English Service FINDING SATISFACTION IN LIFE Series

IS LIFE WORTH LIVING?

ECCLESIASTES 2:12-26

INTRODUCTION

The preacher or “Koheleth” was searching for the answer to the age-old question, “Is life worth living?” First, the preacher thought that the pursuit of wisdom would give him the answers he sought (1:12-15). Failing in that he pursued pleasure (2:1-11), but after pursuing sensual pleasure, he found out sensual pleasure would not produce lasting happiness. He found out three laws came into play.

  1. The law of unfulfilled expectations.
  • Enjoyment will decrease unless the intensity of the pleasure increases,
  • Getting more does not guarantee enjoyment.
  1. The law of diminishing returns.
  • When the thing that you craved and delighted in becomes boring (more gives you less)
  1. The law of unintended consequences. The discovery that along with pleasure comes something that you thought never would happen.
  • You pursue pleasure only to lose your health, family, children, church, job, community, testimony.
  • Pleasure is a liar, trickster and cheat.

He turned in another direction, wisdom and work, getting an education and getting things done or getting a degree and getting a job.

  • Even great men of God have found themselves frustrated by life to the point of wanting to die. (Job 3:21, 7:15) Elijah (1 Kings 19:40 Moses (Numbers 11:15) Jonah (Jonah 4:3). Many people appear to be suave, stable and successful, but down inside are dreadfully frustrated. Frustration comes from a Latin word “frusta” it means “in vain” or “void of purpose”
  • God is a frustrator in the universe (Rom.8:18-23)
  • God will never let the human heart to be satisfied by that which is temporal or that which is false- Never!!

Let us learn:

I.  FIRST, WISDOM AND DEATH (2:12-17) NO PROTECTION AGAINST DEATH.

  1. Death is a certainty.
  • Whether we like it or not death is a certainty for everyone, some sooner and some later.
  1. The biblical view of death
  • “Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement (Heb.9:27)
  • Life is a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes (James 4:13-15)
  • “Therefore just as sin entered the world through one man a death through sin, and in this way, death came to all men, because all sinned.” (Rom.5:12)
  • Christ conquered death so must we (I Cor.15:54-55)
  • Death is not final for all (Daniel 12:1-4)
  • Since both the wise and fool die, what is the value of wisdom?
  1. Wisdom is better than folly (13-14)
  • Wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness.
  • Death is the greatest equalizer (The Egyptian pyramids)

II.  SECOND, WORK AND DEATH (2:17-23) NO PROTECTION AGAINST UNWORTHY HEIRS.

  • Many people expect to work to give them a sense of purpose in life.
  • We ask people “what kind of work do you do?” “What do you do for a living?”
  • Men especially find worth in their work, but according to Ecclesiastes, work is the wrong plan to look for the meaning of life.
  • “We work our entire lives at jobs we don’t like, to buy things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t like, only to find that death robs don’t have pockets- “someone who did not have to work for it enjoys it.”
  1. Solomon hated life v.17
  • When Solomon says “I hate life” he does not mean that he was anticipating suicide.
  • He actually wanted to avoid death.
  • The great atheist Voltaire said, “I hate life and yet I am afraid to die.”
  • Apart from a relationship with the Living God, life holds no real purpose.
  • Solomon needed so do we need an eternal and biblical perspective to life like Apostle Paul (Col.3:1-4)

2. Wealth you can’t keep it (V.18)

  • The main problem of accumulation of worldly wealth is that in the end, someone else will profit from your hard work.

3. Wealth you can’t protect it (V.19-20)

  • No one has control over what is done with his legacy
  • Fools inherit many wise people. After Solomon, his son Rehoboam was so foolish (I Kings 11:41-12:24)
  • Rehoboam lost 10 tribes of his father’s kingdom and let the nation into war. (I Kings 12)

III. THIRD, JOY AND LIFE WITH GOD (2:24-26) ENJOYMENT IS FROM GOD.

  • Accept life as God’s gift, and enjoy it in God’s will (3:12-15, 5:18-20, 8:15, 9:7-10, 11:9-10)
  • Blessings are from God, the enjoyment of the blessings is a greater gift from God to us (V.24)
  1. Enjoyment is the gift of God (V.26)
  • Paul said to Timothy “God gives us richly all things to enjoy (I Tim.6:17)
  • Instead of spending all our life and time trying to figure out life, we should stick close to God and enjoy it.

CONCLUSION

  • Life is worth living only in Christ. Do you love Him?
  • Without Christ, life has no eternal meaning.
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Rev, Dr. Willy Mutiso is the Senior Pastor at First Baptist Athiriver. He is widely known for his practical and dynamic teaching style which helps people apply the timeless truths of Scripture to their everyday lives.

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