I. COUNSEL FOR BETTER LIVING –
A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth. – Ecclesiastes 7:1
A. HONOR IS BETTER THAN LUXURY
1. Be a person of honor
2. Better than precious ointment (material gain)
B. FOR THE BELIEVER, YOUR DEATH DAY IS BETTER THAN YOUR BIRTHDAY –
- One’s birth is the beginning of sorrows
Job 14:1 -Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.;
Jeremiah 20:14-18 – Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. 15 Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad.16 And let that man be as the cities which the LORD overthrew, and repented not: and let him hear the cry in the morning, and the shouting at noontide;17 Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me 18 Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?
- One’s death can be the beginning of eternal bliss
Isaiah 57:1-2 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.2 He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.;
C. A FUNERAL IS BETTER THAN A PARTY (verses 2-4) – It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
1. For the child of God a funeral is a celebration service
2. It is a graduation ceremony
3. For those left behind it is
A. A time of remembrance
B. A time to reflect on our own spiritual state
C. A time of rejoicing in knowing this is not the end
I Thessalonians 4:13-18 – But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
D. A REBUKE OF THE WISE IS BETTER THAN THE SONG OF FOOLS (verses 5-7) 5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.
1. For the laughter of the fool is vanity
2. Flattery is foolish admonishment for personal gain
E. THE END IS BETTER THAN THE BEGINNING (verse 8) Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
1. Finish what you start
2. Not all that starts has an end; in the completion of a task one
finds satisfaction –
F. PATIENCE IS BETTER THAN PRIDE (verses 8-9) 8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
1. The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit
2. Do not be hasty to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of
G. THE PRESENT IS BETTER THAN THE PAST (verse 10) – Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.
1. We should not say “why were the former days better?”
2. One is not wise in thinking in such a manner
H. WISDOM IS BETTER THAN WEALTH (11-12) 11 ¶ Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.12 For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.
1. Wisdom along with an inheritance is good, and profitable for
2. Wisdom is a defense like money, but wisdom gives life to those who have it.
I. ACCEPTANCE IS BETTER THAN INDIGNATION (verses 13-14) – 13 Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.
1. There are some things of God we cannot change
2. God has appointed both the day of prosperity and the day of
adversity, so man is unable to determine what will happen after him
3. The conclusion?
a. In the day of prosperity be joyful
b. In the day of adversity consider (what lessons might