Vain Pursuit #4: Fulfilled with Work
Sermon Text: Ecclesiastes 2:18-26
Sermon Theme: Hard work promises to give us what only God can give.
- Hard work is promising (vv. 18-23)
- What only God can give (vv. 24-26)
The Preacher’s review of creation, history, life and death has ended in a picture of physical and mental anguish. What a picture of human life where the heart is not filled with the peace and love of God! All his days are sorrows; all his labors grieves; all his nights restless; for he has no portion but merely what earth can give; and that is embittered by the labor of acquisition and the disappointment in the using.
- Why did Solomon find it vanity to leave all he had toiled for “to the man who would come after me” (v. 18)? Shouldn’t we be glad to leave things to others?
- At night, when you might have the opportunity to replenish your resources, are you still exerting mental effort? What are you anxious about?
- How are you coping with the perplexities of this world or with your aching desire for a sense of direction?
- Have you become disillusioned with your toil and its reward? Are you morally outrage over the unfairness of life? Is the bottom line that one’s toil simply is not worth the effort? Are your goals aligned with God’s will?
- What are your goals in your projects and labor? Are your goals spiritual in nature? Are you first striving to be the best you can be spiritually? With your spiritual goals set, your other goals will then fall into proper order.
- Are you using the gifts of God to be diligent and cheerful in worldly endeavors?
The Preacher believes that the simple pleasures come from the hand of God, a situation that brings him no ultimate satisfaction. The lifestyle he advocates is the pursuit of the basic necessities of life: food, drink and enjoyment in work. There is no one who is able to enjoy even these simple pleasures and contentment unless God allows it. God mercifully spares His children the sad experiment which Solomon made, by denying them the goods which they often desire. He gives them the fruits of Solomon’s experience, without their paying the dear price at which Solomon bought it.
- Define “happiness” in your own words. What really, honestly, makes you happy?
- Why do you think so many people try to find happiness in acquiring things?
- Why do we relinquish temporal possessions instead of the kingdom of heaven and its virtue? Are you seeking the right things so that you may inherit a kingdom?
- Do you think God is being generous in your life? Is God’s divine control of worldly events causing you anxiety?
- Are you enjoying with satisfaction and thankfulness the blessings which God gives?
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