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The Meaning of Life

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
April 21, 2021 12:00 am

The Meaning of Life

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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April 21, 2021 12:00 am

In these final verses of Ecclesiastes, Solomon reflects on his journey to find truth, describes where that truth comes from, and then shares some final wisdom for his son from his life experience. As Stephen opens Solomon’s journal for the final time in this series, he shares why these life truths are just as important today as they were when King Solomon sat on the throne of Israel.

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To fear God is to trust him especially when he doesn't explain himself. Keep in mind the distinguishing mark of the unbeliever is that they do not think God for anything. Everything about their lives, they got on their own initiative their own flock – a good locked in their own skills with my life and the believer. We do what we have not received the great chasm between what I have what I deserve. Navigate today. We've come to the final verses of Ecclesiastes where Solomon reflects on his journey to find truth describes where that truth comes from and then shares some final wisdom for his son from his life experiences are Bible teacher Stephen Devi will open Solomon's Journal for the final time and share with you why these life truths are just as important today as they were when King Solomon sat on the throne of Israel. Today's message is called the meaning of life here. Stephen one of our church members sent me this email couple weeks ago after I preach from Ecclesiastes 12 on the effects of growing old Y actually I thought you be interested a massive passenger airplane. The Airbus 380 was crossing the Pacific Ocean cruising along on autopilot at 30,000 feet when suddenly I hear a fighter jets capable of breaking the sound barrier with mock two speed appeared and flew alongside the young pilot of the fighter jet slowed down as he flew alongside. He greeted by radio the pilot of the passenger plane and said Airbus.

Your flight must really be boring to have to travel along in straight lines and so slowly watch this without he rolled his jet over a few times, accelerated broke through the sound barrier with a crashing boom slowed with dizzying height only to swoop down toward the ocean in a breathtaking dive. Eventually he looped back next to the Airbus and asked what you think of that the Airbus pilot answered.

That's impressive but watch this in the jet pilot. Watch the Airbus do nothing but continue flying straight same speed of about five minutes. The Airbus pilot radio.

The jet pilot well would you think about that and he responded. I didn't see the thing the other pilot laughed and said well is because while I got up, stretch my legs walked back to the kitchen, got a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll, and the moral of the story when you're young speed and adrenaline is the best we get older, a couple coffee and a cinnamon roll are much better if you like that is because your old bike.

I had after the first service are the guys texted me and said when you said this am watching online, I just got the cinnamon roll and a cup coffee but I don't feel an old well nothing wrong with enjoying either experience wherever you are in life not based on his private journal. It's obvious that Solomon is now flying along in straight lines. He slowed down, no pizzazz, no rollovers in and to breaking the sound barrier for years for him. If you are old enough in the faith and know much about them and with us in our study was all about speed and accomplishment.

Adrenaline. Frankly, rebellion Solomon had spent many years of his life. D. In the ocean of sin. He had come up for air.

When he finally realized he was desperate for meaning and truth purpose by the goodness of God. Solomon was brought back to repentance. And that's proven here in his journal entries. He is returned to his earlier walk with God and with the wisdom of God in mind as I've mentioned on a number of occasions in our study in this journal is written it primarily originally to his son Ray a poem who will soon mount the throne as the king of Israel, and Solomon is he sort of setting the record straight. This is what he wants his son to remember about his life those early years these years. He doesn't want his son, nor does God want any of us, which is why we been given this inspired letter to dive into that same deep ocean of sin whereby the way you never touched bottom. You never get anchored if you come to Christ.

Later in life, you know that's true, you just drifted along with whatever the current was without stability direction or satisfaction on the closing verses of Ecclesiastes chapter 12, which is where I invite you to turn one last time as we complete our study in this book Solomon is going to spell out his final thoughts on the meaning of life. He began his first fight, reminiscing on his search for truth.

Go to verse nine we left off. Besides being wise, the preacher also taught the people knowledge weighing studying and arranging many Proverbs with great care. It was common by the way in ancient near Eastern literature for the writer to address or to speak of himself in the third person. Moses did it. David did it. Even John the apostle did it. He didn't name himself. He just talked about the disciple Jesus loved Solomon again refers to himself as he begin at the outset of the journal as a preacher, that is, he has a message, a very important message to deliver his collection and delivery of these wise sayings byways is a little happy, didn't like not collect stamps or client. He's been digging for wisdom and any tells us here. Notice he says he's way these wise words which means he's pondered he's carefully evaluated. That is what the Hebrew word means. He studied them.

He writes, which indicates deliberate thoroughness. Thirdly, tells us he's arranged and that is he's works Smith. That means he's skillfully composed the truth of God in phrases that are memorable. He writes in verse 10, notice the preacher sought to find words up. The light and uprightly.

He wrote words of truth. These were just a collection of words.

These are words up the life you can render that words of joyful purpose. The words of truth. He writes that's important. These are reliable words. This is God's word.

When you get into the truth. You can cure yourself to these dependable words fact, he goes on notice in verse 11 to describe what they do to us the words of the wise are like goats there like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings that old English word go to sort of waiting and understanding was a word for a spearhead or an arrowhead literally the tip of the spearhead or the arrowhead or a stick. It'd been whittled down to create a point used to deprive cattle along Solomon uses that expression to tell us that God's word is that it it it products us. It directs us to might hurt him might stay in the hospitals our pride when we didn't do it it it reverses our direction along that way, and ouch, the word says no go that way.

It is a way of upsetting our priorities and is all it has a way of offending our behavior stop that he writes also, did you notice these are these are like nails firmly fixed like nails driven and all whole thing is in place on the way we use the same expressions to this date only. We talked about that verse of Scripture that existed.

The accident products us along it won't leave us alone, but we we read it and study it and immediately now and we we got a nail that down. That's the idea.

We gotta clamp it down in our mind and our memory in our heart. These wise sayings are crafted and arranged to serve awaken the imagination. Let me give an illustration. It's one thing for me to say you know when you're reading God's word and studying God's word if if you live in God's words you'll you'll resist temptation just has a way of impacting your life.

Everything I just said Mr. or you could say it is.

One author did in a way that I wrote down in my filing either. This book will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this book while in a rate that went down.

We might say you don't.

God wants to teach us to depend on him and his sovereign power, especially during times when we feel alone when times are difficult. That's all true, or you could say I like my favorite preachers. Charles Spurgeon is a great wordsmith said it when he said it this way, we are at our spiritual best when we are shipwrecked on the island of God's sovereignty, wise sayings touched by the truth of God's spirit have a way of working their way past our objections. We had to say. You know that's true. Now Solomon gets to the fact that ultimately the power lies not in word crafting, but in its source.

The source of inspired truth which happens to be God and in the two introduces next to us. Look at verse 11. Again, the words of the wise are like codes and like nails firmly fixed on the collected sayings. They are given by 1S Shepherd one Shepherd.

This is a reference to Yahweh personal God, you know, when you walk with through life. He's called the Shepherd of Israel in Psalm 80, verse one. This is the God of the personal God that Solomon heard his dad sing about in writing about the Lord is my shepherd, I don't like anything, so these wise sayings are ultimately God's words. He is the source of biblical literature. Solomon here is delivering a warning in this to his son.

Notice verse 12. My son, beware of anything beyond these and other words, be careful when you get beyond the words of God, of making many books there is no end and much study is a weariness of the flesh and every student says amen and amen. At that theme verse moving forward. This is the point is warning his son about make sure you're saturating your mind with the truth of God, which for Rehoboam would of course been the Torah. The law first five books of the Old Testament in books of history that the prophets who were prophesying in for us today. It certainly a reflection on our passion to saturate ourselves with the words of God and of the average person. I have read is reading 2 to 3 hours a day from their smart phone and there's a real source of wisdom for you right.

I also read there now. I looked it up just to see if either I figure it was it grows and that the class 3000 books are published every single day were now up to a million new books every year.

By the way, Solomon is not telling you not to read books outside of inspired Scripture. He just giving you a warning to be careful when you get beyond these words I think of Paul in prison. He's asking his young disciple bring me my books. He had a collection.

We know from his writings. He loved to read poetry he would quote it on occasion. So he is telling us is there there something inherently wrong with other books.

Just be careful I I I love the statement by Martin Luther, the reformer 500 years ago. Once said I have a this clipping in my study. He said one book is good, but a thousand or better. So read. Just be careful of how wind it is related to the truth of God.

Now that Solomon delivers his closing summary on the meaning of life before I dive in before you let me ask a question if you could summarize the purpose of your life or the meaning of life in two sentences or less, and in about 30 words or less. Would you write.

This is the purpose of my like this is my goal in life.

This is the meaning of my life that be a challenge would try to contain it into sentences. That's exactly what Solomon is about to give us into sentences less than 30 words. In fact, what he gives us is a threefold plan of action which gives meaning to life. The first action step is in a word worship. Notice verse 13 the end of the matter. All has been heard in other words, here's the final word. What he means.

Here's the final word fear God, stop for a moment that you're running high. What is it mean to fear the Lord. Solomon is Artie told us this several times in this in this journal mean the fear of the Lord. I created a little acrostic in my study using the word fear FEA are that might help you clarify the F stand for this favor is presence to fear God made you want to walk with him. It means you miss him when you don't walk with them to fear God means you care more about his opinion and his presence more than anyone else's. The E stand for exalt his glory, and I don't want a lot of them you want to talk about your is interested in talking to deal about God as you are no fantasy football or or your fishing trip early this hopping.

A could stand for acknowledge his sovereignty to fear God is to trust him especially when he doesn't explain himself. Keep in mind the distinguishing mark of the believer is that they do not thank God for anything they can't bring themselves to thank God for anything.

Everything about their lives, they got on their own initiative their own flock – a good locked in their own skills. Done with my life in the believer.

What would we do what we that we have not received recent there's a great chasm between what I have what I deserve is the believer that's fearing God favor his presence exalt his glory acknowledge his sovereignty, and remember his goodness. The first action step in a meaningful life is worship the second action step is okay.

Notice verse 13 again fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man, not what you notice carefully the progression its worship first and then obedience conduct flows from worship and adoration.

That's the source. The fountain that flows his conduct. Jesus said it this way, if you love me, you're gonna keep my commandments will give them perfectly. Why because little brother perfectly but that's our our hope and our desire and and were so frustrated we don't keep his commands. Why because we we love them if you love them, you revered and exalted a long walk with him and the things he loves his word, his people, and on and on and the last thing you never want to do is live in defiance of anybody's design. I don't really want to live for him. Well, don't focus on that. The issue is he doesn't love obeying him flows out of loving, and he writes here. This is the whole duty of man or mankind that work duty is supplied by the translator. It is rather rough to try to translate the this is the wholeness of man. This is the complete nests. This is the fulfilling life. This is the true meaning of life. You could paraphrase this to read than loving, and obeying God is everything that ultimately matters completely in the life worship and obey the third action step is in a word, prepare notice, verse 14, for God will bring every deed into judgment with every secret thing, whether good or evil and you can almost see Solomon just sort of did not move in his chair a little closer to Rehoboam and say the looks on your get your get to be the king you have more power than you can imagine you in a more advantages.

Imagine being able live anywhere you want to let me just remind you you are accountable to God. Prepare to meet God for the believer, by the grace of God. Every sin past, present and future has already been nailed to the cross. Peter writes that that certificate of debt. I envision this a long scroll of their race ever done thought contemplated every thought deed it's written on that scroll. It's Artie been nailed to the cross and so is your past, present and future. One author that I've enjoyed reading is I've studied his commentary to the book of Ecclesiastes by the name of Benjamin Shaw. He writes this one of the authors. We writes this about a pastor he was reading. He said that a man began attending his church with his wife. They thought their five-year-old it was time to give her little religious instruction, so they started taking her to church and first time for him and he said the time they started attending. The pastor began preaching through the book of Genesis and he would later testify. This meant that all the pastor did was get up and read a verse he never heard before Genesis 11 in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and this man later testified that he righted the hair stood up on the back of my neck because I knew it was true, and since I knew it was true. I knew I was in big trouble that good. That's true. When did you first hear when did that thought come to you which preceded your regeneration, I'm in trouble, center.

I need a Savior. Solomon's journal is like a hand on the shoulder that shakes us up and says, wake up, take a good hard look go to the very end of your life and that moment and then start living backward enlightenment prepare for the believer. It's not fear a desire to please him to give her rewards to him for his work through us.

Solomon said, remember your creator in the days of your youth that I mentioned we don't specifically without text that your younger everyone of you are younger today than you will be to marshal all of us are in are you and men.

The wonderful thing speaking the young people start now. Start today. This works for all of us, whether you're at that point in life where life for you is speeding along another fighter jet breaking the sound barrier down any road or maybe for you it's looking for that next cup of coffee and the cinnamon roll. Solomon invites us all as believers to live this kind of life, worship, obey, prepare, this is life with meaning.

Remember who created your life resolve to walk with God through life. Follow the guidelines of God's word for life. Enjoy the gifts God has given you Solomon as written in life. Trust him with what he has chosen not to give you in life and then prepare for that day of glory.

When you see your Shepherd. After leaving this life is a little prayer that I memorize recently written by Puritan and it reminds me a lot of Solomon's inspired advice here this last chapter goes like this grant told Lord, that we may live in thy fear. CAR die in thy favor rise in thy power rain in thy glory, for the sake of your beloved son, Jesus Christ sake. That's life meaning and purpose. So the school started today. Glory of God.

With that we bring to a close this message and this series from the book of Ecclesiastes. The series is called pursuing wisdom under the sun. Today's message is entitled the meaning of life.

Before we end out this broadcast. I want to make you aware of the various ways that you can access and continue to use this series.

Of course you can always go to our website and listen to each of the 13 messages in this series. You can read Stephen's manuscript for each one. Or you can watch the video of Stephen if you prefer that we make that available for all of Stephen's teaching. It's all free and readily available online@wisdomonline.org we have many listeners who prefer to have the teaching on CDs and this series is available as a set of CDs as well. You would find that in our online store or we can help you over the phone if you call us today at 86 648 Bible. That's 86 648 Bible or 866-482-4253. We recently heard from Peter who shares our messages with the people he encounters and he wrote to say this, your resources are truly a blessing not only for God's people as a tool to equip us to do the work of ministry, but also a great tool for us to share various episodes with others. My wife and I are thankful for pastor Davey and the team at wisdom international will.

My thanks to Peter for sharing that with us and I hope these resources bless you as well. If you'd like to send Stephen a note. Address your card or letter to wisdom for the heart PO Box 37297 Raleigh, NC 27627. Thanks again for being with us. Join us next time for another message from God's word here on wisdom


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