An exposition of Ecclesiastes 9:1-18. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, September 26, 2010.
We live in a complex, complicated world. The economy, world events, political unrest, and climate issues are only part of it. You must add to the equation interpersonal relationships, family issues, strained marriages, wayward children and the redefining of what makes a family. Did I mention health issues? Of course no one knows what’s going to happen to health insurance or the quality of medical care. Then we have to decide what is “truth.” Is there really any such thing as truth? What about religion? Does it really matter what you believe? Isn’t it enough that you believe? These are complicated issues. They require a great deal of thought. It takes time to work through them and come to a reasonable decision but I don’t have time! “I’ve got work, we’ve got ball games, school, piano lessons, cheerleading, dance recitals, I’ve got that business trip coming up, we’ve put off that little remodeling job too long as it is, I don’t know when we are going to get a chance to take some time off, then there’s the…” and so it goes endlessly. Then tragedy strikes. A life ended. In the darkness of our grief we are left to wonder, “What is the meaning of it all?”
Our text this morning is found in the 9th chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes.
To live in faith is not to live in denial. It is not to live and act as if all is well. Faith does not require that I refuse to recognize the reality that surrounds me. Quite the opposite. It demands that I take a good hard look at the world as it is and cling to the certainty that God is good and God is sovereign. The Preacher forces us to see life in this book. He doesn’t sugarcoat it. He doesn’t twist or tweak it, he says, “There it is. Look at it. Understand that if you choose to deny the existence of God and you refuse to live by His rules – this is it. There is nothing more. Life is an empty, vain experience. But if you look to God in faith this is not the end of the story. If you are His, not only does He give all things but He gives you the ability to enjoy life.”
As we come to chapter 9…
The words of the Preacher remind us of the simple, yet profound truths of the Christian Gospel.
Please understand the difference between simple and easy.
To be simple means that it is not complicated. It is to be straightforward and easy to grasp or understand. That does not mean it is easy to live by. It does not mean that there will be no problems along the way. Those of you who play golf know that the game is simple. Hit this ball until it goes into that hole. But it is not an easy game to play! I can’t even hold the club.
According to the Preacher life is pretty simple really.
He boils it down to three things in this chapter.
- Death is unavoidable. (9:1-6)
- Life is unpredictable. (9:11-18)
- We trust God, live by faith and enjoy whatever blessings God gives us. (9:7-10)
Thus the words of the Preacher remind us of the simple, yet profound truths of the Christian Gospel.