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January 26, 2021 12:00 am
Wayne that the latter with success. Don't equate success with your address or your VIP access from the outside looking on Solomon would have been the one who would've assumed you would've assumed had arrived, if anybody was the man he was in the native if anybody caught the carrot.
It was so we will follow you. In fact, if that man or woman were to write a book about how they got where they are. It would be a bestseller, go to your local mall and you'll see dozens of people chasing after things that they think will satisfy when they get it there still unsatisfied what they truly desire seems just out of reach. So how do we find the satisfaction that truly lasts today. Stephen Devi opens King Solomon's journal to find out this is wisdom for the heart and today's message from God's word is called chasing a carrot honest, you've probably heard this phrase before it is become an expression that's rather common. Chasing a carrot on a stick. That's actually been around a long time, which are of course exams divided some unfortunate donkeys motivated to keep plowing by that steak over its head in a dangling character just out of reach. In front of his nose. Expression of courses come to refer in our world to people chasing after something they really want to catch but they can never quite make it is just out of reach. The real issue is more than dollars and says the bigger more dangerous issue at hand is that that carrot happens to be a brilliantly disguised deception, distraction, delusion that we can just get it for you to be happy.
Whatever it is, people are chasing it is the ability to distract the mind to see the hard ways the energy of life and the reality of meaning and purpose is gotten intended fact that I like to think the carrot is one of Satan's greatest tools and distracting the human are the issues of life and that he doesn't for those who do not believe the keep them from thinking about ensuing coming death and he doesn't for the believer to get us to waste our time and not bringing God's glory and what he does give us Jesus referred to as the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusting after other thing Mark chapter 4 verse 19 he also warned what what what benefit is it if somebody wins the whole world but loses their life so somebody made it there. I actually won the whole world that got it all lost their soul and thus the bigger issue that mattered in my studies along this theme I came across an artist rendering of this very morning. It's was drawn in 1918. I believe it pictures the great deceiver, Satan, hidden under a cloak riding on a donkey, holding that stick out in front of the donkey dangling from that stick a tantalizing carrot and all the while the donkey is distracted.
If you look carefully, it's moving closer and closer to the Ed of a cliff.
The human race. It's reaching this longing is distracted, cleverly from the reality that this is all there is a fact that we have is just a very, very short prelude to a very long eternity. These are the solid issues. By the way that the been on the mind of the author of this journal.
He makes a new entry into his diary again and he's going to essentially describe chasing a carrot on a stick and that's why came to my mind as I studied this paragraph, the frustration as well as being beaten in the race. Somebody gets their first car seems to arrive, or that a better ultimately wasting their lives.
At the end of the race.
These are very serious issues and I do believe this is a coincidence that you're here were here together and we've arrived at this particular text together to hear the warning from God to take your copy. If you're not already there to Ecclesiastes were chapter 6. Let's pick up her left off a tour of the next three verses beginning in verse seven we do, to summarize what he saying in the form of three warnings basically one perverse one per verse of Scripture just by the way there just to strata days or 3000 years ago when he wrote the first morning is this your life can be fall while at the same time. Your heart can remain empty notice verse seven.
All the toil of man is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied with the word for mouth here is to be understood in terms of the material world physical needs. Nothing wrong with them and so much of life goes into physical needs filling them out processes of food and clothing, and shelter. The work toil with the counter. This already in this journal is a reference to your job the work you do for living your you work hard you get paid you cash that paycheck and it translates into everything from paying the bills to buying groceries.
Whatever it is nothing wrong with that.
Nothing wrong with succeeding in that fact. You may remember that Solomon told us earlier in chapter 5 that are jobs what God is skilled us with and given us talents or perform were a gift from God. Don't shirt that opportunity invested in use it for the glory of God in his gospel. Solomon is referring here to more than a job pays for physical consumer needs. In fact, you could translate the last phrase in verse seven where Reeves yet his appetite is not satisfied to read yet is a longing for fulfillment remains empty.
So what he saying is you're working hard, you're giving your life over to temporary things, material things your schedule. Never let sodomy look out of your busy, you're busy. I things to do soon as you leave here, the Hebrew word translated longing or appetite is Nefesh. It's the Hebrew word for so you're working hard, you're trying to get by your your focused on material things, and in at the same time you trying to get by paying the bills.
Just what's happening your Nefesh your soul is longing. That's the word in Hebrew mine for emotion and will in mind, we refer to the New Testament as part your heart, the seed of who you are is longing, so it's out of the sayings of life down here on the Masonic.
Keep in mind that this is the expression for life without fellowship with God its life living only for this life. A person can be busy and productive and get all wrapped up in consumer purchases. Everything that satisfies their mouth, so to speak without ever finding satisfaction in their heart. You know as well as I do, your life can be full and you can be running on empty is the second warning, improving your station in life doesn't mean you're succeeding Laurel says what you need to do is go higher on the ladder to get that carrot will Solomon asked to rhetorical questions here in verse eight.
To prove his point. Notice he writes for what advantage has the wise man over a fool and what does the poor man have.
Who knows how to conduct himself before the living sort of impact. Solomon is expecting us to say no. None. None of these individuals have any advantage in other words, if somebody lives just to satisfy their mouth, their physical appetites, consumable things, even the wise man doesn't have an advantage over the foolish man is not any happier and the poor man have an advantage, even though we don't have all the distractions for after all the pressures and even though he's figured out how to make it by his wits.
You notice expresses that he knows how to conduct himself before the living he knows I don't to work the crowd even though we don't have any money.
Solomon asks and answers the question with this hard-hitting reality. Does anybody have any advantage over anybody else in this race for the carrots in his ass would be nobody to any uses these two illustrations to prove his point. What about Solomon suggest what about the smartest guy in the class. What about the valedictorian.
What about the 4.0 grade point average person is that equal to happiness and contentment, and the answer is no, not at all.
Our world is filled with brilliance. College graduates and PhD's who are unhappy. Happiness was and is attached to the diploma. In fact, somebody you think so I just kicked there all be happy realizes it is true, what about the poor man the application and the text is the poor man didn't have a chance to get an education. He couldn't afford to go to you and see your NC state or Campbell or Wick test were or Wick force my leaving anybody special out here in this slick what about the guy that could before that thought. He's got streetsmart. He he knows how to conduct himself among the living.
He makes connections he seems to be given ahead.
I took that guy. That's the guy with the advantage no, that's not equivalent to happiness.
Either he's going to get frustrated is not moving fast enough and not making enough good connections and then somebody else is getting at the razor somebody else is getting the promotion somebody else is getting the better deal.
And in this poor guy can't get a break. Solomon is illustrating here people on both ends.
Opposite ends of the spectrum, and he's essentially saying that the carrot is in any closer to that brilliant member of the Academy than it is to that poor man who never got an education. Neither one of them had any advantage over the other and everybody in between. This point is just because you try to improve your station in life.
Don't think for a moment that when you get one more round up whatever that bladder happens to be that you are succeeding and with that comes happiness. There plenty of CEOs and celebrities to prove this point is another warning is closely tied to the others, but it gives a little insight into what's really going on.
Warning number three there will always be something above and beyond what you already have these addresses before he says little differently here. Look at verse nine. Better is the site of the eyes that is better is what you can see what you have in your hand better is that the wondering of the appetite. This also is vanity and a striving after wind so what you see in other words, what you see in your hand right now. What does God allow you to have right now we want to chase the wind you want emptiness you want resentment you want joyless, this then chase after things that you can only dream about. And ignore what's in your hand. Nice not telling you not dream bigger time something ambitious or accomplish something impactful in life you simply saying that it's better to have a little and enjoy it. Didn't dream about what you go up have just added to the other guy out all that's just empty futility simply say it's better to have a little God is given you then then pursued that correct. By the way the words here translated the laundering of the appetite is literally traveling Nefesh there's that word again. The wondering heart. The laundering so the heart keeps on wondering in its travels for satisfaction. We came to my mind as I read that text was that song about the rambling man. Why don't you settle down you get to be over the lustration unsatisfying, restless, whatever you will call it the seven year itch, the grass is greener on the other side of midlife crisis: it is simply a reflection of the same issue and empty heart built around selfish desire for things we don't have no need to have a midlife crisis is no need to pursued the grass on the other side. All that is simply the culmination for the arrival of the pointed a person's life where they say I don't like what I've God and I want something I want something above and beyond whatever might be. These expressions betray our fallen hearts by the way it began as early as preschool and his daughter Mrs. Solomon Franklin T. Solomon read his biography of discontented first kings even have a seven year itch at a seven minute he could never ever settle down. He could never ever settle down with one wife, one more when you got 699, one 700 could never settle down with one shipment of gold and ivory and wildlife and greenery. I have one more shipment. In fact his tribute and his taxes wore the people out of monies coming to the end of his life.
People beg for relief. I gotta get one more shipment of gold he never had enough houses. How many do you need the board want any building other. He was the ultimate wondering soul.
He's honest in writing. Really what's a self-portrait. He calls what is here what it is. Here in verse nine.
Notice it. It's vanity you come across a word again is emptiness its futility striving after wind he saying I couldn't catch the wind in this analogy since I am with everything I had a couldn't quite catch Karen this is the human heart. This is your heart and mind apart from being satisfied with Jesus Christ. It is earthbound instead of heaven and for the believer here. There's certainly the warning and in this is the remembering daily. The Christ is to be enough.
If the will of God is not interesting enough, and if the word of God is good enough for in and if the presence in the pleasure of God isn't satisfying enough. Nothing will ever be enough. There's always given a subtheme of the believer above and beyond the something you want some approval, some accomplishment. He didn't even win the race seem like everybody else around you is that church can be incredibly discouraging if we come here to compare ourselves to each other.
Somebody's going to have a better somebody's going to seem happier, somebody is going to be more accomplished. That's why Paul says we compare ourselves with one another. We are not wise and I came across a fascinating study along this theme of research done major delivery research what people do with the research for this particular research was a study of Olympic medalists and their attitude while standing up there on the stand who studies that they they did, they they discovered the bronze medalists were happier than silver medalists, and here's why. Silver medalists were focused on how close they came to winning gold since I was over the bronze medals were focused on how close they came about winning anything at all.
They were really happy just to be there.
We need to be bronze medalists is happy to be there. Here are three warnings of a man to live through all of these repeated the same mistake over and over again for decades. Many go through that again. It is that another touch of warning as we wrap it up warning number one your life to be full of the same time. Your heart can remain empty, so don't be deluded be duped into thinking that because you're busy you're involved in things that are essential were all busy and busy. This is not sinfulness what I mean is the point, Solomon is attempting to make here, let's make sure that what God is doing with our lives is to be the overflow of what he is doing in our hearts. In fact, the priority of God's work in your life and mine is in our hands. It's our hearts you but I need that reminder. I like to be busy with my hands my life and I get away from the schedule for about three days of my life is okay on exit.
Do you want to get back God wants to be busy in my heart don't pursue a full busy life while ignoring the transforming work of God's spirit in your heart warning number two.
Improving your station alike doesn't mean you're succeeding in life. So don't be deceived. Don't equate one more run that latter with success so don't equate success with your address or your VIP access from the outside looking on Solomon would have been the one who would've assumed you would've assumed had arrived, if anybody was the man he was the man and if anybody had made it. He had made it. If anybody had caught the character. It was so that we want to follow you.
What you give us the secret gives the steps yesterday in the mail. I got my copy of Time magazine. I subscribe to Time magazine so I can stay irritated in life some point.
Actually, I want to note the perspective of the world out there is what they're doing in this issue listed the 100 most influential women in the world that I've seen the list of the 100 most influential men in the world. Several of my new openly defy denied the gospel of Christ grieves my heart because I pity them. Can you imagine, I thought as I stood there, having your name listed the 100 most influential women or men and an internationally acclaimed publication to have been named that a household name of influence, but not have name written in the Lamb's book of life.
The tragedy to this is why I felt so sorry for them.
Caesar applauded the list cheering him on.
The deception is even that much more tragic along the way. Imagine being applauded on earth and mass. This is this is what the Lord said world you lost soul will be deceived especially if the world was applauding that might even add to the deception warning number three there will always be something above and beyond what you already have started early to go away.
You and I are home with Christ perfected and glorified holiness that the great wealth of the great unlike a ligature crown ago man I wanted that great. I'm so glad you have don't be distracted, be blamed, don't get in the Amber become engrossed. Life isn't about a character by Jesus Christ's will is word is pleasure need the wisdom of Solomon games at the end of his life as the Holy Spirit spoke through him, and he turned around and he tells us don't don't don't find your satisfaction he will wrap up his journal. Eventually pursuing functional with if you've already spent pushing of your life chasing after what the world has to offer.
You know that what Solomon discovered and wrote about his true.
Those things don't satisfy.
Thanks for joining us today here on wisdom for the hearts Stephen Davey is in a series from Ecclesiastes called surviving evil under the sun. The lesson you just heard is called chasing a carrot on a stick, you can send Stephen a note if you address it to wisdom for the heart PO Box 37297 Raleigh, NC 27627. You can also send an email to email@example.com once again that address is wisdom for the hearts. PO Box 37297, Raleigh, NC 27627. Thanks for spending the last half hour with us. Please join us next time for another Bible lesson right here on wisdom for the hearts