Message Text: Ecclesiastes 5:8-20
What do you want out of life? What is your aim in life? Money, fame, promotions, status, more things? The sobering reality is even after attaining these things, many people are still not satisfied or fulfilled. What is it that people really desire or want out of life? A marketing research team summarized the things people want out of life along with the motivating factor behind it:
1. High paying job. Human Motivation - to make us feel successful and valuable and essential to our companies or business.
2. Save money, spend less. Human Motivation - to secure the future and allow for the unexpected expenses of life.
3. Use time more wisely. Human Motivation - to enjoy life more by not working as much. So if we can save time at work, theoretically, we can get things done faster and go home sooner.
4. Look better. Human Motivation - to feel more attractive to other people. We like for others to like our looks.
5. Learn new things. Human Motivation - to be more empowered by what we know and make better decisions in light of this knowledge.
6. Live longer. Human Motivation – the worldviews of the world make us too afraid to die because they give no certainty as to what follows this life.
7. More comfortable. Human Motivation – we want to enjoy a life that is as pain-free and comfortable as possible.
8. Want to be loved. Human Motivation – we do not want to be alone in this life. It relieves us from criticisms if we have someone.
9. Popular. Human Motivation - affirmation and praise from others makes us feel important and cool to be with.
10. Pleasure. Human Motivation - do all the things I want to do and feel fulfilled.
Maybe you’re still thinking: “I still don’t know what I want out of life?”
Now at the end of the message, we’re going to apply the wisdom of this passage and shape this list into a better list, a better approach for how to live our lives.
Solomon presents you with THREE OPTIONS for how you can go about dealing with a list like this. This list can fill you with anxiety (how will I ever achieve all of this and can it even be maintained once achieved). This list can fill you with shame (how many times have we made decisions that set us back from what we perceive as living the good life). This list can move you toward true joy - when modified to better represent, not so much about what we breathe after and thirst for at the surface level, but valuing what God has already given (how often have we overlooked the joy of simple things).
Ecclesiastes 5:10 Whoever loves money never has enough.
The key word is loves. Money and wealth are good when used for God’s glory. The Hebrew verb means to desire, to breathe after. Obviously, the word is used for something someone is really committed to pursuing. And Solomon writes here that it is possible for someone to be that committed to money – “to breath after it”. Solomon is going to show you that a wrong use of God’s gifts can induce anxiety, fill with shame, and cheat you out of joy.
You Can Be Filled With Anxiety (8-12)
You Can Be Filled With Shame (13-17)
You Can Be Filled With Joy (18-20)
Ecclesiastes 5:15 Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart.
Invitation: I could not help but think of our Lord hanging on that cross stripped naked. He was going to die naked just as He was born naked, but even before He died, everything was taken away from Him. His dignity was stripped away. His loincloth is an artistic addition in paintings out of sensitivity for the viewer; Roman crucifixions were humiliating in every possible manner. He was taunted by the crowd; He was spit on and cursed; He owned nothing but the tunic the soldiers threw dice to get. He lost His closest friends who ran away in fear. Yet look at how He acted; listen to what He said out of concern for his mother, giving her to John for safe-keeping. Listen to His prayer of intercession for the mob whom He asked His Father to forgive. Take note of his love and compassion for the criminal hanging next to Him. This criminal wanted something from Jesus! When you are in your deepest need, having lost so much, the last thing you want to do is give someone what they need! But look at the perfect Man, the God-Man-Redeemer, whose reason for being had nothing to do with what He could get but what He could give, and through His sacrifice for your sins and mine, He made the way for you and me to live now with a life built on total truth and to live forever in Heaven some day.