Ecclesiastes 9:1-10, Let God’s Revelation Heal Your Cynical Depression
1. You Can Know That God Will Show You Favor (v1-2)
2. Understand That There Are Differing Futures (v2-3)
3. View This Life As Time To Prepare For Eternity (v4-6)
4. Balance Temporary Pleasure And Eternal Preparation (v7-9)
5. Make The Most Of Every Opportunity In This Life (v10)
Ecclesiastes 9:1-10, Let God’s Revelation Heal Your Cynical Depression
Ecclesiastes 9:1-10, Let God’s Revelation Heal Your Cynical Depression
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If I were to run down the street to juice it up.
And bring back a nice fruit smoothie for you.
I'm sure that you could enjoy that, especially on a hot.
Day like this and.
At the same time, if I were to run down to Wood Ranch and bring you back a nice hefty steak and maybe some asparagus.
Listen some some you know good bread to enjoy.
Along with that, you would understand there's a.
There's a really good meal to be had there.
And if you're choosing one or the other, perhaps there's times where you would prefer the juice it up smoothie, and that you know it just kind of hits the spot, but it would also be challenging to live on that, right?
It would also be challenging to.
To not have the more meaty the more.
Full dinners or meals throughout the rest of your life and you know, as we come to things like the Book of Ecclesiastes, it reminds me of this because there are passages in scripture that you could kind of relate to a juice it up smoothie.
They're just like easy to take in.
It's all digested, it's all processed.
It's already all blended up.
There's no cutting, there's you know, no chewing involved.
It's just you just kind of soak it in.
You just take it in and it's refreshing and enjoyable.
But then there's also those meals that you have to work for, and if I were to take that same steak and put it into a blender and provide it to you, you would not get the same kind of enjoyment out of it, right?
That that there is something about you processing it yourself, cutting it down yourself, chewing on it and chewing on it and chewing on it and enjoying the flavors.
And enjoying all that comes out of it, that that there's so much benefit and value that you receive.
And the word of God many times is compared to food in this way throughout the scriptures.
And we commonly refer to the milk of the word.
In Hebrews chapter five, and first Peter encourages us in regards to that right and and yet there's the the meat of the word and the things that we have to work at and chew on.
But but that labor produces really good and desirable things within us, and I think the Book of Ecclesiastes is like that, full.
Full meal that you have to work hard to cut up, to break down to digest and to really receive the benefit from you.
Don't want to take the book of Ecclesiastes and just down it like a smoothie and just accept it at face value and accept it as God's word to you that that there is some processing that must be done.
As you work through this and the context of Ecclesiastes is really important to consider.
As we look at Ecclesiastes Chapter 9 this morning, I've titled The Message.
Let God's revelation heal your cynical depression.
Let God's revelation heal your cynical depression.
Solomon, the author of this book as he writes it, he is in a place but I would describe as cynical.
Dealing with really what you might describe as depression now I I'm not using these words as in like medical terms and clinical depression is not to be confused with cynical depression, right?
I'm not trying to approach this in in that kind of light, but but understanding the context of where Solomon's at, we can see the cynicism.
We can see the jadedness and the depression coming out of his words as he is walking through these various things in the Book of Ecclesiastes.
Solomon, the son of David.
We can look back on his life and understand he started off really well.
He's the son of David, but.
He didn't have David's relationship with God, David from a young boy really had a a sweet fellowship with God and and we see that reflected in the Psalms and in the life of David as he is continually inquiring of the Lord and maintained that close relationship with God. Solomon is the son of David and.
He inherited a lot from David, but he didn't have that same relationship with God.
He started off pretty well when he first became king.
He asked God for wisdom when God gave him the opportunity to ask for anything that he wanted.
And God gave him wisdom.
He answered that request, and he was incredibly wise, above all others, really, who have ever lived apart from Jesus Christ.
But Solomon, although he had this great heritage, although he had this great wisdom from God, although he started well.
In the course of his life as king, he wandered from God.
He wandered and strayed from the path of right relationship with God.
And what we see in the Book of Ecclesiastes is a record of where he was at, not when he was early in his days, and starting off well, but later in his life.
When he has wandered off the path when he has become depressed and jaded and cynical as he has lost sight.
Of all that God has said and revealed, and many people wonder as they work through Ecclesiastes, how could Solomon be so foolish?
How could the wisest man who ever lived?
Fall to this foolish state and attempt the futility of the things that he attempted.
It's something that we need to understand about wisdom and foolishness.
No matter how far we have come, no matter how far we go in our wisdom and in our relationship with God.
We have to continue in that relationship with God and in that walk with God or else we will descend to foolishness like Solomon did.
The key issue?
That is highlighted for us in regards to Solomon in the scriptures.
First Kings Chapter 11 tells us.
That God had clearly instructed the people of Israel.
You must not marry these people who are worshipping other gods.
Because God says they will turn your hearts to their gods.
Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway, and so it records for us. He had 700 wives, 300 concubines.
And in fact, they did turn his heart.
From the Lord. Notice it says in verse four in Solomon's old age, they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the Lord his God, as his father David had been.
Solomon as he grew older again, started out great, had a great heritage, had wisdom from God that was miraculous and supernatural.
But he insisted on disobeying God in regards to these relationships with those who worshipped other gods.
And the warning that God gave was proven to be true.
His heart was turned.
And he began to worship other gods.
And so we find him later in life, and the the Book of Ecclesiastes is this time frame in his life, where he has been away from God for some time.
He still believes in God.
He still is not, you know, denying the existence of God, he acknowledges God.
But he's really rejected the revelation of God about himself and about eternity, and so he is approaching life.
From a purely humanistic approach, a humanistic viewpoint, the phrase under the sun is repeated over and over and over again.
I think it's around 30 times throughout the book.
He's he's limiting all of his logic and reasoning and rationale to the things that he can see, taste, touch, experience, and.
Come to conclusions about without having any revelation from God.
And so he embarks on this journey, which is recorded here in Ecclesiastes.
To try to find meaning in life.
To try to find purpose and value for life, he's come to a place where he no longer feels that life is meaningful or valuable.
And he's trying to figure out what.
What's the purpose?
What is the point?
Of this life.
This is of course something that everybody struggles with at one time or another and we all wrestle with this a bit.
I think it's important for us to consider because.
People that we encounter people that we walk with and interact with and sit next to.
Often we'll be struggling with similar things that Solomon is struggling with in the Book of Ecclesiastes.
I think it's one of the reasons why the Lord allows this book to be in the Canon of Scripture.
That we would have a safe place to explore the insights and understand this is what it looks like.
When a person is far from God and rejects the revelation of God, this is what happens with all of the intellect.
With all of the wisdom with all of the pursuits of various things.
We don't end in a good place apart from God, we end.
In a place while I would subtitle the Book of Ecclesiastes.
The jaded cynical ramblings of a depressed old man.
And if you've been reading along with us this week, perhaps you've got a glimpse of that.
The jaded, cynical ramblings.
Of a depressed old man.
Again, it's valuable insight for.
Understanding many that we encounter, but also I would encourage you.
I would say God allowed this to be included in the scriptures because God wants you to know if you feel this way.
He wants to hear about it.
If you wrestle with if some of these arguments and and wrestlings and things that he's going through if they resonate with you.
If you share those wrestlings and struggles that you have with somebody else, you might be fearful.
Of the rejection and the rebuke and the you know the strong like get away from me.
Kind of reaction that you might get.
Big enough to be able to handle all of our struggles.
All of our cynicism and
The things that we say because we don't understand the rejection of him and yet.
Losing then all of the hope and the promise and the joy that we get from that, and bringing ourselves to this place of depression and anger at God.
We can still bring that to God.
God still wants to hear that he still wants us to interact with him and confess those things to him.
And so we have recorded for us this place in Solomon's life, where he is apart from God, distant from God and really feeling the.
Effects of that.
And yet through that I want to encourage you this morning that God can heal.
That cynical depression
The revelation of God is what Solomon is missing.
The under the sun under the Sun, under the sun, that that insisting on that view.
Is limiting and hindering his ability to process the complex and difficult issues that he's wrestling with.
And he wants answers and he wants to be able to, you know, be able to have the final say and the clear cut easy two sentence answer about any issue that he's wrestling with and.
Part of the revelation of God is you don't get that, and you probably won't have that for a lot of things.
This side of eternity, but you can trust God.
Because he is at work in your life and in this world.
Solomon is refusing to see that it's like taking an advanced math test without, you know, using a calculator, even if it's allowed to be used right.
It's like tying your hands behind your back and say I'm going to figure out the meaning and purpose of life, but I'm not going to listen to what God has to say.
Well listen, God is the one who has the answers and he's the one who invented it all.
And he's the one who provides meaning and purpose.
And value in life.
And so as you read through Solomon's account here in Ecclesiastes, you really see him comparing human life to animal life, and there's really, from his perspective, not much difference between them.
Because if you take God out of the equation.
His revelation and what he has said.
Well, it really reduces us.
Too animalistic viewpoint and perspective on life, and it's not at all accurate to what life is all about, and so I would encourage you this morning if you are.
Wrestling with some of these things and really challenged by some of these arguments that Solomon works through.
Let God revelation he's spoken.
He's revealed himself he's revealed the truth.
He can heal.
You're cynical depression.
And for those who are around you, wrestling with and struggling with and.
Bitter and cynical and depressed about the course of life and the things that are happening in life.
It's valuable insight for us to have compassion to be able to relate to, to not run away from but.
To seek to bring forth the light and the truth of what God has said about these complex and difficult issues that we face.
And so we're going to work our way through these 10 verses here in Ecclesiastes Chapter 9.
Looking first at verses one and two for point number one and that is you can know that God will show you favor.
I want to encourage you.
You can know for sure without a doubt.
That God will show you favor.
You have that potential.
Look at verses one and two.
Solomon says this too.
I carefully explored.
Even though the actions of godly and wise people are in God's hands.
No one knows whether God will show them favor.
The same destiny ultimately awaits everyone, whether righteous or wicked, good or bad.
Ceremonially clean or unclean religious or irreligious.
Good people receive the same treatment as sinners.
And people who make promises to.
God are treated like people who don't.
Solomon here is coming to conclusions.
And I would say it this way he's making valid observations but bad conclusions.
He's looking at life and he's seeing you know there's this person who is really religious and faithful and they go to the temple and they offer sacrifices exactly the way that.
God is prescribed.
And and they're devout in their worship of God.
And yet bad things happen in their life.
And then their next door neighbor is a wicked person who cares nothing about God.
And good things happen in their neighbors life.
And then there's some wicked people who have bad things happen to them, and there's some good people who have good things happen to them, but.
Nobody can know whether or not good or bad will happen in your life is what Solomon is expressing here.
Now the observation is valid.
There is the truth.
There is the reality and the great mystery for us.
Many people ask the question, why do you?
Bad things happen to good people.
Many people wrestle with that.
That's the basic concept that Solomon is wrestling with.
The observation is that.
We cannot always discern God favor.
Based upon the events and circumstances that are experienced in this life.
Evil and good, wicked and righteous.
People in all ranges.
Of these spectrums, experience so many of the same things.
Victories and defeats birth and death difficulty and and joys and sorrows that there's so much that is shared between them, regardless of whether they are righteous.
And so he goes on, like if they're ceremonially clean or unclean if they're religious or irreligious.
Good people receive the same treatment as sinners. That's Solomon's observation.
It's important to keep in mind he's looking at everything under the sun, so he's just looking at circumstances in life.
And nothing more.
And he comes to this conclusion then.
You can't know.
Whether you're going to have God's.
Favor in your life or not.
One of the valuable tools that we can use to evaluate philosophies of life and approaches and ideas that we're trying to use to figure out the circumstances and situations that we're seeing happen.
In this life.
One of the valuable tools that we can use is the life.
And the example the model of Jesus.
I would encourage you use Jesus to test.
All of your philosophies of life.
The example of Jesus.
If you think about Jesus, he was.
A perfect man never sinned, not even once.
Not only that, but he was more than a man.
He is God who became man.
But as you look at his life and the record of the life that he lived.
That life does not represent.
The reality of who he is and how great.
He was born in obscurity in a Manger.
Not in glory, as would have been rightful and appropriate for him because of.
Who he is.
He grew up in poverty.
Joseph and Mary were not wealthy.
They were not well off even when it came time to to make the offering for Jesus that was instructed in the the scriptures for the birth of a child.
They they offered the offering for poor people because they didn't have much.
It seems like Joseph Jesus is stepfather.
Died early in his life.
We don't have a complete exact record of that, but he's out of the picture.
Fairly early in Jesus life and so he.
Grows up without a father and.
That's not consistent with what you would expect from a perfect child God who became man.
He learns the trade of carpentry.
Now if God shows up on Earth, it would be reasonable to expect he's not going to have to do anything everybody else serves him.
He's got but but Jesus had to learn a trade.
Had to work hard and provide for his family, his mother and his brothers, especially with his dad out of the picture.
And then as Jesus enters into his ministry phase just a few years of ministry.
Compared to the 30 years, it's you know.
Roughly 10% of his life was the ministry years.
Not at all proportionate. I mean you have Jesus God who became man. You would think 99% of his life.
OK, yeah, we'll allow that 1% of you know normal human stuff, but 99% should be just glorious ministry as God is here among us. But no, Jesus lived a life of humility and obscurity.
And even in his ministry there was.
Great difficulty in persecution and of course at the end, being crucified unjustly.
Betrayed by his one of his own disciples, if you look at the life of Jesus.
And use that.
As a test for what Solomon is saying here.
You can understand.
This life, if you limit it to this life.
Is not going.
To give you an accurate, accurate picture.
Of whether or not God is showing you favor.
It's just not.
It's not accurate in Jesus life if you just limit it to the temporary.
This life and the physical things that he experienced.
Another example that we can consider in this regard is job where we're told expressly that job was a righteous man.
God declares him to be a righteous man, and then he suffers greater than anyone has ever suffered.
His life did not reflect the favor that God.
Had on job.
Jesus, his life did not reflect the favor that the father had on him.
And so Solomon limiting himself to just what he can see, says in verse one.
No one knows whether God will show them favor.
I'm looking at all these things.
It just seems like.
Those who are good and faithful to God and promise things to God and are walking with God.
They just experienced the same things.
And so he's coming to the conclusion that those who are so faithful in their religion.
Are not experiencing God's favor.
But Solomon is not accurate in his view, because he's left the revelation of God out of the picture.
I'm not going to try to.
Explain how Solomon should have known these things.
I'm going to jump forward now to the New Testament and looking at these things to help us understand.
When we can.
Resonate with Solomon in his arguments and in his wrestlings
How do we understand the truth?
And the reality, as opposed to the falsehood that Solomon is expressing here.
And so I want to encourage you in Ephesians Chapter 2.
To consider this for a moment, Paul says.
Ephesians chapter 2 verse 4.
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much.
That even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ.
From the dead.
It is only by God's grace.
That you have been saved.
For he raised us from the dead along with Christ, and seated us with him in the Heavenly Realms.
Because we are united with Christ Jesus.
And then he says in verse seven, so God can point to us in all future ages as an example of the incredible wealth of his grace.
His grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all that he has done for us, who are united with Christ Jesus.
The definition for grease.
There's been many shared, but the one that I always fall back on and remember.
Grace is undeserved favor and kindness.
It's God goodness, God kindness towards us God's favor.
That we do not deserve.
And Paul says.
God has worked in our lives in such a way.
Through Christ and by believing in Christ and what he has accomplished for us upon the cross, we have been united with Jesus.
So that for all future ages, for the rest of eternity, God can point to us and say look at this example of my favor.
This example of my grace.
Not deserving it.
Not earning it.
Believed in Jesus and received the forgiveness of God.
Received right relationship with God.
Received opportunity to serve God and work in his vineyard and accomplish things for his glory.
And for the rest of eternity, God will be able to point to each one who has believed in Jesus and say, look at the incredible wealth of Greece.
The incredible wealth of fever I've bestowed on this one this this is the truth and the reality for everyone who believes in Jesus.
You are the recipient of incredible wealth of grace.
And so Solomon says, you can't know.
No one knows whether God.
Will show them favor.
But for those who believe in Jesus.
The revelation of God says otherwise, and says no.
Absolutely, that's not true.
You can know your.
Guaranteed favor from God, grace from God because it's not based on your efforts, your earnings or your deserving.
It's based on your acceptance of Jesus Christ.
And so while the things that we experience in this life
May sometimes be similar to the things that wicked people experience in this life.
Do not be deceived by that.
And come to the conclusion I'm out of favor with God.
When you believe in Jesus Christ.
In spite of what you see happening immediately and temporarily in your life, you can know that for all eternity God is promised to use you as a trophy of grace, a demonstration of how much favor God has poured out upon you and upon your life.
You can know that God will show you favor.
Let God revelation counteract.
The tendency to feel like gods abandoned me.
The tendency to feel like.
God's upset with me and punishing me for something in my life. God's not trying to deal with you according to your sin. He's trying to call you out of your sin, absolutely.
He's not trying to pay you back for sin.
He received the penalty for sin.
He's trying to get you to receive that and to walk in that and to enjoy that to experience the fullness of his favor.
But you have to bring eternity into account, and the revelation of God into account to really grasp hold of these things.
We walk by faith and not by sight. Solomon just wanted to walk by sight. He just wanted to look at circumstances in any person's life and figure out and calculate. Put the formula through and see. OK, this person is right.
Oh God, this person is not right with God and I can understand it all and explain every detail about it.
Listen, if that's your objective.
You're going to fall short every time.
Listen to what God has to say.
Listen to the revelation of God.
Paul says in Romans 5.
Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
Because of our faith, God or Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege, where we now stand and we confidently and joyfully look forward.
To sharing God's glory.
We stand in a position of favor.
Where we confidently and joyfully look forward.
To the full expression of that favor that God has towards us in eternity.
And it's received by Faith, justified by faith, peace with God.
Because of what he has done for us.
We're moving on.
A little bit we're going to look at verses two and three for point #2 and that is understand that there are differing features.
Understand there are differing features.
Again, verse two says.
The same destiny ultimately awaits everyone.
Whether righteous or wicked, good or bad, ceremonially clean or unclean religious sort your religious.
Good people receive the same treatment as sinners and people who make promises to God are treated like people who don't.
It seems so wrong that everyone under the Sun suffers the same fate.
Already twisted by evil people choose their own mad course.
For they have no hope.
There is nothing ahead.
But death anyway.
Again, we can see the.
Cynical nature of Solomon coming through clearly here.
And again, I would suggest there's some valid observations that he's making.
Good things and bad things happen.
To both those who know God and love God and are seeking to please God and those who couldn't care less about God.
Good and bad happens in everybody life.
And Solomon is so frustrated by this, he says it seems so wrong.
Again, the common question why do bad things happen?
To good people.
But the other side of that question is obvious and needs to be asked as well, but it's rarely asked.
Why do good things happen to bad people.
Both are perplexing to us with a limited perspective.
Why do good things happen to bad people?
And why do bad things happen to good people?
It's a valid observation.
And it's a struggle that you and I will observe, and.
Have in our lives.
We're going to continue to see this take place.
Think about what Jesus said in Matthew Chapter 5.
He says you've heard it said.
But you've heard that the law says, love your neighbor and hate your enemy, but I say love your enemies.
Pray for those who persecute you.
In that way you will be acting as.
The true children of your father in heaven.
For he gives his son light to both the evil and the good.
And he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.
Jesus explains, look, this is how the father behaves.
He calls us to love our enemies because that's how the father behaves.
He does good.
In the lives of wicked people.
In a similar fashion to how he does good in the lives of good people.
The sunrise is not just for those who are faithful to God.
The sun rises for those who are opposed to God.
And God sends rain.
Mean that's needed for crops to provide for and to bless and to advance and and to enrich people he sends rain on the just and the unjust.
In this life in the temporary time that we have here on this earth, God is working.
Because of course God objective is different than Solomon's.
God could just immediately payback everyone for evil and wickedness.
But then they would never have the opportunity.
To repent and receive the forgiveness of God.
But because of love.
God loves every human being.
The worst of the worst of the worst.
That you could ever imagine.
God would still love them and desire for them to come.
To right relationship with him by faith in Jesus Christ.
And so he rises the sun for them.
And gives them another day of breath, another opportunity.
Blesses them a little bit more, continues to provide for them so that they would have continuing opportunity.
To receive from God.
To turn from sin and to believe in him.
But that's just this life.
That's not for all eternity.
In this life we will see good people experience evil and evil people experience good.
Everybody experiences a mixture of both things in this life temporarily.
It's a different story.
And again, Solomon here is just looking under the sun.
Verse three, it seems so wrong that everyone under the Sun suffers the same fate.
And if you just limit your view under the sun, there is going to be incredible amount of injustice.
That will be established and remain here on the Earth.
The breaths that we take here on this earth.
This is not the time frame where God is seeking to right every wrong.
And bring justice to every injustice.
Every injustice will be answered.
But God's not trying to do that in this life.
And so Solomon, looking at this view, he doesn't understand because he refuses.
To receive God's revelation and to factor eternity into the equation.
The famous Scripture John Chapter 3 verse 16.
This is how God loved the world.
He gave his one and only son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
Notice there's the difference.
There is a difference.
In eternity there are those who will perish.
And those who will have eternal life.
John 3 verse 18. A couple of verses down there is no judgment against anyone who believes in him, but anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God's one and only.
And so, in eternity.
It will not be the same that wicked people receive good and good people receive evil.
Those who know God and have received the forgiveness of God, they receive eternal life.
Who have not walked with God and not known?
God by faith in Jesus Christ they will receive judgment.
And in eternity, every wrong will be made, right.
Every injustice will be corrected.
And it can be confusing as we just look at this life and see the things that happen and how can they get away with this and how can they this good person have such a hard time in life.
They have such a pure heart and you know they're so good and loving to people.
How can they struggle so much?
And how can God allow that?
Understand there are different futures.
And as I have shared a few times over the past few weeks that this life is just like such a sliver, when you compare it to all of eternity.
All the great injustices that we can can think of and consider.
They're all rectified.
And the reality of eternity.
Understand there are different futures.
Continuing on in verses 436.
Point #3 is view. This life has time to prepare for eternity.
When you bring in God revelation.
It can bring great healing to our hearts.
In regards to.
The cynical nature that we developed like Solomon, the depression and pessimism and.
Outlook that we can have many times on life.
But when we bring in God's revelation, we understand he is going to work something he is going to show favor. We can know that for certain, and we can have the promise that things will be made right.
And so as we look at this life, we need to understand.
There's more to life than this life.
This life is time to prepare for eternity.
Here's what it says in verses 4 through 6.
There is hope only for the living, as they say it is better to be alive dog than a dead lion.
The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing.
They have no further reward, nor are they remembered.
Whatever they did in their lifetime, loving, hating, envying is all long gone.
They no longer play a part in anything here.
A Solomon observes this life and struggles with.
The meaning and value of it.
He's coming too.
This frustration that.
And death is certain.
And then everything that.
A person worked for and wanted and desired.
It's just over.
Once they've died.
He wrestles with this throughout the book, it's.
All over the place.
It's not just here.
His conclusion viewing under the Sun limited perspective, he says, there's only hope for the living.
Once you're gone, you're gone.
In his perspective, he's saying.
We're not really any better than animals.
They really despised dogs in their culture.
They didn't keep them like pets like we do, but they despised them.
They hated dogs, but lions were noble creatures, right?
Solomon says that it's better to be a dead dog or alive dog than a dead lion.
At least if you're alive, you can do something.
But there's no meaning or value or purpose in death.
You're just gone.
That's not accurate when you factor in.
What God has said and revealed about life.
Think about what Paul said in Philippians 1.
He says for to me living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.
To live as Christ, to die his gain.
He says, but if I live, I can.
Do more fruitful work for Christ.
So I really don't know which is better.
If I live, if I continue on, I get to continue to do more for God.
There is a limited time and opportunity.
Solomon is right in observing that there is something significant about the time that we have in this life and the breaths that we take there is that span.
And it has incredible significance.
But where he's mistaken is his conclusions after that.
He says, look the living at least know that they will die.
But the dead know nothing.
Is that true that the dead know nothing?
Again, consider the revelation of God.
What did Jesus say in Luke chapter 16?
He told the.
Account of the rich man and Lazarus and.
You can wrestle with this whether or not it's a parable or an actual event, but either way, the point that Jesus is declaring is the same.
There is this rich man.
Who knows where he's at?
He calls out to Abraham.
To send Lazarus over to.
Put a drop of water on his tongue.
To cool him off.
And Abraham tells him.
Luke 1625 Abraham said to him, son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now here he is. Here being comforted, and you are in anguish.
In verse five of Ecclesiastes 9, Solomon says the dead have no reward.
And they have no knowledge.
But Jesus says otherwise.
Here's the rich man.
Having died, he remembers he remembers Lazarus.
He remembers his life.
He's receiving his reward, and Lazarus is receiving his reward.
Jesus goes on in this account in verse 27 and 28 of Luke 16.
To describe this rich man calling out, please Abraham send Lazarus to my father's home, for I have five brothers and I want him to warn them so I don't end up in this place of torment.
He remembers he has knowledge.
He remembers his family, he remembers.
The opportunities that were there.
There is life beyond this life.
And there is reward and there is knowledge.
And there's memory.
Solomon says whatever they did in this lifetime, loving and being hating, it's all long gone.
But that's not the truth.
This life, this time that we have is preparation time.
It's investing time.
It's where we get to establish.
The eternity that we will experience Jesus talked about this in Matthew 6.
Don't store up treasures on Earth.
Store up your treasures in heaven.
Where they will last, where they will endure.
Invest now in the things of eternity with the life that you have. Well point #4 moving on to verses 7 through 9 balance, temporary pleasure and eternal preparation.
Verse seven says so go ahead, eat your food with joy and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this.
Wear fine clothes with a splash of Cologne.
Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun.
The wife God gives you as your reward for all your earthly toil.
Solomon, here speaking cynically, you can see that very clearly there in verse 9.
Listen, your life is meaningless.
It's going to be hard and difficult, so listen, just do the best you can to have a happy life.
That's his advice out of his jaded view.
One of the themes that you see throughout Ecclesiastes is.
Listen, we might just well just make the best of it.
Eat, drink and be merry because there's no point and it's all worthless and it's all meaningless.
So put on some good clothes, splash on that Cologne like might as well, just, you know, smile today 'cause that might be all you have.
You're in a bad situation and just try to make the most.
Of it and smile a lot.
There is temporality to this life, of course.
And there is a mixture of things that we will experience.
But when you bring.
In the light of eternity, there's so much more.
Jesus told the parable in Luke Chapter 12 of a rich man who had an abundant crop and he said, what am I going to do?
There's so much crop I don't even.
Have room to store it all right.
Here's what I'm gonna do.
I'm going to make a bigger barn and I'm going to store it all there and I'm just going to eat and drink and be merry.
Kind of a direct call back here to Solomon in Ecclesiastes.
I'm just going to enjoy life.
No more effort or anything required from me.
But then Jesus goes on in.
The parable to say you fool.
You're going to die this very night and then who will get everything?
That you worked for.
Nothing wrong with the abundant crop.
Nothing wrong with receiving and enjoying the things that are provided.
There's nothing wrong with enjoying the spouse that you're married to, and you know enjoying the the moments that you have.
That that's not.
What God would say, but what God says, there's there's more to the account than that.
And with eternity in view.
You need to understand.
There's a place.
For enjoying the moments that we have and pursuing pleasure in this life.
And there's a balance.
To preparing for eternity.
Ran through my time so I can't get into this in depth, but first Timothy Chapter 6.
Paul says lik.
Timothy, you need to teach the rich.
To enjoy what God has provided to them abundantly.
But also to not be consumed with that the neglect.
Of the things of eternity.
There's room for you to enjoy God's blessings in your life, and as Jonathan was saying, you know we are abundantly blessed here in the United States in many ways.
There's room for us to enjoy those blessings, and we don't have to.
All, you know, sleep on the floor and have no comforts and no luxuries and no enjoyments in our lives.
With the provisions that God gives us at the same time, we can't let that consume us.
We need to have balance where we enjoy what God.
Has provided and.
And we prepare for eternity with those resources that God has given, and so that brings me to the fifth point.
And that is to make the most of every opportunity.
In this life.
Make the most of every opportunity.
Solomon says whatever you do do well for when you go to the grave, there will be no work.
Or planning or knowledge or wisdom.
And again we can.
Say to Solomon false false false false false.
It's a bunch of nonsense because he's coming at this.
With no regard for what God has said.
Not considering what God has revealed.
There is much value.
Now, his encouragement, whatever you do, do well, well, that is echoed throughout the New Testament as well.
We we are encouraged to do our best.
That we have a limited time and we need to use the opportunities.
That God has given to us, Paul says in Ephesians chapter 5.
Be careful how you live.
Don't live like.
Fools, but like those who are wise make the most of every opportunity.
Don't live thoughtlessly, but understand.
What the Lord wants you to do.
Be really smart and intelligent and wise.
Enlightened by God about how you live life.
Don't go carelessly, don't live foolishly.
Make the most of those opportunities.
Jesus said in John Chapter 9.
We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned to us by the one.
Who sent us?
Jesus being sent by the Father says I'm on a mission.
I must do what the father has called me to do.
The night is coming when no one can work.
You have a limited.
Scope of opportunity right now.
To prepare for the eternity that God wants to provide for you.
So quickly carry out the tasks that he's assigned to you.
Make the most of the opportunities.
Invest in the things of the Kingdom of God and in eternity.
Although Solomon is.
Bitter and depressed and cynical jaded.
It's important to consider these things because we will all wrestle with these types of things from time to time and we will interact with people who wrestle with these things all the time, whose whole lives are ruled by these same kinds of mentalities.
And broken ideas.
But God, revelation can heal your cynical depression.
You can know for sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that God will show you favor.
You can understand that there are different futures.
There is meaning and value and purpose to the things that we do in this life.
This life is the time that we have to prepare for.
Eternity God wants you to enjoy things in this life.
He wants you to have those great moments in your life.
But no, don't neglect.
Eternity and preparing for what God is calling you too.
Make the most.
Of every opportunity.
I want to finish with this last.
Quotation from Paul in First Corinthians chapter 15.
He says for sin is the steam that results in death and the law gives sin its power.
But thank God.
He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So my dear brothers and sisters be strong.
Always work enthusiastically for the Lord.
For you know.
That nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
Solomon's phrase throughout the book of Ecclesiastes is vanity of vanities, meaningless, useless, no value, no purpose.
That's what this life is.
But the Lord says differently.
Nothing that you do for the Lord is ever useless if we allow sin to dominate.
It results in death and we live in Solomon's condition, but God gives us victory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So be immovable.
Don't be shaken by the depression, by the cynicism, by the pessimism.
By no matter what happens around us.
Always work enthusiastically for the Lord.
Because nothing you do for him is in vain.
Nothing you do for the Lord is useless, but I pray that you would help us that you would strengthen our hearts Lord in a world that wants to convince us that we are just like the animals, Lord and.
There's not eternity, and to not consider the things that you have revealed in a world that tries to distract from and breakdown the truth that you have declared so clearly.
God, I pray that you would help us to grasp hold of your truth.
Or that our lives would be directed.
By what you have said and what you reveal or that we would trust you.
And enjoy the incredible fever.
And Grace and mercy.
That you provide as we do.
And so, Lord, I pray that you had give us clear heads and clear hearts.
That we would know you and walk with you.
See the opportunities that you set before us and make the most of them.
As we prepare for eternity and the glorious things that you have in store for us, I pray this in Jesus name.