Stones Hill Community Church
A Season for Everything
The writer of Ecclesiastes undertook a hugely ambitious life experiment and he made himself the guinea pig, the lab rat. King Solomon had the time, money, and power to pretty much pursue any avenue of life he thought would bring pleasure or satisfaction. Solomon decided to conduct a massive experiment in human happiness and meaning. He became his own test subject, his own lab rat. “I know there is a God, but I’m going to live as if there isn’t and see what that’s like.” He became this mad scientist in search of serum, an antidote to fix him. But nothing was ever enough. He lost sight of the Giver of the Gifts. Have you lost sight of what's important? The theme of the book is a virtual summary of the biblical worldview: life lived by purely earthly and human standards is futile, but the God-centered life is an antidote. Solomon tells us what he wants us to remember when life gets confusing, mysterious, unfair or as black as night - keep your trust in Creator God’s plan. Life in the world has significance only when man remembers his Creator (12:1). Welcome to "A Season for Everything" - Finding Meaning in the Book of Ecclesiastes!
Locations & Times
  • Ligonier, IN
    151 W Stones Hill Rd, Ligonier, IN 46767, USA
    Saturday 6:00 PM
We welcome you to Stone's Hill today!

A typical Stone's Hill service has:

* music (so feel free to sing out);

* some announcements (things that are upcoming that you can be a part of);

* a message out of the Bible (God speaks to us through his Word);

* and an opportunity for you to respond to the message (either immediately in the case of a decision that needs to be made OR in the future as you live out the message in your daily life.)

So relax and enjoy your morning! We're so glad you are here!
Message Text: Ecclesiastes 1:12-18 - Part 1
Many are preoccupied with the question: Is there life after death? But Solomon who is older now and looking back addresses the all-important question: Is there life before death?
We come to the end of a day, a year, or a lifetime and we instinctively ask “What have I accomplished?” “Will any of it really last?” Solomon is here to push us toward these questions – to get honest about our lives. What essentially does he say in this book we call Ecclesiastes? “Go ahead and try to live without God. But your outcome will be bleak just like mine was and is.”
King of the Mountain
King of the mountain is a children’s game. Kids climb a pile of snow or a mound of dirt and try to be the only person standing on top. Kids push each other down the snow or dirt pile and try to get to the top to push the "King" off so they can be the new king until someone pushes them off. You get on top of the hill and you defend it against others who come against you.
Well, Solomon played king of the mountain in real life. Solomon is essentially the most brilliant man alive in 931 BC. He was king of the mountain. He built stables and fortresses. He married women to form political alliances. You would be much less likely to attack a king who was married to your daughter. He was king of his mountain and with no wars to fight, he had time for a life experiment. Solomon is going to give us the details of his experiments in the chapters that follow Ecclesiastes 1, but for now he gives us a summary of what he spent much of his life doing. He has been a diligent explorer and a dedicated student. He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. He spoke of trees, from the cedar . . . to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. And people of all nations came to hear . . . Solomon(I Kings 4:29-34).
Message Plan
This passage has a reflection on pursuing wisdom, then a proverb. Then it has another reflection followed by another proverb. Each of these two proverbs have two points each. Four CONCLUSIONS can be drawn from two proverbs in this passage (v.15, 18 - with help from Stephen Davey). Firstly, no matter how hard you try, there are dilemmas you can’t straighten out. Secondly, no matter how much you have, there are deficiencies you cannot provide. Thirdly, no matter how much we know, there are frustrations we cannot solve. Fourthly, no matter how much we learn, there are sorrows we cannot avoid. A fool doesn’t know enough and doesn’t care. The wiseman knows too much and can’t do anything about it. That’s the sermon. I’m only dealing with verses 12-15 today (the first proverb) and the next time I speak, I’ll deal with verses 16-18 (the second proverb).
Ecclesiastes describes life after Eden and before heaven. Ecclesiastes shines like a lighthouse back into the Old Testament waters of broken patriarchs and sinful kings. It’s as if a man who fled from home before an invasion, and years later returned to its ruins, is crying out to us. He knows what Eden was. And he now sees it as it is—the broken shell of its former glory. Ecclesiastes pulses forward into a first-century world that crucifies criminals on the street for anyone to view. “Life under the sun” reminds of what we fell from and why a Savior is needed. The problem, ultimately, isn’t your marriage or career or money, but the weight of expectation and longing you invest in them. Only the new creation is solid enough to bear the full weight of all our yearning. Only the unobstructed sight of the imperishable God is enough to secure our unending happiness. When you stop treating this life as if it must satisfy you entirely, you’ll find it more satisfying.
Verse 15 says "What is crooked cannot be straightened… " Our world got crooked and we can’t straighten it. Consequently, many things make us feel unhappy. The bad relationship that our parents have, unkind comments that people make about us, things we do not have but wish we did, the recognition we think we deserve but never get, even the ordinary frustrations of daily life—all of these circumstances make us feel unhappy.
We all want to know if life is going to get better and what our future holds. Maybe you are thinking: If I could just meet the right person; If I just resolve that one dilemma in my life; If I had more money, my future would be bearable; If I had more education, I’d have more opportunities and life would matter more; If my health was better; Or, if I had the right connections or a different background or a different family, I’d be set up to experience the kind of future I’d find more purposeful, exciting, and fulfilling; Or perhaps you feel like you need all of the above to guarantee a future of happiness.
Well take it from someone who didn’t want it all – he actually had it all - and he came to the discovery that everything wasn’t nearly enough. There are many things in life that we wish we could straighten out but cannot, any more than we can mend a crumpled fender. We suffer arguments at home, wrongs done in the workplace, mistakes made by the government, our own moral failings, financial troubles, physical disabilities—the list goes on and on.
There is always something in life we wish we could bend back into shape. Yet the Preacher has learned that “what is crooked cannot be made straight” (especially if it turns out to be something God wants to leave crooked; see Ecclesiastes 7:13 which says "Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?" Why would God do that? Well, we do most of the bending and crumpling of life’s metal. Some of our circumstances cannot be corrected. No matter how hard we try, we cannot bend them in a different direction. Why would God make or leave something crooked when He has the power to reshape it? Only one solution…
Matt. 12:42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.
Therefore, we need to be content to leave the final calculations to God. Jesus will see to it that all of God’s books balance in the end, including our own personal account, which he will reconcile by his own blood. Thus our present vexation will not last forever, including all the struggles we have to understand the meaning of life. Take your fears, hurt and questions to Jesus. Ask Him for the strength to release the past and for a positive attitude to envision a bright future. Find solace and comfort in God’s Word.
Without a Savior who reigns above the sun, without a Redeemer to lead you and forgive you and give you a future and a hope, you are left to yourself and your own resources to try to crawl up some mountain and find a moment of happiness. If a man who had everything, and investigated everything visible, but was still empty, then doesn’t it stand to reason that the one thing that is needed must be invisible to our eyes? (Swindoll, Ragged Edge, 36).

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