worship Molech, the disgusting god of Ammon.” (1Ki 11:1-7)  *fertility, sexuality and war

7  “For King Solomon made himself a chariot from the wood of Lebanon. Its posts are silver, its canopy gold, the seat is purple; and the back is inlaid with these words: ‘With love from the girls of Jerusalem!’” Song of Songs 3:9,10 ( TLB)

8  “A nagging wife is like water going drip- drip-drip.” (Proverbs 19:13)  “A nagging wife is like water going drip- drip-drip on a rainy day. How can you keep her quiet? Have you ever tried to stop the wind or ever tried to hold a handful of oil?” (Proverbs 27:15-16)

9  “It was foreign women that made King Solomon sin. Here was a man who was greater than any of the kings of other nations. God loved him and made him king over all of Israel, and yet he fell into this sin.” (Nehemiah 13:26 – GN)

10  “Your father placed heavy burdens on us…” (2 Chronicles 10:4)

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12  “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

13  “These are the words of the Philosopher, David’s son, who was king in Jerusalem. It is useless, useless, said the Philosopher. Life is useless, all useless.” (Ecclesiastes 1:1-2)  “God has laid a miserable fate upon us. I have seen everything done in this world, and I tell you, it is all useless. It is like chasing the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 1:14,15)

14  Money and things – useless  “I accomplished great things. I built myself houses and planted vineyards. I planted gardens and orchards, with all kinds of fruit trees in them; I dug ponds to irrigate them. I bought many slaves, and there were slaves born in my household. I owned more livestock than anyone else who had ever lived in Jerusalem. I also piled up silver and gold from the royal treasuries of the lands I ruled. Men and women sang to entertain me, and I had all the women a man could want. Yes, I was great, greater than anyone else who had ever lived in Jerusalem, and my wisdom never failed me. Anything I wanted, I got.”

15  “I did not deny myself any pleasure. I was proud of everything I had worked for, and all this was my reward. Then I thought about all that I had done and how hard I had worked doing it, and I realized that it didn’t mean a thing. It was like chasing the wind---of no use at all. After all, a king can only do what previous kings have done.” (Ecclesiastes 2:4-12)  “If you love money, you will never be satisfied; if you long to be rich, you will never get all you want. It is useless. The richer you are, the more mouths you have to feed. All you gain is the knowledge that you are rich.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10,11)

16  “A man might have a hundred children and live to be very old. But if he finds no satisfaction in life and doesn’t even get a decent burial, it would have been better for him to be born dead.” (Ecclesiastes 6:3)  “Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So there’s no use arguing with God about your destiny.” (Ecclesiastes 6:10)

17  “So don’t be too good or too wise---why kill yourself ? But don’t be too wicked or too foolish, either---why die before you have to?” (Ecclesiastes 7:16-17)

18  Chasing after many women – useless  “The truth is beyond us. It’s far too deep. So I decided to learn everything I could and become wise enough to discover what life is all about. At the same time, I wanted to understand why it's stupid and senseless to be an evil fool. Here is what I discovered: A bad woman is worse than death. She is a trap, reaching out with body and soul to catch you. But if you obey God, you can escape. If you don’t obey, you are done for.

19  “With all my wisdom I have tried to find out how everything fits together, but so far I have not been able to. I do know there is one good man in a thousand, but never have I found a good woman. I did learn one thing: We were completely honest when God created us, but now we have twisted minds.” (Ecclesiastes 7:24- 29)

20  Is everything useless?  “I decided that God is testing us, to show us that we are no better than animals. After all, the same fate awaits human beings and animals alike. One dies just like the other. They are the same kind of creature. A human being is no better off than an animal, because life has no meaning for either. They are both going to the same place---the dust. They both came from it; they will both go back to it. How can anyone be sure that the human spirit goes upward while an animal’s spirit goes down into the ground? So I realized then that the best thing we can do is enjoy what we have worked for. There is nothing else we can do. There is no way for us to know what will happen after we die.” (Ecclesiastes 3:18-22)

21  “Someone who is always thinking about happiness is a fool. A wise person thinks about death.” (Ecclesiastes 7:4)  “Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time.” (Proverbs 17:22)

22  “Here is what I have found out: the best thing we can do is eat and drink and enjoy what we have worked for during the short life that God has given us; this is our fate.” (Ecclesiastes 5:18)  “So I am convinced that we should enjoy ourselves, because the only pleasure we have in this life is eating and drinking and enjoying ourselves. We can at least do this as we labor during the life that God has given us in this world.” (Ecclesiastes 8:15)

23  “I thought long and hard about all this and saw that God controls the actions of wise and righteous people, even their love and their hate. No one knows anything about what lies ahead. It makes no difference. The same fate comes to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the bad, to those who are religious and those who are not, to those who offer sacrifices and those who do not. A good person is no better off than a sinner; one who takes an oath is no better off than one who does not.” (Ecclesiastes 9:1-2)

24  “God made everything, and you can no more understand what he does than you understand how new life begins in the womb of a pregnant woman.” (Ecclesiastes 11:5)  “No matter how long you live, remember that you will be dead much longer. There is nothing at all to look forward to.” (Ecclesiastes 11:8)

25  “The Philosopher tried to find comforting words, but the words he wrote were honest.” (Ecclesiastes 12:10)  “After all this, there is only one thing to say: Have reverence for God, and obey his commands, because this is all that we were created for. God is going to judge everything we do, whether good or bad, even things done in secret.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

26  “Here is what I have found out: the best thing we can do is eat and drink and enjoy what we have worked for during the short life that God has given us; this is our fate.” (Ecclesiastes 5:18)

27 1. “God has laid a miserable fate on us all…Everything is useless” - Except eating & drinking 2. “A human being is no better off than an animal, because life has no meaning for either.” 3. “There is no way to know what happens after death.” 4. “God controls the actions of wise and righteous people, even their love and their hate.”

28  5. “A good person is no better off than a sinner”  6. God is not knowable

29  “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (2 Timothy 3:16)  “I just want to do what the Bible says”

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31  “Missing the difference between God and the Bible is a bit like the person who reads Jonah and spends hours and hours figuring out if a human can live inside a whale - and what kind of whale it was - but never encounters God. The book is about Jonah’s God, not Jonah's whale….the ultimate goal of the Bible is to know God.” - McKnight

32  “We are summoned by the God who speaks to us in the Bible to listen to God speak, to live out what God directs us to live out, and to discern how to live out the Story in our own day…turn the two- dimensional words on paper into a three dimensional encounter with God.”

33  “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:18)  “Do not trim off the hair on your temples or trim your beards.” (Leviticus 19:27)

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37  “Yes, the living know they are going to die, but the dead know nothing.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5)  “A time for killing...a time for hatred” (Ecclesiastes 3:3,8)

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39  Richard B. Hays, the “Four (or Five) Ways Not to Read the Bible”:  An advice column;  A map on how to get to heaven after we die;  A predictive text that tells us what will happen at the end of time;  A source of information about antiquity;  A Rorschach Blot on which oppressors impose their views in order to justify their unfair power.

40  Five good ways to read the Bible:  As a story that it is primarily about God;  As a coherent narrative from Genesis to Revelation, requiring each portion of it to be read in light of the whole;  With awareness that specific texts can have multiple meanings;  In collaboration with others in contemporary Christian communities; and  A willingness to be surprised, challenged, and transformed.

41  “A poor youngster with some wisdom is better off than an old but foolish king who doesn’t know which end is up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:13 – TMB)  “The Philosopher tried to find comforting words, but the words he wrote were honest.” (Ecclesiastes 12:10)

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43  At one time in his life, he lived the principles of God’s kingdom:  And for a time, he was a bright light to the world

44  At another time, Solomon accepted the principles of another kingdom (selfishness, power, greed):  And this led him to become a foolish king

45  If we base our life on the principles of God’s kingdom and on the true wisdom, we become successful (as God determines success)  If we base our life on the principles of any other “kingdom”, we become foolish (as God would define “foolish”)  God’s way leads to healing, restoration, happiness, peace, joy, and wisdom – it works!  Any other way leads to self-destruction, gloom, and foolishness – it doesn’t work!

46  “But restoration to favor with God did not miraculously restore the wasted physical and mental strength of former years (see MH 169).  “It pictures in vivid terms his pursuit of pleasure, popularity, wealth, and power; but the thread that binds this sad narrative together is Solomon’s own candid analysis of the perverted thought processes by which, in his own mind, he had justified his wayward conduct. Those portions of Ecclesiastes that relate the experience and reasoning of his years of apostasy are not to be taken as representing the mind and will of the Spirit. Nevertheless, they are an inspired record of what he actually thought and did during that time” (PK 79)


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