Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20030730.htm
ECCLESIASTES: PROVIDING A CORRECT WORLD VIEW FOR A LIFE OF MEANING
Part V: Solomon's Parenthetical Suggestion On Life's Achievements: As Our Achievement Levels Are Divinely Assigned, We Must Accept And Fulfill Them In Accountability To God
Lesson: (1) GOD sovereignly ASSIGNS DIFFERING LEVELS of livelihood bounty and achievement among men, and reveals extensively IN this life how LIMITED man is to ALTER those LEVELS so that he will LEARN to SUBMIT to his DIVINELY ASSIGNED PERSONAL level of livelihood bounty and achievement in submissive obedience to the Lord. (2) We DEMONSTRATE a TRUE submissive obedience to God by living uprightly so that God will REWARD us with SLIGHT elevations to our CURRENTLY ASSIGNED levels of BLISS and ACHIEVEMENT!
- In showing how futile it is for us to live only for THIS life when it is viewed only by the senses, Solomon knew he could be mistaken by others as implying THIS life is itself unwholesome, an errant viewpoint!
- Thus, Ecclesiastes 2:24-3:22 is a parenthetical section that displays WHY God supplies SOME temporal and wholesome bliss and achievement for man, and WHAT man is to do about the level of each he has:
- Solomon's Parenthetical Suggestion On Life's Achievements: As Our Achievement Levels Are Divinely Assigned, We Must Accept And Fulfill Them In Accountability To God, Eccles. 2:24-3:22.
- In view of the fact that God sovereignly provides for our livelihoods and opportunities for influential labor in this life, OUR response must be to ACCEPT whatever LEVEL of pleasure or influence by our labor that GOD allows us, and that with CONTENTMENT, Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 (Hebrews 13:5-6):
- Solomon revealed the best a man can do with his status in this life regarding his livelihood level and work achievement is to accept and enjoy what livelihood and achievements God grants him, 2:24a.
- The reason one must accept these levels is that all a man has of his livelihood and labor is God's personal assignment, so man's accepting these levels shows obedience to God, 2:24b-25 ESV, NIV.
- Also, God rewards upright living with wisdom, knowledge and joy, and supplies the upright added material blessings the wicked collect only to see them given to the righteous as their reward, Eccles. 2:26.
- Then, as God ALSO sovereignly arranges all events that occur in history, and in what order and time, we must accept the unalterable events that come our way as an act of obedience to God, Eccles iastes 3:1-8.
- Finally, God sovereignly reveals man's LIMITATIONS of achievement and bliss so man is driven to submit himself to God's will in his life's levels of bliss and achievement, Ecclesiastes 3:9-21:
- God exposes man's limitations as to what he can achieve, Ecclesiastes 3:9-10.
- This divine exposure is detailed by Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:11-21 as follows:
- God makes life's events fit beautifully together in retrospect, showing His rule over them, 3:11a.
- He has put the concept of eternity into man's mind without equipping him to affect eternity in himself for man to SEE his limitations of achievement, 3:11b; thus, man is to accept and be content with what God destines him to achieve in life in obedient submission to God, Ecclesiastes 3:12-13.
- Solomon perceived God's works last forever, that men cannot add or detract from them, 3:14.
- Indeed, he noted God delights in controlling what occurs in ways man cannot alter, 3:15 ESV, NIV.
- Solomon also saw there were evils in places where justice and righteousness were supposed to prevail, and that only in God's eternal judgment could these problems be properly handled, 3:16-17.
- Accordingly, Solomon concluded God was showing man though revealing his limitations of achievement that man is as helpless as a brute beast to affect history, and all so man is driven to live for God's will in striving to give a good account in eternity before the Lord, Eccles. 3:18-21, 17.
- Solomon thus concluded man must accept his achievement level as God's assignment, Eccles. 3:22, 17.
Application: If we can IDENTIFY our LIMITATIONS for bliss and achievement in this life, and that in accord with what God has let us experience, (1) GOD wants us to ACCEPT them as HIS assigned LEVELS of bliss and achievement FOR us in SUBMISSIVE OBEDIENCE to Him. (2) We DISPLAY that submissive obedience by FUNCTIONING righteously for SLIGHT ADDITIONS to these levels!