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April 16, 2021 12:00 am
I would learn that all you will drive a car, you would get married. So it is essentially saying don't sit around and watch the clouds and others don't wait for the perfect conditions in life before taking all well thought through step by the leg and goes for ministry. You might take that class or teach that study or step out of its uncomfortable for you and what well if you're waiting for the perfect conditions. You'll never take that next step of perhaps you were uncomfortable because there was a little bit of uncertainty so you hesitated, or maybe didn't act at all. I wonder how much we miss out on because of this there are many things in life that we can't predict, but we shouldn't let the unexpected events of life, paralyze us with. Welcome to wisdom for the heart Stephen baby is working through a series from Ecclesiastes called pursuing wisdom under the sun today will be challenged to live boldly with this message called living with the unexplainable and unexpected to cover the first eight verses of chapter 11 in our study today that your new to our study through this journal of Solomon, he is written about life down here under the sun. Any began the first seven chapters with a sort of despairing perspective that this is all you see this is you never talk about this on the unfulfilling. It's not to be satisfying in many shifts near the three-quarter mark in his journal. He draws God into the picture and he's giving us this new perspective about life down here under the sun. As we walk with the sun as it were, the son of God. Now this new perspective of life as he's delivering it in this journal which he assumes his son will read most Old Testament scholars believe his first son as well.
Solomon tells us that the drawing.the picture doesn't answer all your questions. It doesn't button everything down and here in chapter 11. He sees going to begin always going to admit there are things in life.
He doesn't understand exactly where he repeats the phrase four times in the opening verses here.
If you have a Bible open. You might draw a circle around the phrase in verse two, for you know not. You don't know you could draw a line is I've done the first part of verse five, where it appears again. You do not know knitting at the bottom of the verse. The latter part of verse five, you do not know and and once again in verse six, you do not know.
So four times he's going to tell us things we do not know in our lives. We haven't figured it out but instead of ending the discussion by saying because we don't know everything that's go ahead and throw in the towel and quit crying are so what is do those lead us to the conclusion.
Let's roll up our sleeves and Joyce and will get there eventually.
In our study today, it's possible to go through life without having everything figured out the same time have joy now for our study will divide these eight verses into two categories will call the first category the unexpected event of life. Solomon is going to encourage us to not let them paralyze us with fear. Verse one cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days give a portion the seven or even eight that the Hebrew euphemism for an indefinite amount indefinite, for you know not what disaster may happen on earth we paraphrase this to read. You can't begin to anticipate all of the unpredictable, unexpected events in life. The phrase you've heard it before. Cast your bread upon the waters. Let me just do the right thing. You don't know what you have in fact I had somebody start talking to me just a few weeks ago that referencing our study and Ecclesiastes. He said you know I like to think in life this way. Cast your bread upon the waters and then get ready to make sandwiches.
You never know what is going to come back, but that was very interesting.
So stay at this expression here. Cast your bread upon the waters for you'll find it give a portion of the seven or eight is broad enough to incorporate a number of contacts and frankly Old Testament scholars on the which context. Specifically, Solomon has in mind, although they all point to the same principle of sowing and reaping.
It's possible some of suggested that Solomon is thinking of financial investment seems to make sense. Certainly verse to give a portion the seven or eight and diversify your investments in other words, don't put all your eggs into one basket. There is wise advice he might have been other suggests, referring to his fleet of ships.
You can read about it in the Kings and Chronicles about how ships with would go out carrying grain and come back with all sorts of merchandise. He's essentially saying, don't put all of it on one ship would be better to put your car going the seven or eight so that if some disaster before some storm rises. Everything won't be lost. You can predict the results of your investment.
So plan and then leave it to God and will get there at a moment's Solomon spells it out to be. Trust God with the results.
I love the way Hudson Taylor missionary statesman to China with Sadie would say this might look after things that his plan looked after things and then the responsibility rests with God's good. Don't allow the unexpected events of life paralyze you with the now Solomon changes the illustration from the world of the merchant to the world of of the farmer. He says here you'll notice in verse three.
The clouds are full of rain. They empty themselves on the earth. If a tree falls to the South Fork to the north and the place where the tree falls there.
It will lie the point that Solomon is making is that no one can control with the rain to fall.
Looks like the clouds, usually those rain going today maybe not, they will blow over.
Drop the ring somewhere else. We don't know when trees gonna fall and in what direction so should we plant trees on the phone the police making is we can't predict the unpredictable notice verse four. He observes the wind will not so you want to know when you'll never deliver so that see and he regards the clouds will not read the wind might spring up blow away the sea just thrown out on your field.
Or maybe those clouds will freak you and you harvesting prematurely or maybe you'll miss the P harvest to hear your essentially watching the way and then the clouds.
Solomon is describing here a person has become so paralyzed by fear because they can't guarantee success are sitting around waiting for the ideal circumstances there waiting for life to smooth out there waiting for the perfect circumstances all lined up before they take that step forward opportunity is knocking on the door so to speak, but didn't answer it because bad things like that that things like. So what Solomon saying here.
Don't get out of bed. Don't plant trees don't associate don't send out ships don't invest no plan and then do it's impossible to eliminate all risks in life. Nothing ventured nothing gained. You know, if you waited for all the risks to be gone you, you would've never learned how to ride a bike this past month. Two of our grandchildren. You know, send Papa and GG. The video because they learned how to ride a bike. How many times they fall. Yeah, you can eliminate the risk we've eliminate risk and live you will you would learn I don't walk you. You try fall down or that does that, you will learn how to drive a car, you would get married, you would have child start a business or ministry. Solomon is essentially saying don't sit around and watch the clouds in the Lords don't wait for the perfect conditions in the life before taking all well thought through step that next step in writing, by the way, given goes for ministry. You might take that class or teach that study or step out of it. It's uncomfortable for you and and and should should you do it well. If you're waiting for the perfect conditions in life you'll never take that next step of faith in life. I like Eugene Peterson's paraphrase of this text is interpreted well. He says it this way.
Don't sit there watching the wind do your own work. Don't stare at the clouds get on with your life plan and leave God the responsibility of the result second category of his inspired advisor will call the unexplainable works of God in his key point is basically this don't let these unexplainable works of God brought you joy is verse five and you do not know the way. The spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God, who makes everything work for bones. Here is used in other passages for the embryo. The developing life, which God is needing we've seen David says together in the womb. You don't know what's going on in the womb that we've come a long way since Solomon certainly in understanding a lot of what takes place in the womb.
I can remember we got to go back in a few decades now, but I can remember going in with Marcy having that ultrasound and for us. That meant a piece of paper was all black with some white fuzzy thoughts on that. We took their work that was be with you really could make it out it now though my goodness 3D in Digital you can you can tell everything about that baby.
It's amazing. I would've love to have had a 3D ultrasound vigil for several we went in that one afternoon and for that ultrasound and the nurse looks at Marcy and says oh what there to in their Marcy began to cry again. The laugh which is what we do, really nervous. That's how we respond as if for instance we are today. We still don't know how and in Solomon's as we we don't know how that invisible immaterial work of God's hand in parts life. You can render it this way, you do not know how the life spirit comes to the embryo in the womb of a woman. In other words, we still can't explain how God imparts to that fertilized a animating sentence of life.
We don't know any more than Solomon, apart from the hand of God in creating immortal life and here's the point in Solomon's making.
He saying listen you want to talk about his knowledge to figure out life will go back to the womb innocence from the to the two we would call it our lives are filled with the mysteries of God's hand.
We just can't explain everything that God does from the womb to the tube. Don't let that fact. However, that some things are unexplainable. Rob you trust in him. If it robs you of trust in him. It robs you of joy in him and in life. Solomon goes on to illustrate this in in your job for your work for six notice there in the morning sow your seed, roll up your sleeves and get gone in the evening withhold Roger Hannity euphemism Heberling was for your call. A long go for you do not know you do not know which will prosper this or that, or whether both alike will be good, would not be great if both of those ventures turn a profit you don't know prosper your work this year is on a farm on the planet knows if it's going to be a good crop plan well you don't know if the herd will multiply as you would hope that you do everything you can, but you plant your field. You go after that work with excellence wherever God has placed you and and there's more to this. He's he's he's drawing us into essentially in July. The opportunity to work and to invest. So get to it. Don't put off until tomorrow what you need to do the can we explain everything is happening. No can we predict what will happen in life. No, but did a new day dawn. Yes, enjoy the super Solomon is leaving at seven light is sweet like referring to a new day dawning of the day it's sweet it's pleasant for the eyes to see the sun. In other words, are you going to enjoy the fact that you get to experience yet another day. Now he's realistic, as we'll see in a moment it in the plastic smile and it isn't our thing to be great today.
No, but but it is a new day.
It's a new day. This is the day say with me.
The Lord has made we will rejoice and be glad that words sweet by the way life is sweet. A new day is sweet that word appears often in the Old Testament, it appears, describing the taste of honey in Judges 14.
It's used to describe the thrill of the kiss in the song of Solomon chapter 2 it, it's used to describe the nourishing satisfying enjoyment of God's word cunning.
Psalm 19. So enjoy what you can in life.
Notice what he says next in verse eight. So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all, but let them remember that the days of our darkness will be any all that comes is vanity that word vanity is is expansive in this case it means it's fleeting. Those days are flying by flying by and then your fast life to look back over your shoulder when you see days of darkness, days of difficulty days of trial and suffering, sorrow, it's evidently okay to remember them dissolve this.
Remember them, remember them from them. Trust God through them. But he also asked in verse eight, when LCC well days advance moments, conversations, relationships, accomplishments, over which you can rejoice.
Solomon is saying. Enjoy the rising sign that another day you get to live savor Sharon make the most of it which is not a way of saying opportunity is knocking that is a new day is not gain, go answer the door.
The apostle Paul says it this way, the New Testament, making the best use of time because the days are evil. Ephesians 516. He doesn't say make the best use of time before the days get evil or after the days are no longer evil, know make the best use of time in spite of the fact they can be dark and difficult. Evil can surround us stay at it. Do the right thing. Roll up your sleeves plan going to.
It is tempting and we all wrestle with this if what were doing matters.
We pray for a friend or family member and wonder if the prayer will be answered in the way we pray we give money to the Lord's work to the poor to those in need and wonder if anybody's life is going to change. We witness to friends and classmates, coworkers wonder at times when no one seems to believe and be saved to go back to the opening statement which sets the scene for this passage. Keep casting the seed I like to think of it in the analogy of the bread of life keep doing doing the right thing in that world and in the traffic patterns work God has placed you keep casting keep surfing, keep walking with Christ and you never know what God will do.
I'm currently reading a book given to me by one of the men in our church.
He serves with Gideons international amazing ministry got in on the last few years privilege to speak to the men in North Carolina, South Carolina, and sucking on reading. This is called witness to history and it it's lot of photographs and pictures and all the history of this amazing movement that began when two traveling salesman in 1898 ended up at a overcrowded hotel west of the league was they did know each other but they they were asked if they want to share the room or the alternative of sleeping on a park bench and so they decided to share the room and one of the men that night, said to the other man he just bet you know it's my custom and practice to read the Bible and pray before I get that you mind if I do this we know when I'm a Christian too. Let's let's read the work together, pray together they did share their testimony with each other and begin to talk about the struggle was to be a traveling salesman.
I realize that the reputation especially in the early 1900s, but traveling salesman were categorically reputed to be womanizers in drinkers and gamblers rough life on the road so these two men begin to talk about what would it be like if we could somehow create this fellowship. We encourage other traveling salesman and then tell her friends about the gospel so they started dreaming a little but together they began to invite other friends of theirs that knew the Lord were also traveling salesman and they had their very first meeting a year later and nobody came the Dad the Pressing by the way. As an aside, today the Gideons are organizing 200 countries.
Nearly 200,000 businessmen. All volunteers are serving evangelistic sleep in a lot of different ways I thought was at the Bible and hotel but it's actually street evangelism to handing children's Bibles translating down 100 languages that they've given the way now in a little over 100 years, more than 2 billion Bibles just kept sowing the seed you an illustration of where you never know about punitive. They recounted this in their book about Randy Smith from Louisiana, was involved with some other Gideons are distributing new Testaments to students standing outside the busy entrance to a major university imported Allegre Brazil one point they gave a New Testament you've seen what I have on my pickup truck.
I carry around me will New Testament one of the students and he scoffed at them and then he said this, he said you know what you can do with all these Bibles you can just throw them away like I'm going to do now and he took that New Testament he become the root like a frisbee and a just sale and it went overall flat roof top and out of sight and he stomped away less encouraging the Pressing on. Later that afternoon, the author of this history writes Randy and his team were approached by man covered with guitar stands on his arms facing clothing.
He been working on a nearby building putting tar on the roof to keep it from leaking and he said that these men this today. I was making plans to take my life because I messed it up so badly. But then a miracle happened.
God hit me on the head with this Gideon Bible, recommending this method of evangelism but you never know God hit me on the head with his Gideon Bible and he said I have read this afternoon. Inside this will New Testament in the preface that I can be forgiven and have eternal life. Would you please tell me there are many things in life you can predict, don't let the unexpected paralyzing fear. There are a lot of mysteries in life. Don't listen up. We have been given the sleet light and were off to a good start to Using Whatever Way, God's place in our lives wings and have opportunities over the next two days to live old life of joy for the glory of God.
Let's make the most of those opportunities you've tuned into wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi. I'm Scott Wiley. Today's message is called living with the unexplainable and unexpected. And it comes from Stevens teaching series through the book of Ecclesiastes called pursuing wisdom under the sun.
This was less than 10 in that series. There are three more to go. If you missed any of the previous messages, you can go back and listen online. We post them to our website which is wisdom online.org in the teaching archive section of our website we have the full-length version of the sermons.
There is video there if you want to watch. In addition to listening. Thanks again for tuning in and join us next time. For more wisdom for the heart