Ecclesiastes: Learning to Live Life in Reverse | Ecclesiastes 2:12-26

What is the point of life? Is it to grow up, get a good education, get a good job, work hard and pay bills with the hopes of one day finally ‘arriving?’ Is it more than this?

Join us as we continue our series in Ecclesiastes and see how pursuing these things in life without God as the focus is ultimately meaningless.

Ecclesiastes 2:12-26

Date: February 24, 2019
Speaker:  Jason Jordan
Series: Ecclesiastes

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Pastor’s Comment

Thank you so much for listening in here at West Side. We often say that we love the word of God because it points us to the son of God. We hope these messages encourage you and equip you to love Jesus more. We also want you to be apart of a local church, we believe these messages are only supplemental, being apart of a local church is essential. Blessings.

Jason G Jordan

Lead Pastor, West Side Church

Sermon Notes

Ecclesiastes 2:12-16 “Wisdom, Work and Worship”

REVIEW: We are learning to live our lives in reverse. To understand life we have to start with death. Last week we learned that pleasure points us to God.

*ILL> This is a picture of our oldest son Roman. In this picture he has taken apart one of his toys. He said he wanted to know how it worked.

APP> In a way, that’s what Solomon is doing with life. He is taking is apart. Taking apart every avenue, reason and belief and wanting to know how this work, why does this matter?

CONTEXT> Today in our text he shifts from the pursuit of pleasure now to looking at Wisdom and Work. v12 “So I turned to consider wisdom….” So what we will look at today is Wisdom v12-17, Work v18-23.

  1. Wisdom v12-17
        • So i turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly…” I think it would be helpful for us to define what wisdom is. The Bible uses many definition for it. When we hear it in 2019, I think that we assume that it means knowledge or intellect but remember, this is ancient middle eastern literature that we are talking about here.
    • Information – Application = Foolishness
    • Information + Application = Wisdom *ILL- Movie scene from Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon and Robin Williams.

APP> So Solomon is going to give us some wisdom about wisdom. There are many people in the world today who champion that Education and Information are the key to humanities success, that’s what will add meaning to our lives!

    1. Wisdom does help you walk through life. Then I saw that there is more gain… light and darkness…” He is saying that just as a touch in a dark cave helps you see, that’s what wisdom is like in life, there is some good to it. *ILL> Do you remember when the game, “Pokemon Go” came out? After the App was released so was a ton of data about traffic accidents and even people dying from not paying attention to were they where going!
    2. Wisdom can’t win against death. v14 v16 “How the wise dies just like the fool!” It is almost heart breaking

to hear Solomons conclusion! He says that every person has the same fate, death! You can’t escape that! *ILL> When our family went to Disney we got to experience the awesome invention known as the “Fast Pass” Space Mountain, guys trying to skip the line, but the line lead to the check-in.

APP> Wisdom is good but wisdom is not ultimate.

2) Work. v18-23

        • “So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors…” As we jump into this section now it is important for us to have a proper theology of work.. Solomon is talking about something specific when it comes to work…
        • “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” Genesis 2:15 APP> Work is a pre-fall command. So what happened? What’s wrong? Why the grind why the struggle.
        • “And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:17-19 APP> So now there is a strife, or “toil” that comes with work. It’s hard but hard in the sense that we think we can “tame” it.
  1. Work is never finished. v23 “work is a vexation” the word means to provoke to anger, why? “even at night he can’t get rest” It means that it’s never done. Think about it, Laundry, dishes etc.
  2. Work is never lasting. v18 “leave it to the man who will come after me” Solomon is saying that there is always somebody net in line. Very few of us will have our names etched in stone and even the ones who have, we forget about them. *ILL> Do the names Orville and Ruth Larimore mean anything to you? No? Orville was the 1st Pastor here at West Side in 1964. There were many pastors before me and there will be many pastors after me. Solomons statement proves true, once again.

v24-26- Now look at his conclusion. He brings it all to a point here. If these verses weren’t here we would be left in despair, wisdom and work left on their own would be worthless but he attaches them to something… “from the hand of God” God hasn’t been mentioned since chapter 1:14!

Big Idea > Life is pointless if you are trying to produce what God has already provided.

APP> Where has God provided these things? Wisdom, Knowledge and joy?

      • Only Jesus is the wisdom and knowledge of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:10
      • Only Jesus’ work is finished. John 19:28-30
      • Only Jesus gives true joy. John 15:11

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