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In Search of Meaning (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
July 18, 2022 4:00 am

In Search of Meaning (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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July 18, 2022 4:00 am

When the jackpot jumps into the millions, lottery ticket purchases increase. Will winning provide lifelong happiness? Find out what the writer of Ecclesiastes discovered about wealth and lasting joy. That’s our focus on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.



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John jumps into the million is the line of the lottery ticket counter often grows proportionally. The assumption is that a winning ticket will provide lifelong happiness, but does it today on Truth for Life. Alister bread walks us through what the writer of Ecclesiastes discovered about whether wealth can actually provide lasting joy and turning into Ecclesiastes 5 just a fairness we study together God our father we come now again to you, having sung your praise. We believe that in these precious moments we may hear your voice as you speak to us by the spirit and through your word. This is certainly our earnest expectation and longing. We are not focused on a man. We are focused on your word melody line of your word is that which you have given and we don't congratulate the violin congratulate the composer and so let us hear from you. Now we pray in Jesus name, amen. You'll be helped. If your Bible is open this morning at Ecclesiastes 5 and I encourage you to turn there with me were going in these mornings down the corridors along with the preacher are the professor on the pundit as we referred to him is wandering down darkened avenues groping searching for the meaning of life. There is apparently nowhere that he won't go there is nothing that he's unprepared to try, but will we are also discovering along with him is that none of the things that hold out hope for him seemed to deliver what they promised, and he ends up again and again is aware against a brick wall at the end of the street leading to nowhere. Nothing seems to deliver what's been promised and I've been imagining him going back to his room are the words of the 60s song reverberating in his ears up narrow flight of stairs to my narrow little room as I lie upon my bed in the early evening gloom impaled upon my wall. My eyes can dimly see the riddle of my life in the puzzle that is me in that sense, he's a very contemporary individual Woody Allen was asked if he had any interest in religion and he replied accordingly. I'm deeply interested in religion.

I'm not interested in the religions that we have. I'm not interested in Judaism, Catholicism were Protestant religion there is of course still existential curiosity, why are we here. Is there more. Is there a greater power out there, but these questions he said are unsolvable and unsatisfying and ultimately depressing is no surprise. It is a cultural icon because he speaks very much proud of the wealth or poverty of contemporary life, and it's almost as though I had been reading the book of Ecclesiastes for himself now. Our author apparently at the same time is experiencing this deep darkness has moments, however fleeting, that create the impression that he is being haunted. If you like by the shadow of God that into his experience comes this awareness somehow or another that God's doom is paying very little attention to them is getting very little credence. Somehow or another that God is not simply way out there, but he is actually imminent within in much the same way that we experience moments, fleeting moments, perhaps in the mall sitting watching tiny children suddenly as they traipse across it gives to it as a shiver of our back and awareness of the creative power of God breaks in upon us laying down the telephone after a conversation with a loved one. In that sense of in immanence between us speaks to a power higher than ourselves walking out of the doctors surgery with a bad report in the shadow of God falling on our path. Browning in one of his great podiums speaks in in a point nicely called Bishop blow rooms apology as he argues apologia as he argues for the defense of the faith and does he speaks to a guy called the is getting a Bigs or something like that. He had a funny name but hee hee see rights in this way, just when we are safest.

There's a sunset touch offensive from a flower bell someone's death to wrap and no on the door of our souls. Just when we think we got it all under control this when we thing we got life circumscribed just when we think we can handle it all now by ourselves suddenly knocking on the door of our souls, comes the awareness of the shadow of God, and what this individual is portraying severity clearly is this that there is no exit on the freeway of life, which, when taken allows him to escape from the reality of the creating and sustaining power of God. There is no exit on the freeway of life up which you can shoot and then into the safety of a way is aware from the invasion and interference of God, no such exit is possible. No freeway is an important mentor for this morning. It's far more useful metaphor than garden path or pathway.

And the reason is because I want to go at great haste and cover a significant distance and therefore I want to encourage you to fasten your seatbelts and were going on at the entry ramp of verse eight. Chapter 5 and the entry ramp reads money money. Therefore, you will all be able to identify with it with you of the whether you're the little and in addressing the issue of money.

The writer tackles, three accompanying factors again delay on much this morning I point them out as we go along. First of all, in verses eight and nine. He says where there is money in abundance. You will always find injustice, injustice, if you seen a poor oppressed verse eight in a district and justice and rights denied. Don't be surprised that such things don't be surprised by that. He said it's a feature.

It is a fact of life. The fellow on the eighth floor looks down to the fellow on the seventh floor and the occupants of the seventh and the eighth floor are overshadowed by the bureaucracy.

On the 10th floor which actually has them under control. The fact of the matter is that the individual often feels themselves completely paralyzed, completely tyrannized, forming the number that is given on the sheet that I get the encounter electronic answering they they're told to punch number 5143 of the 188-1912 if you want to speak to the mother-in-law.

17 if they want a pizza. Whatever it is and eventually they hang the phone up and say to themselves. I obviously have drawn a number far too low down the list and justice is for me and on afforded luxury. Now the writer says, just look at things just face life where money abounds. Injustice is present. Secondly, where money abounds indigestion is equally present, not only physical but spiritual as well.

The indigestion of an unsatisfied appetite verse 10 whoever loves money never has enough money if you love money.

You can never have enough okay because it is an insatiable appetite. Now you can learn this by experience. You can learn it by reading somebody in between the services this morning gave me a note from their own personal experience scrawled to me a little thing saying here is an illustration of Ecclesiastes 510.

They give me the record of a member of the family a multimillionaire as somewhere in the area with homes in Florida and other places in the world without with a jet aircraft of his own with servants and land and property and everything and they were over the house and the owner of all of this was in his study, sulking, sulking, and when the individual inquired whether it was a problem of health which would be present 12 months prior to this, the wife answered know it is nothing to do with his help. It's his 60th birthday, and he has failed to reach his goal of becoming a billionaire is not a joke that's a fact. You see, whoever loves money never has enough money for those who don't of money we always think just a little more money that must be the answer Rockefeller which was your favorite million to make, which million.

Did you enjoy making most he answered my next million. The Duchess of Windsor.

On occasions that you can never be too thin to rich. She speaks to the issues of our day, but it doesn't satisfy where your gambler a tycoon whether you're a materialist, I've been to Las Vegas once I don't lie. Never go back again is really taken there by a friend, family influence to make choices along the way we stare at some gigantic place like a rats nest with 4000 rooms could get out of it fast enough. When downstairs and I decided as we walked out of the bully. I'm definitely going to try this gambling thing at least once I reached in my pocket. I took 1/4 and I put it in. That is a Scott last of the big spenders for the quarter and pulled the handle all the lights flashed and dinged and everything else. Nothing at all happened. I just walked right out the door, kept on my way went out to dinner. Came back for the poor souls were still there with cardboard pills cardboard some things it interestingly and I may be wrong but it looked to me to be the same pale that I was given postoperatively at the Cleveland clinic in case I threw up on the way home after surgery. The exact same kind of cardboard and there they said with the coins going in and the coins going out and you can multiply it in terms of the stakes. It doesn't make any difference.

It's the same issue. If you love money and never got enough. I just won the jackpot yet, but I gotta go to the jetport number to go to the next machine I got to go on from here. The Bible speaks to this. It's a Maras good name for a hotel in Las Vegas is if there is anything worse than the addiction that money brings.

It is the emptiness it leaves there's anything worse than the addiction money brings. It's the emptiness it leaves the real issue you see is not actually going for more and more money. It is the sadness of going for inward fulfillment which we have been told is to be found in money when you have money have an unsatisfied appetite. Verse 11 you have an increased crowd of dependents, hangers on, hey buddy, could you give me a dime. Hey, could you loan me this hey can I borrow your truck. Hey, could I stay in your house. Hey, could I have a fiber hey could you help me with this as soon as you have money you know all the letters, all the envelopes come suddenly you're on everybody's Christmas list, presumably very wearisome and verse 12 where money abounds. It's a case of press the Pepto-Bismol the sleep of the laborer is sweet, but he has a big lunch or no lunch, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep, no sleep past the Tom's, where I met Tom see Christ to his wife. I don't like the pink ones I don't like the white ones. I only like the yellow ones and the orange ones wire the Noel yellow ones are normal because you made all yellow and orange ones affluence plus indulgence equals sleeplessness welcome to the American dream. Get there and spin on your bed get there and lie awake at night get there and suffer indigestion hangers on, and an insatiable quest for more than the Bible relevant.

You can do what you like with but it sure has a contemporary ring doesn't and along with indigestion and along with injustice comes insignificance. Verse 13 have seen a grievous evil under the sun well thwarted to the harm of his owner or wealth lost through some misfortune so that when he has a son there's nothing left for him making a man comes from his mother's womb, and as he comes. So he departs naked in naked out.

You didn't come down the birth canal wearing Adidas sneakers or Nikes or whatever was it income down the birth canal with only little Nordstrom packages on your on your fingers, naked in naked out, and unless you invest in the bank of heaven. The Bible says it's a zero balance budget zero and zero out read the obits tomorrow about the next wealthy man died and as you sit there reading them, sipping your coffee, remind yourself I am not richer than him because he's got nothing, his heirs may have picked it up, but he has nothing zero in zero out and into chapter 6. That's all emphasis graphic illustration of the meaninglessness of this grievous evil that the awesome picture of this stillborn child that has more significance and is is a better prospect than having 100 children and living many years. What an amazing picture in verses 10 through 12. The same emphasis who knows what's good for a man verse 12 during the feud and meaningless days and who can tell them what will happen after the sun is gone. In other words, he sees asking two essential questions. Who knows, who cares.

The rat race of life in itself makes no sense at all with no absolute values to live for no practical certainties to plan for your like a soccer player running around on a field that is no goals, no lines, no penalty spot.

It's a complete total waste of time only do we understand what's going on when we lay down the goals when the mark out the yard box.

When we put into the penalty when we discover where the corners, but played without certain plans and played without defined rules. Nobody really knows. And frankly nobody really cares know when you get to chapter 7 instead of arguing his case, a tall, it's kind of stuck cancel burst of insights which just hit us from all kinds of angles and what I wanted to do is run through them with you. First of all, and in the opening phrase of the chapter. A good name is better than fine perfume was that meanwhile perfume could only be purchased by the affluent. Therefore fine perfume was an indication of wealth largely is today, and is much as you don't find poverty-stricken people spending $150 on on 1/2 ounce report surrounds a very expensive perfume and what he's saying is a good name is a better legacy than the fragrance that is dispensed in the mall. As a result of you being able to squeeze yourself so whatever you do in your life. Remember this is your legacy irrespective of money in the bank. The best legacy to leave your children is to allow them to walk with confidence down any high street in this in the country and if someone meets and said what are you exes son are you exes daughter and then they bless the memory of your parents and your memory to it doesn't matter how much cash there is, it doesn't matter, out of which only of cotton, a good name is far better than riches, honor is the issue on in verses 2 to 16.

This gives us some pithy, common sense, since he what he saying is this is face the facts face the fact the bumper sticker is not all wrong.

Life is tough and then you die lose.

I'm very happy doesn't but is actually fairly accurate. Life is tough and you are going to die and what he saying is when you face up to that, then you will realize that it's better actually to go and have a coffee in the graveyard and chagrin Falls than it is to go to some dumb party with a bunch your high school friends you can run away into a party in an affluent neighborhood and kid yourself that life will go on forever. That is time ill spend you and go sit in park your car in the graveyard and surround yourself in a house of morning and say now we get into the issue now are being sensible now were facing its success. Look at your sensible people read your Bibles son a hard days is in the tough issues is in the sad events that we learn and we grow.

That's why it's better that's why sorrow is better than laughter, sad face is good for the heart. Why will we spread the center before we told about going to a comedy or going to a tragedy and comedy is a funeral you can remember the joke to come out as it was funny but wanted it made a tragedy dust on the inside of you. Spurgeon writings that I'm afraid that all the grace I've gotten out of my comfortable and easy times and happy hours might also might almost live on a penny and affliction he said is the best bit of furniture in my house. In other words, life confirms what the Bible conveys that more spiritual progress will be made through failure, disappointment, hard times and tears then will be discovered as a result of success. Laughter. Easy times and trivialities, but our whole culture holds out to us Vanity Fair come down here.

Let the good times roll. So this is countercultural in verses 7 to 10 he says is important that you exercise self-control self-control. As we seen in the matters of money verse seven because extortion turns a wise man into a full and a bride corrupts the heart some of us know that you are paying.

We should never have taken that envelope we should have never accepted that gift, we should never assign that contract in that particular way we lost our credibility.

We lost our ability to do business with a clear conscience and a crystal-clear gaze. Be careful beginner fellows in the snare of unguarded talk the end of the matter is better than his beginning. Patient is better than pride.

Don't be quickly provoking your spirit was going to be bursting out all of the time.

Don't let your mouth run ahead of your mind. Now I can speak to this with a measure of confidence is driving the freeway the other day my daughter was in the bag. See my youngest, our youngest Johnson me dead just get upset are too quick in our first as I defend myself, about the freeway and Erin and I said you know what your right and she said that deep breaths. Deep breaths slowly self-control part of the fruit of the spirit. None of us will escape death so we may strive for success or pleasure, but it's important for us to realize it's often through failure and suffering that we gain greater spiritual growth. Our trials prepare us for our final breath. This is true for life with Alistair Begg. The teacher in the book of Ecclesiastes. Endeavored to go anywhere to try anything to see if he could find meaning in life apart from God. Instead he found that nothing delivers lasting fulfillment. Such futility is common even today. That's why it's so important that the world hears about the hope we have in Jesus that why we teach God's word every day.

It's our mission the Truth for Life to teach the Bible with clarity and relevance so that unbelievers will be converted. Believers will be established in local churches will be strengthened.

That's it. Plain and simple. Note that sounds like a mission you embrace.

Why not make today the day you joined with fellow blisters called true partners true partners joined together with this ministry by praying for us regularly and by making a monthly donation when you signed up to become a true partner you become part of the team that brings Alister's teaching to listeners all around the world and it's easy to sign up, simply visit Truth for Life.org/true partner or call 888-588-7884 to say thank you. We invite our true partners to request two books each month that we recommend to listeners that are available for no additional donation, you'll definitely want to request the book were mentioning today. It's a brand-new book titled being the bad guys how to live for Jesus in a world that says you shouldn't.

The author of the book being the bad guys explores the reality that as Christians we are becoming an unpopular minority.

Our belief in God and all that he's created is more and more being viewed as opposition to individual rights to hold biblical views is increasingly considered wrong. This is nothing new.

The book being the bad guys, explains God's people have in the bad guys before that Jesus predicted in this book the author explains how to respond when you face this kind of opposition. As you become a true partner and request your copy of the book being the bad guys will learn how to respond can also request the book when you make a one time donation go to Truth for Life.org/donate about Lapine. What is it seem wicked people often get to enjoy success more than righteous people would more people follow Jesus. If the rewards were more distinct will hear the answers tomorrow as you join us for Truth for Life. The Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life where the learning is prolific


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