Ecclesiastes 15-22

All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness. 16 Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?17 Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?18 It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.19 Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.21 Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:22 For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.

  1. The righteous do not always prosper, nor do the wicked always suffer – Matthew 5:43-46 – Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
    a. Do not judge your spiritual condition on your material
    b. God’s material blessings are not necessarily dependent upon your spiritual condition
    c. Avoid focusing on material blessings and instead focus on your spiritual ones – your eternal ones
    d. Avoid wickedness and foolishness, lest you die before your
    time –

I Corinthians 11:28-31But let a man examine
himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that
cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth
and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the
Lord’s body.30 For this cause many are weak and sickly
among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge
ourselves, we should not be judged.

  1. Seek after true righteousness and wisdom – Proverbs 2:2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
    a. A proper reverence for God will bring order during
    chaotic world

Psalms 112:1  Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.



Psalm 115:13-16 He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great. The LORD shall increase you moreand more, you and your children. Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth. The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

 Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and  he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.

(The word fear here means a respect for, reverence for)

b. Wisdom is a source of strength in our spiritual lives
II Corinthians 4:8-10 We are troubled on every
side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in
despair;9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not
destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying
of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made
manifest in our body.

            c.  No one is perfect – you will not always make the right choice.  Realize that!


Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and
desperately wicked: who can know it?

Ephesians 2:1-3 – And you hath he quickened, who
were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye
walked according to the course of this world, according to
the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now
worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom
also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of
our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind;
and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others

3. Don’t take to heart everything you hear

Luke 6:22-26
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall
separate you from their company, and shall reproach you,
and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your
reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their
fathers unto the prophets. 24 But woe unto you that are rich!
for ye have received your consolation. 25 Woe unto you that
are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now!
for ye shall mourn and weep. 26 Woe unto you, when all
men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the
false prophets.

a. You may hear another curse you
b. You may hear others praise you
c. Your praise and glory should be directed to God

Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do
all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and
the Father by him.

Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to
the Lord, and not unto men;
  1. Remember God’s priority list – God, Spouse, Children, Job,


Ecclesiastes23-29 All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.24 That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?25 I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:26 And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.27 Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account:28 Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

  1. There are questions wisdom cannot answer
    Isaiah 55:6-12
    Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon Him while he is near:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
  1. God’s way is beyond our human comprehension
  2. Following God’s lead will end in peace and joy for the believer
    b. No matter how hard and long you search
    c. Quit trying to figure God out and just trust His leading
Psalms 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
Psalms 62:8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
  1. Friendship with the wicked will ALWAYS bring you down.

II Timothy 3:1-5 – This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

a. The preacher found this out in his search for wisdom
b. Joining in with the wicked is more bitter than death
c. He who pleases God shall escape from the wicked, but the sinner shall be taken by her
3. A good man is hard to find
a. In his search, he found only one in a thousand
b. A good woman was even rarer
c. God made man upright, but man has sought out many schemes

Ecclesiastes part three – A life well lived is a life worth living

A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth


A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.Ecclesiastes 7:1

1. Be a person of honor
2. Better than precious ointment (material gain)

  1. 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?

  1. 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
the living.

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
be learned)

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