Some Sage Advice from Old Uncle Sol

An exposition of Ecclesiastes 11:1-12:14. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, October 10, 2010.

It dates back thousands of years.  Back to the days of the Greek poet Homer and beyond.  The idea of the wise old sage who will point you down the right path insuring success or enabling you to reach the goal.  The sage is the embodiment of wisdom.  The one able to distill great, profound truths into a single thought.  In the Iliad it was Nestor.  In Greek mythology it is Mentor.  For King Arthur it was Merlin.  In Star Wars it was Yoda.  In the Lord of the Rings it is Gandalf.  For me it was Gibson, the sage of Webster High School who also happened to be the football coach.  A man of great intellect who often spoke in terms that were beyond us as mere mortals.  Great perils of wisdom flowed from his lips like water from a fountain.  When you made excuses for why your man got through the line and annihilated your quarterback in the backfield the sage would say, “Son, you best smell yourself before you tell me the other fella stinks!”  You just don’t forget such wisdom.

Throughout history men have sought the advice of the sage as a means of navigating life’s treacherous path.  We all need help in making sense of the senselessness around us.  The Preacher began by asking, “Is life worth living?”  Life seemed an endless monotony.  He found that wisdom provided little or no relief.  That wealth ultimately proved worthless and that death could not be avoided.  So, after carefully considering life under the sun, that is life without God, his answer was, “No.  Life is not worth living.”  Being a wise man Solomon consider the question again, this time with God in the picture.  That made all the difference.  Rather that monotonous he found life filled with challenges from God.  He discovered wealth could be enjoyed and used for the glory of God.  And even if you can’t know everything being wise was infinitely better than playing the fool.  As for death – there is a way of escape.  Now in chapters 11 and 12 the Preacher is ready to conclude his message.  Our text this morning is found in the last two chapters of Ecclesiastes.

Text: Ecclesiastes 11:1-12:14

I want to take these two chapters together because they belong together.
A single thought is running through them.
Remember Solomon is nearing the end of his days.
He is imparting that one great truth he wants to live beyond him.
That great lesson to be embraced by the following generation.

So think of Solomon as the family sage.  Uncle Sol has something he wants the family to understand.  Something he wants the kids to take to heart.

Thesis: The Preacher calls on his hearers to see life clearly and to respond appropriately.

His advice is to see life as it really is from the vantage point of glory and then do what is appropriate.  As we saw earlier, perspective is everything.  Uncle Sol is going to help us see and embrace life as God intends.

  1. Life is an adventure that is to be lived.  (11:1-6)
  2. Life is a gift to be enjoyed!  (11:7-12:8)
  3. Life is a school learn the lessons well – 12:9-12
  4. Life is a stewardship guard it well and be prepared to give account – 12:13-14

Is life worth living?  Yes!  If yo are truly alive through faith in Christ Jesus.  Then you can be satisfied, no matter what God may permit to come to your life.  “He who has the Son has life.  He who does not have the Son does not have life.”  1 John 5:12

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