ESV - 1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
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There are some bitter truths about life that this writer, probably Solomon, reveals: (barebones outline borrowed from H. Wilmington) -- A. No real purpose (Ec 1:2-7, 14, 17): Life is futile and meaningless. Ec 1:2 Teacher: "Life is fleeting, like a passing mist. It is like trying to catch hold of a breath; All vanishes like a vapor; everything is a great vanity." Adrian Rogers has a good sermon on the book of Ecclesiastes. He cites Romans 8:20 (“For the creation was subjected to futility – not willingly but because of God who subjected it – in hope”) And the reason God made the world meaningless us so that all humanity would seek Him for the solution to life’s mystery. In Romans 8:22 Paul goes on to say, “For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers together until now.” (Isaac Singer, 77, who won the Nobel prize for Literature at 73, said he was surprised and happy after his 1978 selection for the prize, but 20 minutes later was the same man with the same worries and troubles.) Ec 1:3 "What good does it do anyone to work so hard again and again, sun up to sundown? All his labor to gain but a little?" Jesus put it this way: "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" Ec 1:4 "One generation comes, another goes; but the earth continues to remain. 5 The sun rises and the sun sets, laboring to come up quickly to its place again and again. 6 The wind in its travels blows toward the south, then swings back around to the north. Back and forth, returning in its circuit again and again. 7 All rivers flow to the sea, but the sea is never full. To the place where the rivers flow, there the water returns to flow once again." See the Voice’s interesting video on Ecclesiastes 1 on youtube called, “Life is Fleeting.” B. No new thing (Ec 1:9-10): History merely repeats itself. 9 “ What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun; the future only repeats the past. 10 One person may say of some idea, ‘Pay attention to this; it’s original!’ But that same idea has already been expressed; it’s been with us through the ages.” C. No lasting honor (Ec 1:11): The dead are quickly forgotten. 11 “We do not remember those people and events of long ago, as future generations will not remember what is yet to come.” In conclusion, Rogers also cites Romans 8:28 as to how God works through the bad times and the good that He brings into our lives: Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose, 8:29 because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son…”
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