Faithlife
Faithlife

Ecclesiastes 7

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Secular:

Going over the top!

Comedian

Tricks on bikes / boards

Why do we find it amusing… way over the top!

Considering that life is meaningless… do bother going over the top…

Biblical:

Ecclesiastes 7: 15 In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: a righteous man perishing in his righteousness, and a wicked man living long in his wickedness.

 16 Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise-- why destroy yourself?

 17 Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool-- why die before your time?

 18 It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God will avoid all extremes.

 19 Wisdom makes one wise man more powerful than ten rulers in a city.

 20 There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.

Personal:

Have you heard the picky…

  • Hockey… oh he should of done this… I could have done that!
  • Golf… I can’t believe he missed that
  • Music… they completely missed that note…

Demanding perfection in humanity is meaningless and foolishness!

Sometimes the reverse happens too…

  • Away from home for the first time college experience…
  • The ‘bad kid’ in school who lives up to that reputation…
  • Raising the evil… immoral… distasteful ‘bar’ to new heights

Bridge:

Solomon wants us to recognize that life under the sun is a balance… Neither the overrighteous or overwicked get it… they are trying to live the unsustainable!

Life under the sun is a balance… trying to live for a holy God and recognizing that we are only human… and yet are still accountable to our holy God.

Life in the balance…

Body:

15 In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: a righteous man perishing in his righteousness, and a wicked man living long in his wickedness.

a)      Remember Injustice in the halls of Justice

a.       In a world where God is sovereign how does this happen

                                                              i.      Rom 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

                                                            ii.      Injustice can not be measured under the sun!

1.      Matt 6:20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

a.       Meaningless / corruptible under the sun

2.      Luke 18:22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

a.       Where is your treasure?

In this fleeting life under the sun I’ve seen injustice… what about that…what about that…

  • Don’t measure God’s justice in our terms… we only see a sliver of the picture
  • Ecc6:6 -- even if he lives a thousand years twice over but fails to enjoy his prosperity. Do not all go to the same place?
  • Life under the sun is a balance… trying to live for a holy God and recognizing that we are only human… and yet are still accountable to our holy God.

 

 

 16 Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise-- why destroy yourself?

  • To extend yourself past your true position… being overrighteous warrants ridicule and mistrust…we are weak…
    • The world will see through…why claim a righteousness we don’t have in ourselves?

2 Cor 12:9 But (Jesus) said to (Paul) regarding the thorn in the flesh, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

  • It is not about you… it is about Christ in you!
    • An attempt at over-natural capacity
    • Our only capacity is in Christ
    • Anything else is a mockery… a fake and diminishes the righteousness we do have in Chirst
    • BUMPER STICKER – CHRISTIANS ARE NOT PERFECT, JUST FORGIVEN

1 Co 2:2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.

  • The overrighteous and overwise wise have invested their faith in their own ‘righteousness’ and ‘wisdom’
  • Rest in the power of God… not what we can do, construct, create…. But in the wisdom and righteousness of God

Job 42:3 You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.

 

Psalm 139:6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

·         Only a fool goes forward with an incomplete picture… believing in his own limited resources when they tread in the places of God.

    • Scripture is our infallible view of God… our guide and our strength
      • Meditate, pray, study… be Berean
      • Joshua 1:8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

 Real wisdom and righteousness – Ecclesiastes 12:13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

  • Life under the sun is a balance… trying to live for a holy God and recognizing that we are only human… and yet are still accountable to our holy God.  

17 Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool-- why die before your time?

Psalm 53:1b The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.

·         Wickedness… especially the pursuit of wickedness is a denial of God… his power, judgment, his very existence.

2 Tim 2:22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

  • Drugs, sexual immorality, and all other sins… have a cost
  • Pursuing them directly is different than the occasional slip… wicked vs. overwicked…
    • The hedonistic pursuit of pleasure results in pain!
    • Not only death… but eternal death…

** Same neighbourhood for years… my brother fights, beat up, etc.

… not me…

  • Life under the sun is a balance… trying to live for a holy God and recognizing that we are only human… and yet are still accountable to our holy God.

 

 18 It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God will avoid all extremes.

OVERHEAD# 1 – Man / World / Heaven

 

  • Balance – God wants us to know who we are. We are children of grace living as fallen beings in a fallen world. We are clinging to righteousness and recognizing our humanity. As humble sinful humans, righteous in our submission to and belief in God, we can approach the Father in proper reverence.
    • Fearing God… is wisdom!
    • Overrighteousness is an affront to our Holy God and a mockery of our faith…unachievable
    • Mired in the ways of this world… under the sun… is separation from God… it is excluding the reality of God form our lives… a failure to recognize his sovereignty and jurisdiction over our life…
    • Balance is recognizing the right to of God claim us as his own or to judge us as of Satan… and the world.

But his hanging in the balance, between heaven and earth, has been done before!

 

OVERHEAD #2 – Cross / World / Heaven

Philippians 2:6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus demonstrated what it was to embrace been human and yet hold on to the righteousness of God -

  • Life under the sun is a balance… trying to live for a holy God and recognizing that we are only human… and yet are still accountable to our holy God.

 

 19 Wisdom makes one wise man more powerful than ten rulers in a city.

·         Get the balance right and you are more powerful than the rulers of the cities… (Kings would install rulers…princes… to maintain cities, collect taxes… big cheese…)

o       Ruler with armies and rule by force…

  • In God’s economy… there is real value and real power in the humble and righteous
  • Know your place, and know your God
  • Life under the sun is a balance… trying to live for a holy God and recognizing that we are only human… and yet are still accountable to our holy God.

 20 There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.

Romans 3:22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

·         Recognize your sinful nature, recognize the hoiliness of God, accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour… and as your righteousness… PERFECT BALANCE in Christ Jesus.

·         Humanity and Divinity… in PERFECTION

·         Do not assume your righteousness, never abandon yourself to wallow in sin

·         Remember we can’t do it alone… THAT IS SOLOMEN”S WISDOM

Wisdom above force and intellect – a fear of God and obedience to all He commands brings strength beyond anything rulers could enforce by might. Wisdom is gleaned through a right knowledge of God from the river of life as it passes – it strengthens like a vaccine against the invading virus of sin in this world.

We can take comfort that, though as we strive to faithfully serve our God in our humanity, we are not alone when we stumble and fall. “Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20) We are in tension between righteousness and wickedness and it is in recognizing that relationship – and through fearing and obeying God that we grow in our relationship to him and in our wisdom.

  • Life under the sun is a balance… trying to live for a holy God and recognizing that we are only human… and yet are still accountable to our holy God.

Conclusion:

  • Fully Rely on God
  • Embrace his Righteousness
  • Strive for the Goal… never abandoning our way for the World
  • Hang in There!!

  • Life under the sun is a balance… trying to live for a holy God and recognizing that we are only human… and yet are still accountable to our holy God.

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