OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER
1) To appreciate the value of benevolence and diligence in preparing for the future
2) To glean what counsel the Preacher offers for those who are young
In this chapter the Preacher begins with encouraging benevolence and diligence as ways to guard against the uncertain future. By casting our bread upon the waters, willing to offer servings to many, and not withholding our hands in the evening, our benevolence may serve us well in the future should evil befall us. Likewise, things may happen beyond our ability to control or comprehend, but diligence in sowing seed and being mindful of the dark days to come can help to prepare us for their coming (Ecclesiastes 1-8).
This chapter also introduces counsel from the Preacher designed
especially for the young. The young man is encouraged to rejoice,
letting his heart cheer him. He is told to walk in the ways of his
heart and in the sight of his eyes, yet with the knowledge that God will hold him accountable for all that he does. So, remove sorrow (i.e., rejoice!). But also put away evil during the fleeting years of
childhood and youth (Ecclesiastes 9-10).
I. THE VALUE OF BENEVOLENCE AND DILIGENCE (11:1-8)
A. AN EXHORTATION TO BENEVOLENCE (Ecclesiastes 1-2) – 1 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.2 Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.
1. Cast your bread upon the waters, you will find it after many
2. Give servings to seven, and to eight, for you do not know what
evil will come.
B. AN EXHORTATION TO DILIGENCE (Ecclesiastes3-8) If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. 4 He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. 5 As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. 6 In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good. 7 Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun: 8 But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.
1. Many things (like rain and windstorms) are inevitable (verses 3-4)
a. We cannot stop the clouds full of rain from falling.
b. Trees will lie wherever they fall.
c. If we spend our time just watching and not doing, we will
not sow nor reap.
2. There are things we cannot comprehend (verses 5-6)
a. Like the way of the wind (or spirit)
b. Like the development of the child in the womb
c. We cannot comprehend God’s working; therefore do not
restrict your efforts.
3. There will be days of darkness ( verses 7-8)
a. It is great to be alive when one is well.
1) The light is sweet
2) It is pleasant to behold the sun
b. But even if one lives many joyful days, they should know
that evil days will come.
II. ADVICE TO THE YOUNG
(Ecclesiastes11:9-10) Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.
A. REJOICE IN YOUR YOUTH (9) Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
- Let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth.
- Walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes as they are focused on heavenly things.B. DON’T LOSE SIGHT OF THE JUDGMENT (9)
Ephesians 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Galations 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
- God will bring you into judgment.
- You will answer for all that you do.
C. REMOVE SORROW AND EVIL (Ecclesiastes 10) Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
Romans 2:6-10 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
Put away evil from your flesh.
Childhood and youth are spent seeking after vain things.
III. Faithfulness to the things of God will always be rewarded –
II Corinthins 9:6-8 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: