Trust God’s Judgement
Sermon Text: Ecclesiastes 3:16-22
Sermon Theme: Knowing God offers an unexpected response to living in a wicked world and facing our own mortality.
- Trust the righteous Judge for the right judgement (vv. 16-17)
- Rejoice while waiting for the righteous Judge (vv. 18-22)
Injustice appeared to reign even in the place where one might expect righteousness — the court of law. Solomon briefly entertains the possibility that everything will be put right in the future, but then he pulls the carpet out from his own argument by saying that death may very well be the end of it all for human beings, as for animals. Once again, in the light of these depressing facts, Solomon advocates the simple pleasures of life. After all, what else is there for human beings?
- Shouldn’t our ignorance as to the future, which is God’s time, lead us to use the present time in the best sense and leave the future to His infinite wisdom (Matt 6:20, 6:25, 6:31-34)?
- Is God’s purpose to frighten people or to make them assured and dependent on his sovereign grace?
- Do you believe the evil actions of men may unwillingly and unknowingly fulfill the purpose of God (Acts 2:23)?
- Is the estate of fallen man so ordered (even wrongs are permitted), that God might “manifest” such things so that man might themselves see their mortal frailty, like that of the beasts?
- Will unbelievers consider that they must soon die as the “beasts” and fearing the judgment to come, will they repent?
- Is the world telling us no one knows for certain if life continues after death? Is your afterlife assured through your trust in Jesus Christ?
- Do you appreciate the difference in your ultimate destiny and then live as though there were no difference between the rational soul of man and the life of the beast? The spirit of man goes upward, to be judged, and is then fixed in an unchangeable state of happiness or misery.
- Are we ignorant regarding our own nature and how we judge others? Consider what Jehoshaphat said to the judges (2 Chron 19:6-7), “Consider what you do, for you judge not for man but for the LORD. He is with you in giving judgment. Now then, let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the LORD our God, or partiality or taking bribes.”
- Are you allowing judgment to occur in God’s time and not in human time?
There is no considerable difference between sensual men and beasts, because their affections are set upon the same objects, and both of them are partakers of the same sensual satisfactions, and subject to the same sensual pains and miseries, and their hopes and felicity perish together, to wit, at death, and therefore such men are no more happy than the beasts that perish.
As man is not master of his own lot, cannot order events as he would like, is powerless to control the forces of nature and the providential arrangements of the world, his duty and his happiness consist in enjoying the present, in making the best of life, and availing himself of the bounties which the mercy of God places before him. Thus he will free himself from anxieties and cares, perform present labors, attend to present duties, content himself with the daily round, and not vex his heart with concern for the future.
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