Karl’s follow up Sermon

August 31st, 2016

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Making Mud Pies in A Slum

August 25th, 2016

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Chasing the Wind: Wisdom & Politics. Ecclesiastes 9:18b-10:20

August 15th, 2016

Chasing the Wind: Wisdom & Politics

Ecclesiastes 9:18b-10:20

Wisdom & Folly (9:18b-10:7)

·        Solomon continues his reflection on wisdom

o   Where earlier it was better than strength (9:13-18a)

o   Now it shown that even a little folly can ruin great wisdom (9:18b-10:1)

·        Foolishness will always be found out (10:3)

o   Though it can rise to great position (10:4-7)

o   Slaves/princes: Not a comment on social status

§  But one’s moral character

On Schemes (10:8-11)

·        Solomon uses metaphors to describe the pitfalls of scheming

·        Those who seek gain by evil schemes find that they often backfire on them (v. 8)

·        But even the hard work of the wise can cause them harm (v. 9)

o   But these dangers can be minimized by preparation and foresight (v. 10-11)

On Counsel (10:12-15)

·        The wise use their words to benefit others and themselves (v. 12a)

o   And keeps their words few

·        The foolish use their words to benefit only themselves (v. 12b-15)

o   And they use many words, thus multiplying their foolishness

o   They do not have true insight to give

§  Not even directions to town (v. 15b)

On Rulers (10:16-20)

·        The mark of good leader is their wisdom

·        Those who have no self-control and act childish will ruin the land

o   Child/Princes & Nobility: Again, not a comment on social status

§  But one’s moral character

·        Solomon’s comments on sloth is both personal and national (v. 18)

o   When we are unwilling to do hard work, our household/nation suffers

·        “People prepare food for pleasure, and wine makes life joyful, but money pays for both.” (v. 19)

o   “The point is that at least some money is essential for enjoying life, and steps must therefore be taken to ensure that the economy (be it national or personal) is sound.” –Duane Garrett

·        Because of one’s connection to the state of the nation

o   We should be cautious in how we speak of those in positions of power (v. 20)

§  Even in private, since we don’t know who may hear

 

So What?

·        Are we seeking wisdom, and showing it in how we speak to others, or in what we do NOT say?

·        Is our worldview bigger than our own life? Do we see how the fate of our nation affects us?

 

Meditation Verse: Ecclesiastes 10:12

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Ecclesiastes 9:1-18a Chasing the Wind: The Fate of All

August 8th, 2016

Chasing the Wind: The Fate of All

Ecclesiastes 9:1-18a

On Death (v. 1-6)

·        Reflecting on the unfathomable work of God, Solomon approaches the subject of death (8:15-17)

·        Death is a certainty for all humanity (v. 2-3)

o   Whether we are righteous or wicked

·        Which seems evil at first glance

o   One could think that death is an example of injustice

·        However, death actually is the great equalizer (v. 6)

·        Yet, life is better than death

o   Because while we are alive, we have hope (v. 4)

 

On Life (v.7-12)

·        The solution to the inevitability of death* is to enjoy life(v. 7-10)

o   Because it is fleeting

o   Sheol (v. 10): the grave, the place of the dead

§  Not hell

·        We are called to be joyful and enjoy the blessings of God

o   Including our spouses and family

o   And our work

·        Wise reflection also leads to the conclusion that our strengths and gifts do not assure success in life (v. 11-12)

o   They will fade and fail us

·        The only guarantee in life is that it will end in death

o   This would be depressing, if death was the end

o   But it is not!

 

Wisdom vs. Strength (v. 13-18a)

·        Solomon reflects that wisdom is superior to strength

o   Though, ironically we often refuse it

o   Seeking it only when we are desperate

·        We need to seek wisdom over strength

o   And before we are in dire need

 

So What?

·        Since life is fleeting, are we enjoying what blessings we have in the Lord?

·        Are we seeking wisdom in times of peace; so that we can recall it during times of stress?

 

Meditation Verse: Ecclesiastes 9:10

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Ecclesiastes 8:1-17 Chasing the Wind: The Work of God

August 1st, 2016

Chasing the Wind: The Work of God

Ecclesiastes 8:1-17

Obey the King (v. 1-10a)

·        Solomon advises us to remember how the world works

·        Those in positions of authority are to be obeyed (Rom. 13:1-5*; see also 1 Pet. 2:13-15)

o   Though not when they are in opposition to God’s explicit commands (See Ex. 1:17-21; Josh. 2:1-7; 1 Sam. 14:45; 1 Kings 18; Dan. 3; Dan. 6; Acts 4:19-21; 5:29; Rev. 13:15)

·        However, Solomon advises that when they are in the wrong, we must be tactful and diplomatic (v. 3-4)

·        And he reminds us that even kings’ powers are limited and fleeting (v. 6-9)

o   And ultimately God will end the reign of tyrannical and self-righteous rulers (v. 10a)

 

On Injustice (v. 10b-15)

·        Solomon reflects on the seeming injustice of this world

·        When justice is delayed it can contribute to more sinfulness

·        Likewise, the righteous can sometimes suffer

o   While the wicked prosper

·        However, one needs a long-term view (v. 13)

o   Justice will be executed by God

o   Thus it is best to live in reverence to Him

·        This view can lead to an enjoyment of one’s life now (v. 15)

o   Even in the midst of injustice

 

The Work of God (v. 15-17)

·        Solomon concludes that despite one’s desire to gain wisdom and understanding, humans are limited

·        We cannot fathom all that God is doing

o   We cannot know the future

·        Thus we need to trust Him

 

So What?

·        When we experience injustice, it should act as a reminder that the world is not as it should be

·        Do we trust that God is at work, even when we cannot see Him?

 

Meditation Verse: Ecclesiastes 8:17

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