Manual Shepherding the Wind: Sermons in Ecclesiastes

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The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
  1. Life Point Baptist Church: Apple Valley, CA > Ecclesiastes
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  4. Sowing in the Wind, Reaping under Clouds

Then is anything worth doing, or is everything pointless? Some readers see the book as a counsel of despair; they think the book preaches despair. The book, rather, is a sustained critique of secularism, a sustained critique of secularised religion. The author adopts the standpoint of the secularist and speaks from that perspective in order to render himself credible with the secularists of his era and ours.

The author wants us to know that he has grasped the essence of secularism. To be sure, the author states in line after line that all roads lead to dead-end futility; all roads, that is, except one. And this one road is the road that leads to life. The sun rises and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises. The wind blows to the south, and goes round to the north; round and round goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns.

What has been is what will be…. Ecclesiastes is telling us that life is a treadmill. We have to work ceaselessly merely to survive. It sounds romantic. The secularist assumes that learning, pure scholarship, will give her the profoundest contentment. God has made us rational creatures and we are to love him with our minds. But it takes more than learning alone to content the human heart. I am the last person to denigrate scholarship. Now pleasure is good.

Pleasure is preferable to pain. The author weeps when he sees how oppressed people are violated. And the oppressed had no one to comfort them. Violence and victimization are virulent. Governments, whether intentionally or accidentally, invariably oppress at least some of the people they are mandated to protect.

Still, where political authority is concerned nothing can be counted on. At any time a society may find itself in the hands of political rulers who are fools, weak or dissolute. Life is riddled with radical accidentality. Piercing misfortune may stab us at any time. Proof of our struggle is our betaking ourselves to physician and surgeon and pharmacist as often as we need to. Life is a journey, says Ecclesiastes, from a naked beginning to a naked end.

Or the season turns and your life feels less like summer and winter seems to be right around the corner.

Life Point Baptist Church: Apple Valley, CA > Ecclesiastes

We have to be a place that is not afraid of difficult questions; where we know we can wrestle with our doubts and questions. It points us to the character of the one true God.

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But in our wrestling be ready to actually receive an answer. Be ready to rest in what is true, right and good about God. It points us to Jesus as THE answer to the unresolvable and true perspective of life under the sun. Old Testament books always have to be read, studies, and preached in light of the cross of Jesus, the present realties and future promises of the Gospel.

Who wrote Ecclesiastes? In the opening verse the author self identifies as the son of David, king in Jerusalem. While there are a few theories of differing authorship the most traditional interpretations ascribe King Solomon as the author, in his old age imparting final wisdom.

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This is how we will teach. But in-between it always seemed like a senseless meandering. Regardless, it was a day where I gained some of the wisdom and experience of my grandfather he was able to pass on to me. And because there was usually pie at the end I knew the time spent showed he cared about me. Ecclesiastes will be like that at times. It will seem to stray from the course.

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It will have seemingly unresolvable contradictions. Life here and now does matter. It is a renewed life lived for God. Why did he write it? He writes it to people who are no longer in a place of substance farming but now have a relative level of wealth that they are beginning to have freedom to question and pursue meaning.

They were materialistic and hedonistic, exhaustingly pursuing real satisfaction but only searching for it in wealth, sex, fame, knowledge, pleasure or power.

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They have moved from focus on survival seeking meaning. Because they are no longer exclusively focused on survival they have diminished how dependent on God they truly are and have begun to rely on other things to fulfill them. Ecclesiastes The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

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All is vanity. It has been already in the ages before us. Vanity means vapor, insubstantial, breath, useless, futile.

Ecclesiastes: Chasing The Wind - Week 1: All Is Vanity

The Preacher uses this word to teach about the truth of life in our fallen world. While vanity is a dominate word in this sermon it is not the defining one. This sermon is a lengthy apologetic to secular thinking that says this life is all there is and meaning must be pursued apart from God.

Ecclesiastes probes this open wound and refuses to heal it lightly. But, and this is crucial, it does, enigmatically, heal it. But you simply cannot get to the cure without a full and painful diagnosis of the disease. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Other Editions 2. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Sowing in the Wind, Reaping under Clouds

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