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Can I Find Meaning?     Eccl. 1:1-4, 12-14, 2:1-3,12-14, 24-26     July 21, 2013


Introduction

       When I was in college I heard for the first time someone ask, “What is life and why am I here?” I, replied to myself, I am a creation of God, I am here to serve Him, and I am going to heaven when I leave here. To some that seems to simple but to me it was just basic truth and leads me to say an emphatic yes to the question, Can I Find Meaning?


 

1.   Can I Find Meaning When Life Seems . . Futile? Eccl 1:1-4

A.   When Life Seem Futile Don’t Focus on The . . Titles You Have Been Given. 1:1-2

1 Everything is Futile The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem.

2 "Absolute futility," says the Teacher. "Absolute futility. Everything is futile."

 

B.   When Life Seem Futile Don’t Focus on The . . Toils of Your Labors. 1:1-2

3 What does a man gain for all his efforts he labors at under the sun?

4 A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.


       Many people become very conscious of titles and some think their life’s importance centers on the titles they are given or that they earn. Solomon was king but he found that the title alone could just add to the futility of life. As Solomon looked over his life and the amount of time he spent in the toils of his office he saw very little was accomplished that added much meaning to life. Personally as my wife and I look back over our lives we are very pleased with how our children have produced some significant children and the fact they are Christians serving the Lord in a very pleasing way that is certainly not futile. Could Solomon be pleased with his children?

 

2.   Can I Find Meaning When Life Seems . . Fruitless? Eccl 1:12-14; 2:1-3

A.   When Life Seem Fruitless Remember . . God Set The Limitations.. 1:12-14

12 I, the Teacher, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem.

       13 I applied my mind to seek and explore through wisdom all that is done under heaven. God has given

       people this miserable task to keep them occupied.

       14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun and have found everything to be futile, a pursuit of

       the wind. HCSB

 

B.   When Life Seems Fruitless Stop . . Gratifying the Flesh. 2:1-3

       1 I said in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure;" but surely, this also

       was vanity.

       2 I said of laughter — "Madness!" and of mirth, "What does it accomplish?"

       3 I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how

       to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of

       their lives.


       Many people think and say if they just had talents or abilities like someone else their life could be more meaningful. That kind of reasoning cast a shadow on God and His wisdom. Solomon did not use the wisdom God gave him in a consistently wise manner, therefore he could and did think of it as fruitless at this time. If he remembered at all times how God set the limitations I think he would have thought differently. We all should understand we do not have the same gifts and abilities. But we need to glorify God for the gifts and abilities we have. At this time in Solomon’s life he did not see how what he experienced would glorify God. We can say he put to much emphasis on wealth and women rather than God and it proved to be fruitless!

 

 

3.   Can I Find Meaning When God’s Blessings Bring . . Fulfillment? Eccl 2:12-14, 24-26

A.   When Life Gives Meaning God Even . . Blesses What Some call Fate. 2:12-14

12 The Relative Value of Wisdom Then I turned to consider wisdom, madness, and folly, for what will the man be like who comes after the king? He will do what has already been done.

       13 And I realized that there is an advantage to wisdom over folly, like the advantage of light over darkness.

       14 The wise man has eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. Yet I also knew that one fate comes

       to them both.

 

B.   When Life Gives Meaning God Even . . Blesses What Some Call A Pursuit of the Wind. 2:24-26

       24 There is nothing better for man than to eat, drink, and to enjoy his work. I have seen that even this is

       from God's hand.

       25 For who can eat and who can enjoy life apart from Him?

       26 For to the man who is pleasing in His sight, He gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy, but to the sinner He

       gives the task of gathering and accumulating in order to give to the one who is pleasing in God's sight. This

       too is futile and a pursuit of the wind. HCSB


       Solomon asked God for wisdom and he received what he asked for, but he did not use it as wisely as he could have and some of God’s blessings passed him. You know we need to be living for the Lord in order to receive what God alone makes meaningful in our daily life. Contrast made by one not living for the Lord causes this truth to be obvious. The title of the lesson gets a positive yes to it’s question Can I Find Meaning?

Amen? Amen!