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January 18, 2021 8:00 pm
The post Sermon: The Dark Side Of Knowledge (Ecclesiastes 1:12-18) appeared first on Redemption Church.
Good morning my name is Bob Hewitt teaching pastor here at redemption and we just want to say good morning and welcome and were to be in Ecclesiastes chapter 1 severe Bibles and go there as you're turning their answers past week. You notice like this whole weird world we live in now you know so my family was killed a couple weeks ago so my kids were home from school this past week and were good now.
Every sick nobody has anything were all healthy, but my kids were home and others doing school from homes like a lot of you guys and parents homeschool parents and you do that. Anyways, normal basis, but my kids they go to school every day and so they were coming home. It was really fine because I was psyching outcome.
Stairs might my basement office is where I work outcome, stairs, or once in a while and check on my kids and their like learning different things in school like my daughters do infractions and so I get to help work with her and showing her like hey, here's a pizza and if you cut half the pizza teachers infractions of late have fun so much frontage might watch my kids learn and grasp these concepts in my sign is learning about the solar system and the sign earth and outsold all these things are happening. It was like it didn't teach him about somethings and thrown in some random facts and he's even it up. I love watching my kids learn something about, like when you're learning something for the first time she's like a child in the grass there like minds like sponges in the news grow grow grow grow grow or maybe you just knew Christianity and he started to learn and your loving everything your learning to get enough you like reading the Bible like a crazy way when you first became a believer in and you start reading and reading and reading and I want no more want to know more. Want to know more right like there are times in life when you learn something you figure something out and it's just that time of knowledge increase. It's like a high to grow and learn something new like that, and we love that anything knowledge is a very good thing and obviously your economies if you can increase the literacy rates of a nation, you have a stronger economy. Even impoverished areas of places throughout the world. If you can help just kids reading people notice to read those countries will do better financially and do better jobs and actually helping things like preventable diseases and all sorts of really great markers. We know knowledge is a good thing. I don't think I had to try to convince you guys the importance of knowledge. Today, like knowledge is good only get Bobby knowledge is good.
We we understand that both Solomon talks about in Ecclesiastes is kind of focuses on the dark side of everything is a go all good things. There is dark sides to that and think anything but knowledge.
People like the Internet Internet man like you can learn what ever you want at your fingertips and at the same time is the shadow of death and destruction that also exists online pornography, child exploitation, you have the dark web people can trade drugs hire hitmen and all kinds of stuff all at your fingertips right from the safety of your own computer.
There is a amazing benefit and there is also an amazing price deadly price on both sides that so we talk about knowledge, increasing is also cyber knowledge in the wrong hands.
People do some really terrible things throughout the world as knowledge increases were also talk about even the pursuit of knowledge.
Knowledge as an end of itself, so in the Old Testament know that the Bible warns about idols.
You have heard that term before. And maybe your mind and idol as a statue that shaped out of stone or wood or some precious metal and people will come and bow down to it, or pray to this little stone statue and that's worship but I think idols is also anything that we pursue more than pursuing Jesus and what I want talk about today is titled pursuing knowledge.
For knowledge sake I Solomon is going to give us some healthy warnings about just even just the pursuit of knowledge.
For knowledge, sake.please hearing knowledge is good and I were were attacking it from the dark side but I think there's a lot of other people who think like well I don't know anything. I guess also equally bad for a number of other reasons were not really gonna go into a lot today because that's not what Solomon talks about today but I think knowledge is a good thing. By and large what I'm warning against is when people make knowledge of the pursuit of knowledge and idol. That's when it becomes a problem that's in becomes a danger now is really interesting, but even just the pursuit of knowledge and what it has done like the much throughout time in history all the inventions all the amazing progression we've made as a culture of society through medicine, technology, space travel mean like even that's pushing further and further and further in flow for as far as what we can do and accomplish and from front you love science. If you love that kind of stuff mean like it's it's a really exciting time to be alive.
I'd much rather be alive today than 100 years ago or 200 years ago you could die from a common cold and I don't want to do that.
This is great to be alive and thankful for. So, we realize these are all really really good things. I am not knocking or not to become Amish tomorrow. You know, like all these are good things were talking about this idolatry. Not very first thing Melissa first temptation in the garden of Eden. God creates beautiful garden for Adam and Eve and he says you can eat of all these different trees.
But as one tree don't want you to eat of was that tree the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. Now, this knowledge of good and evil.
It's in Genesis chapter 2 if you want to look back there just a chapter 2 verse 17. This was the command that God gave Adam and Eve, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. Satan comes along. God doesn't want you to either history is even bigger to be like God. So the very first temptation was omniscience was a perfect knowing of everything you get to know good and evil. Now, good and evil. These are probably not just to disparaging things overhears two things is talking about itself.
The mayor is in its encompassing knowledge of good and evil, of all things that happen all decisions, all morality, just like you said and received by, was it a spread to the four corners of the earth is not talking about oh it was that fear here and hear these four corners socket is spread over the entirety of the whole earth the same way the knowledge of good and evil is adamant he would know everything, you will be like God, you will know it all. I don't think he was actually about knowledge, but the moral autonomy apart from God demands after they were man was after rebellion. Members after doing things his own way man was after the ability to make his own decisions about what's right and what's wrong and that was the rebellion.
I think it would knowledge if were the pursuit of knowledge for the sake of just pursuing knowledge to become godhood or become like God is obviously wrong but I think even in that pursuit. Good speed you really careful so Ecclesiastes chapter 1 slick and average 12 either preacher had been king over Israel in Jerusalem and I applied my heart to seek in a search out by wisdom. All that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. I've seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind what is crooked cannot be made straight, and was lacking cannot be counted.
I said in my heart I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who are in Jerusalem over Jerusalem before me in my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge and I applied my heart to know wisdom is no madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind very much wisdom is much fixation.
And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
So here Solomon is a guy who has everything. If you know that the story of Solomon. Solomon first becomes King in Israel, he has kind of this prayer before God and God's is Psalm I grant you any think Psalms is okay I will you give me wisdom and wisdom to the governor well and to lead this kingdom was God deuces Solomon yes somebody give you wisdom and and on top of that, although she didn't ask for. I'm giving all the wealth we give you the land of anything you possibly wants all yours. Solomon gets all that Solomon becomes a wise king, possibly ever and all throughout Israel. One of the most famous stories. It's in the Bible. If you've probably heard this before these two moms come to Solomon one day and one mom has the both of us baby and in the two moms are saying are saying this is my baby and I like not know this. Not my baby is her babe is my baby and also her name is my baby's notion.
She killed her baby last known accident.
She rolled over her baby to sleep and suffocated baby's baby sleeping next to her baby died. So what Solomon do Solomon says okay is around if somebody give me a sword.
Rick shot the baby in half and you mom take this have to baby this mom take this after baby what happened. The real mom goes no don't kill my baby. She can have my baby.
She can never resolve and say that's a real mom he never tended to jump the baby in half. He's going to find out who the real mom was in the real mom was the one who had this concern for child that was a real mom ever and said, well, Solomon is the wisest king ever meet. Throughout all his room and this guy knows which document he's a wise dude very wise guy.
Soon it comes to wisdom.
Wisdom is good, God rewarded Solomon for his pursuit of wisdom so we can govern well but again were talking about the deadly side of it. The pursuit of knowledge is necessary, but it can come with the deadly price, but he can comfortably price the first thing we see here about the dark side of knowledge. That knowledge is a two edge sword Psalms is either preacher been king over Israel and Jerusalem in verse 12 says I applied my heart to see the search out by wisdom.
All that is done under heaven is an unhappy business. God is given to the children of man to be busy with even a two edge sword on the front and that sort is in edge notes used in the business end of that sword to accomplish whatever need you dudes are fighting off somebody or your chopping something, but also has an edge on the other side in the Bible's call to two edge sword, because it has one side that's beneficial for us to visit our site. It convicts us so it's not just there to help us and also is there to wound us so that God can heal us, and reveals that the deeper dark side of our souls in the same way and say knowledge is a two edge sword. It's beneficial for us for the same time it does Psalms visits an unhappy business. Think about this for a second. Just imagine her that I like it was days you like what any superpower will what I pick and it's like flying or superstrength. Several I just mind reading you could read people's minds.
I don't ever want that power to get ever want to know what people really think I could be the worst superpower ever really think you just be a negative grumpy person.
After hearing everything I was actually thinking. You know what you think about on a daily basis, anything at all the other trash surveillance think about my daily basis. Every time someone has like a negative thought about you, you here your thinking like a homeland you really feel that way all that person thinks like that you would never see people the same way again. Wow man this will be away from people use retirement hearing. The people are actually thinking. I think it's the same way knowledge the more that we know about the world what happens, the more cynical we become. The more we see the evil in the world. The more we see the problems, the more we see how terrible people are sick man, people are just terrible signature on the news and it's like birds talk to someone read to the first service about this and just like I like I just I king watches Leo just turned his off. It's like you said, you know, just the headlines what's happening but I don't want to hear anymore the sly commentary stuff that's happening.
People just like it's like the hold is negative world we live in a just, it's it hurts. It's hard to hear in you read all the stuff and you see all the stuff we see all the just the junk that goes on in man. It's like it makes you very cynical.
Now if you're like me, with the older I get, the more I realize how cynical I become about the world around me and it's like as a kid you've is so optimistic view the world everything is great awesome and then things happen anything as a kid in you is your growing up and want to see you develop with your own children. My kids are give age were you have mean kids at school and he could say things to my kids and hurt their feelings and in the getting the fistfights and then you know you keep growing and eventually, though, given the teenage years down there with more drama, no deal with more problems in the adult sent learning failure and heartache and problems and pain and the origin you realize that people just do worse and worse things and just gets more ugly two-edged sword. Solomon points it out like I'm some knowledge says this in verse 14. I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity striving after wind something of our sermon series chasing after wind chasing after the wind and that all pursuits in life right if they're not Jesus chasing after the wind now is just us following after this are following. After that it's putting these things in our lives.
We think are to make our lives better greater happier and what happens does the exact opposite. What talk this last week there was a French political commentary in any said he was looking at American 1830s, and he says this place has everything, all the abundance in the world and yet there's a deep melancholy that sits on its inhabitants. Why give everything because that is not where joy comes from joy is not an increasing knowledge joy to have been increasing in abundance and wealth enjoys have increasing possessions and and all your relationships. To be perfectly set out straight for you. Like that's not where joy comes from Solomon is helping us realize it's not where joy is. He says in verse 15. What is crooked cannot be made straight, and was lacking cannot be counted in one things you do when you get older and as you grow in knowledge but how the world works. Your notice of people just kind tend to stay the same human nature still human nature and just ugly maybe don't think that or maybe not so sure about that thing, but this like political corruption and maybe this you look at the world Ingram Hennessey corruption over here is political junker mass and I can't stand what's happening as politicians what's going on. We have always been this way is people may have heard in a room, dining process in the Roman times. He was a part of the triumvirate with Caesar and Pompeii and the sky crassness was a Roman politician and he was one of the shadiness was backdoor. Politicians that have ever existed on this planet that all because of all the shady dealings.
He became a very very wealthy man and became the wealthiest man in Roman times.
In fact, Pliny the Elder says this about grasses that his wealth was equal to the entire budget of the Roman Republic at its height, the entire budget of the Roman Republic at its height, his wealth surpassed that his weight did he do whatever he could to make a dollar. So he was involved in human slave trade made a lot of money off human slave trade and had the best con ever.
He developed a monopoly over firefighting in Rome so you pay him money like a retainer tip to basically his guys to come and fight fires of your house, fire.
But even worse than that. If your house didn't catch on fire he counts you like oh yeah, the price went up.
You forgot to pay me which are price went up off you only put out this fire. You better pay and output of this fire. So he's running is Connie's he's got the monopoly. Nobody else is a firefighting business in Rome.
He's making no money off of his guilty shady property deals is making money left and right.
He's raking in the root the dough is improper relationships with vestal virgins. He hosted giant parties was a giant party for the crucifixion of Spartacus for the guest Spartacus rebelled against the slaves in in Rome and he's hosted giant party watched this guy be crucified again. Human nature. Just go through the centuries and just see the terrible atrocities that have been committed over and over and over Men like Hitler and Stalin and dictators all throughout the world over and over and over again in about even. It's like watching like Russian history and even see like back in the day they had czars and aft desires Sourcing around that there there was a a group of autocratic dictators metadata. The Soviets came in communist rebellion came in and what happened is people were upset at those in power and made it harder for people who work in power and what happened if, as far as a way of living and life people at the top.
Tendons always benefit the people at bottom intended always be hurt. Human nature is the same. Those who want to hurt others, will continue to hurt others because without God. This is our state. This is our nature. This is our weight.
The way people are. It's not a pretty thing knowledge. Solomon says, we see that was crooked cannot. Three see that in the role that we are people to believe that the gospel can change lives.
Absolutely God can, but that is a supernatural event God coming in our lives changing our lives, transforming us, making us a new creation.
The oldest passed away almost become new.
But that happens only through supernatural work of Jesus. Any of these other pursuits are not generally to true, lasting transformation. We see this to look in verse 16 is a set my heart. I've acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me in my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
While Solomon I think was just making estimate of his wisdom. My wisdom has surpassed all those before me is making us accurate statement.
I don't think he's making a proud statement but I do think that what knowledge increases does lead to is that it often leads to pride. Knowledge increases often lead to pride. Why is that we think about if you are smarter than everybody else. You very easily can distance yourself.
Everybody else and you can see, put yourself over here in an island and go. I'm smarter than all these people. They don't get it and think about even at my school and my class. I was a class about 25 people high school, so I was you know I wasn't valedictorian salutatorian I was in any of those things, but does permit like maybe five or six you know that are couple people he thought really smart was good with its 25 people so I was in doing the math you know how smart I thought I was in any get to college and Mike math was naturally something came to me pretty easily and then going to college classes through engineering and I was like I'm an idiot. All these kids are way smarter than me way smarter than he is come so much easier to think it does to me.
I'm the dumb kid nonclass on traffic and sound like I am in the wrong major.
This is not for me. I cannot get through this and it's like it's is very humbling thing that happens is I think that if you knowledge is. It increases so does pride make when the new Christians soaking in learning and growing, and you become almost addicted to that high of knowledge and knowledge increasing Caesar growing in one of the more one or more want to know more in Internet becomes you start to can get to learn the basics of of theology in the Bible and how God works in God is, but that's not enough to feed your hi sweetie, do you start going to find some like obscure theology like a film is one random verse in the counterfeits is theology and nobody else believes this but I miss her going down this road because obviously I found something that no one else found it so you start digging down this road that really is in its unsubstantiated evidence that backs up Scripture is not supported which would be different so bad that you start going down this obscure route. Just feel differently. Make yourself.
Give yourself a sense of moral superiority and pride to feed your own ego. I think if were not careful going on the path of letting knowledge be our idle leads to pride. We see this in verse 17 and this is where account of Ian's Solomon in the real sour, sorrowful note and I applied my heart to know wisdom and snow madness and folly.
I perceived that this also is a striving after wind for and much wisdom is much fixation.
And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow. Much wisdom comes much sorrow prior knowledge often leads to sorrow.
I'm so thankful for counselors, social workers, police officers, emergency personnel, all those people who work in those professions, but I imagine it takes a pretty heavy told us what you're dealing with.
All day long you see something that you don't want to see you deal with things that you don't want to deal with but I'm thankful those people are in those roles and that they are dealing with those things dealing with the ugly of the world but you know that, toll it takes on your emotional state is a person every day just seemed ugliness and nastiness of humankind of the reality.
I mean I I'm not one who like wants to see fake shows on television. My wife loves Hallmark and recommended – Homer too much of told her no will do that anymore, but I do not want to see the guy was a lumberjack is saving his small town from corporate invasion right is like that's not reality, and I that's just that's fake fairytale stuff like that's great you love it. It's awesome. But like that's not human nature, and agrees we really get to the heart of human nature. It's actually pretty gritty pretty real pretty nasty pretty tough to see and the more that we see more sorrowful we become wanting to love to watch my kids play because again they play the were full of optimism were full of the possibilities are full of what could be my son this past week.
As I've that Sophia got Mike and Auch Tilly in dollars and I buy Nintendo switch now that you could buy few of those buddy with a knock Tilly in dollars and he's like I could get a safe by me say so I can put it all in a safe and unlikely protein something more than a safe is from knocking to hold it only know the banks across the world will hold amount of money Sino without money with look like me around but it's like he's imagining his mind like all these really cool things he could bind in his world, like the happiest on the needs of the Nintendo switch and his is likely going to be awesome right like that's the world mice. My kids live and I love that love watching it like watching dream playing pretend it's fine because they haven't seen the nasty they haven't seen the ugly and you want to protect your kids and keep them that way forever, but some point they're going to see that they're going to deal with that. We can't hold that in forever because we don't want to see what Solomon has want don't want to have a sorrow's with all this being said, how in the world like so knowledge is good, but knowledge is not good what are you trying to say here. I think the whole focus of the sermon is this knowing the right things. Renewing the right person. Our anchor for anchors and knowing God as we increase in knowledge in the pursuit of knowledge, it will be about our own buildup of our own selves.
It's about knowing God. JI Packer said this once you become aware that the main business that you are here for is to know God. Most of life's problems fall into place of their own accord. If we not understand that our job is to know God and to know him better to know him more, I think you can deal with all this craziness that happens around us your anchored your secure your locked in the order that I get more realize I don't know everything about my wife still learning still growing and you know it's I enjoy that.
I love knowing more about her love knowing that what she likes him know I love learning or other things that she loves because I love her, and when our love for the Lord.
That is, for most prominent in her life for love for Jesus is everything in knowing more about Jesus but the God who loves us and cares for us is perfect… Perfect and graciousness perfect injustice perfect and all those things if were anchored there. The rest of the problems fall into their own place but we have to realize that our heart or hope is not in being able to fix ourselves or pull ourselves up by your own bootstraps or only hope is in the gospel only hope is in Jesus coming to redeem mankind and to save man from his sin, his own rebellion in his own idolatry. If our trust is not there. We have no hope. We see the nastiness around the world outside that is constantly shifting in problems and pain issues and turmoil were our anchor must be in Jesus, and if you are pursuing knowledge for the sake of pursuing knowledge. It's an empty pursuit to striving after the wind chasing after the wind. What is it, what are you anchored in do you know the Lord and are you is your life bent on pursuing him and knowing him more spray got. Thank you so much Lord for your word. We think you got even further step passage in Ecclesiastes and just thinking through the difficulty the challenge that the nastiness of mankind. Lord, and even with that word got a pray that you just helped to guard our hearts that help us learn more about you.
Jesus help us to remain focused on you. Help us to grow in our walk with the Lord and I pray God that we would be centered on you Jesus and reprint