Insight for Living

24 May 2020 AM – Ecclesiastes 9:1-10:20 – Ecc20 – Scott Childs
Welcome: Welcome to our Sunday morning online church service.
Introduction: How much spiritual insight do you have? Solomon wrote in (Proverbs 22:3) “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” The prudent man will hide himself from harm because he has insight. Insight is a clear perception of a situation. Because we still have our sinful natures, we desperately need insight for living godly in this sin-cursed world.
Transition: This morning, I want to show you three insights for living that if you will apply, can keep you from much harm.
The first insight for living is that …
  1. You Should Prepare for Death Thoughtfully (9:1-6)
a.         No one knows his future
1)         Life’s events are in the hand of God (9:1).
2)         No matter how you live, you will one day die (9:2-3). One event that happens to all; all go to the dead.
b.         Only while you live can you make choices
1)         Those who are living have hope (9:4). They can choose how they live. They can prepare to meet their God. Jews despised dogs, yet Solomon admitted that a living dog had more abilities than a dead lion.
2)         The living know they will die (9:5). Remember, Solomon is looking at life “under the sun”. Once a person dies, his time for choices has ended (9:6).
3)         This is a goad to jab us to think. Only while you live can you choose to do right. Once you die, it will be impossible and too late to change your character.
4)         Someone has wisely said, “You are not ready to live until you are ready to die.” Prepare for death thoughtfully!
a)         Prepare by placing your faith in Christ’s payment for your eternal judgment. (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
b)         Prepare as a Christian by living for eternity. (Colossians 3:2) “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
The second insight for living is that …
2.        You Should Live your Life Joyfully (9:7-12)
a.         Enjoy the portion God has given you
1)         Eat and drink with a merry heart (9:7). Enjoy the life God has given you. This verse in no way condones drinking alcohol. The Hebrew word Yayin that is translated wine, refers to anything made from a grape. In fact, Solomon condemned drinking alcohol in (Proverbs 23:31) “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
2)         White garments and ointment (9:8) describe that which is pleasant and cheerful. Enjoy the pleasant times God gives you in life. Make the best of them. Count your blessings.
3)         If you are married, live joyfully with your spouse (9:9). Marriage is a gift from God that must last for life and ought to be a loving relationship. If that does not describe your marriage, do not blame your spouse. Ask God to help you take a close look at yourself in the mirror of God’s Word. Let God first change your heart so that you do not hinder God’s work in your spouse’s heart.
b.         Serve God while you can
1)         Joyfully do what God has given you to do with all your might (9:10). Be like a hard-working ant (Pr 6:6-8).
a)         What are you doing for God with your life? “Only one life, twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” On Judgment day, many Christians will be like the servant in one of Jesus’ parables who received a talent of money to use while his master was away (Matthew 25). Instead of using it, he hid it for safekeeping. When his master returned, he rebuked him for not using his talent.
b)         Do the things you do each day glorify the Lord? (1 Corinthians 10:31) “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
c)         Do your activities honour the name of the Lord? (Colossians 3:17) “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
2)         Once you die, your opportunities to serve the Lord will be over (9:10). Please do not waste your life.
3)         Be ready, you do not know when God will call your number. Solomon describes the coming of death as a fish net or a bird snare (9:12). Death often happens suddenly.
The third insight for living is that …
3.        You Should Press on in Life Wisely (9:13-10:20)
a.         Be wise even when you’re not noticed (9:13-18)
1)         Solomon tells of a great king who attacked a little city where a wise, poor man who lived. By his wisdom, the poor man delivered the city, but no one remembered that wise poor man. No one sought his wisdom again.
2)         Even though wisdom may be undervalued, wise words heard in quiet are better than the loud noise of fools (9:17).
3)         A wise plan is better than a powerful weapon (9:18). At the same time, one sinner will destroy much good.
4)         If you have God’s wisdom, though people may never honour you, you can do much good in life. Being wise is very profitable.
b.         Be wise even when tempted otherwise (10:1-15)
1)         Just a little folly can ruin your reputation (10:1). Folly may refer to any sinful activity. Adam’s one disobedient bite plunged the human race into sin. Moses angrily struck the rock which kept him from the Promised Land. Achan’s theft cost him his life. David’s adulterous affair cost him his purity. Samson’s disobedience cost him his freedom. Nebuchadnezzar’s pride cost him seven years of insanity. Gehazi’s greed left him a leper. BEWARE of a little folly!
2)         Stay calm when attacked (10:4). Remain where you belong. By yielding or acting in a healing manner, you can pacify or calm great sin.
3)         Do not get upset when life seems unfair (10:6-7). Remember that God is able to deal with injustices (10:8-9).
4)         Guard your words when tempted to be unkind (10:12-15). Fools speak their mind. (Proverbs 29:11) “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.” The wise speak graciously. (Colossians 4:6) “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
c.          Be wise even when fools prevail (10:16-20)
1)         God wants us to be wise even when those over us may be inexperienced or corrupt (10:16-17). As Christians, we should be good examples. The Apostle Paul gave Timothy this advice, (1 Timothy 4:12) “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
2)         Be wise when those around you are lazy and idle (10:18). If others at your work are lazy and always taking brakes when they are to be working, be a godly example.
3)         Be wise when others are reckless (10:19). The wise use their money carefully and do not waste it on partying.
4)         Be wise and guard your thoughts and comments about others (10:20). Jesus said (Matthew 12:36) “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Conclusion: We have looked at three insights for living, each containing many principles. These insights can only help you avoid harm if you will put them into practice. Remember that the prudent man foresees the evil and hides himself. He takes appropriate steps to avoid problems.
            This sin-cursed world is full of lusts and temptations. We need God’s insight to look beyond the momentary pleasure of sin so that we can see clearly the painful consequences of sin.
            I urge you this morning to prepare thoughtfully, live joyfully, and press on wisely, as the Lord has challenged you to do. If you have a question, please contact me through our website.