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Dust to Dust - Ecclesiastes 3:18-22

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Steven Davey
The Truth Network Radio
March 26, 2020 1:00 am

Dust to Dust - Ecclesiastes 3:18-22

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Steven Davey

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March 26, 2020 1:00 am

It's been said that in this life there are two certainties: death and taxes. In his journal, King Solomon agrees with the former. Death is coming, he opines, whether you're a prince, pauper, or porcupine. But without the spiritual revelation of an eternal perspective, this truth can lead to despair. When we look around--under the sun--, we do observe impending death for all living things. Keeping our eyes on the Creator of the sun, however, helps us make the most of our present earthly purpose and look forward to our ultimate destination.

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Solomon is quoting a promise from God. Yes, he's frustrated with his body and some animals are going to experience the same reversal.

Solomon is taking us back to the promise. It is not the full story because you never promise of death is the promise of a coming Redeemer right so think of it this way every death on earth is in! God is keeping his promise.

DOS DOS has been the we just happen to know because of Revelation is not the death. Today we come to a passage from Ecclesiastes, where King Solomon would at least agree with the first of those certainties.

Death is coming now without the spiritual revelation of an eternal perspective. This would lead us to despair but when we keep our eyes on the creator that helps us make the most of our purpose here on earth and helps us look forward to our ultimate destination.

This is wisdom for the heart and today Steve and Dave.

He has a message for you, entitled dust to dust what today we return to the diary of King Solomon. There is little doubt in my mind that he wants his son Rehoboam to read it and learn from it.

I would be surprised if he ever had any idea the believer would be studying it for the next 3000 years up to today we have learned already that Solomon writes in this sort of down to earth, hard-hitting in your face, take it or leave it, style squeal is often dipped into the acid ink of despair and frustration and discouragement. This journal includes verses that you would probably never memorize, especially for the sake of encouragement you never want any of them to show up on your coffee bucket you started new Monday morning. In fact I think he categorically entitled his diary something like life is hard and then you die is just negative your screensaver pretty sure, but we've also discovered in the midst of it that in this frustration and this longing and and discouragement he offers by means of the Holy Spirit's guidance, defense counsel and encouragement for those of us living here under the sun as we pick our study back. Solomon is going to do essentially the same thing again as he adds a new journal entry starts out with discouragement and despair and frustration, but he ends with inspired counsel back. I tell you at a time. He doesn't just write something like life is harder than you die, although is going to deal with the subject of death. He actually provides insight not just about death but about life. So let's pick up together where we left off for chapter 3 in the book of Ecclesiastes. If you're new to our study Ecclesiastes chapter 3 and will pick it up. We left off at verse 18. Solomon writes that I said in my heart. With regard to the children of man you could render that the children of Adam that God is testing or exposing them that they may see or discern that they themselves are, but beasts or animal. Solomon clarifies what is referring to in this regard for what happens to the children of Adam and what happens to the beasts is the same as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beast for all is vanity with Solomon is doing here is making two rather straightforward observations again. It's kind of in your face, take it or leave it in his truth in it, but he starts with this sort of acid into attitude.

The first observation is that simply put, death is impartial.

Death is impartial death comes to all living creatures. Animals die, so to people. It doesn't matter if you're the biggest CEO in the corporate world or the biggest dog in the neighborhood both die when it comes to death and decomposition.

Solomon says humans don't seem to get a free pass over the animals both revert back to Dustin by the way, Solomon is again simply referring to life under the sun that we can see.

And from what we can see by our own power of observation. Humans don't end up any better off in animals, their bodies both revert back to dogs. Now he's making an observation.

Don't don't quit on me yet he's gonna bring in divine revelation. Hang on your head will show you later, but I do want to stop you because I think there's a point that needs to be made if all you have is observation new ball that you think exists is what you see, there were certainly not to stop observing or stop exploring or stop researching because it it unfolds with every spade turns over on some excavation side are every scientific discovery at all to me just reflects the glory of God in the immensity of his brilliance, but all we have is what we do excavation work we do. Inventor we do explore or we do discover we can end up with the wrong conclusion. We could end up with the wrong views about where we came from, or life after death, or what's going to happen to the universe for that matter. If all we have is the observation without the revelation when it started and by the way how to an end up in off if you close your new believer, but it's a new universe the new earth.

This time the last forever. If we don't have that we could fill in the blanks and end up in fear, which now saturates our world me read you the writing is one cynical perspective who came to the conclusion who writes, I realize I'm going to die and forever sees two exists. By the way, if all you have is your human observation without divine revelation.

That is what seems to happen.

He goes on, my life is just a momentary transition out of oblivion into oblivion in the universe to face his death. I'm told now by science that the universe is expanding. Everything is growing further apart. Eventually that all the stars will burn out and all matter will collapse into dead stars and blackhole mankind is doomed to race in a dying universe because the human race will eventually cease to exist to make some ultimate difference whether it ever did exist or not I get this mankind is thus no more significant than a swarm of mosquitoes or a barnyard of pigs for their end is all the same pain as encouraging you're wondering how you can fit that on your screensaver is a shorter one from Volterra who deny God's word and wrote 300 years ago.

We are insects living for a few second on Adams of mind.

The men don't misunderstand Solomon's opening comment here he's not going that far. If ideas and denying the uniqueness of mankind in creation. He is denying the immortality of the human spirit isn't denying the resurrection human race to an immortal eternal destiny isn't denying the future of the new universe which God will re-create at the at the end of human history. Each is dealing with is one thing here is simply making the observation that the human race in the kingdom. All end up reverting to dust after death.

Any sprightly frustrated about that observation of the great King of Israel.

It is sit around thinking that my body will no doubt occupy some some splendid casket and only some magnificent funeral but there's got to be some bird out there in the diet is that all three are bodies are the same and that both revert back to dust is lamenting the fact that death is impartial's true of the whole story observation number two. It's a little better. Death is a promise be an odd way to think about it this is where Solomon brings in some divine revelation. He actually quotes the words of God delivered after Adam and Eve for effective uses the same word for DOS. God uses when he promises Adam something related to his future. Look here at Ecclesiastes chapter 3 in verse 20 all go to one place all are from the dust to dust all return what happens to your body after death is not an accident thing with this weights actually divine promise. This is the promise God made to Adam when he and his wife were expelled from the Garden of Eden.

God promised them that their sin would effectively bring about what was a reversal of creation God created Adam from what the dust because of sin. There will be this reversal, and he will go back to dust the idea and this reversal will affect not only the human race, but the animal kingdom as well.

Affect is Adam and Eve are being expelled from the Garden of Eden.

Here's what God said to Adam in Genesis 319 by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken, and here's where Solomon puts the verse he learned, for you are dust and to dust you shall return.

Solomon is quoting a promise from God.

Yes, he's frustrated with his body and some animal are going to experience the same reversal back to dust.

But Solomon is taking us back to the fall. He's taking us back to the promise. It is not the full story because you remember in that promise of death is the promise of a coming Redeemer right he's recognizing this is the result of sin. So think of it this way every death on planet Earth is in! That God is keeping his promise. This because of sin has entered the world death by sin, so that every casket that eventually fills with DOS is an amen is a Soviets to the word of God, dust to dust has been the epitaph throughout human history we just happen to know because of revelation that DOS is not the end at dancer spirit goes to be with the Lord for pulses to be absent from the bodies to be present with the Lord, the body experiences the effect of the curse, the reversal of creation, God will take that dust that DNA reconstituted give you a glorified body should you die before the rapture reunited with his spirit and you will be made to live in that immortal body forever so so God is in that promise, that Solomon is a bring up that we know from further revelation is God is going to reverse the reversal creation has been reversed.

God's going to say is not the end. Satan does not win sin does not win. Death is not win a medal. Reverse the reversal bring it back to life.

Now what Solomon does next is provide some clues for the believer by asking to rhetorical questions ones in verse 21 and ones in verse 22 he writes in verse 22 of chapter 3. This rhetorical question. Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth, and others, who knows the details about life after death.

If all you have is your observation. You'll be convinced that nothing happened after death. Because all you can see is what you can see which you notice the Solomon doesn't answer the question. That's because he didn't see me needs to figure that everybody will chime in and say what will God knows that in a sense, this isn't even a question. This is a W meaning who knows both who knows God's who knows the details of eternal life, the eternal Creator of life knows what happens after death, the one who experienced it on our behalf, so that death would not win in the end that did Solomon know any of this is he asking a question thinking I wonder if death means the cessation of existence. No.

In fact, later in this journal. In chapter 12 in verse seven he writes this and the dust returns to the earth as it was in the spirit returns to God who gave it. Solomon again the critical answer isn't in a matter of observation.

Solomon is delivering revelation. Who knows the details of life after death… The second rhetorical question is delivered back in verse 22 who can bring him to see what will be after him that Hebrew phrase could be paraphrased to provide a little more explanation of what is essentially saying is who has the ability to give someone life after death, so that they can see beyond their death, what comes after. Who can give him more hurriedly ability to see and experience eternal life, and again, Solomon doesn't answer that question because he assumes everybody in Israel is given time is it won't… God has the power God can do that Solomon would certainly be aware of other passages in the Old Testament that answer the question for him. His own dad. King David wrote of life after death and the confidence of the believer and spending eternity with God.

Psalm chapter 49 is him that Solomon no doubt saying while he was growing up.

For those of us today with completed revelation and so much more detail.

I mean we have so much more detail than Solomon. All we have to do is listen to God the son promises disciples him to leave you but I'm coming back and in the meantime, I have a place prepared for you in the father's house, take John describes it with unimaginable glory. God's word further promises and in the book of Hebrews.

In chapter 11 verse 35 that we will rise one day to a better life. Paul wrote to Timothy, the same promise that Christ has brought life and immortality to light in the gospel of Christ. Second Timothy chapter 1 verse 10. Again, this is a matter not of observation.

Down here under the sun. This is a matter of revelation from the creator of the sun. Revelation that I hold in my hand and you have in your lap and by the way what it was in the credible Camft from God. What a gift from God by your side.

God's revelation anything. What about all the people that all have a copy.

Let's the mission of the believer throughout the ages and the mission of the church today to make disciples of all nations and got is a lot to say about how that mission is gonna wrap up in the end, but the real question right now for from me to you is not a not about all those other people. But what have you done you'll never stand before God in answer for all of them. What have you done with this left alone, your observation and mine might be that animals and humans are no different at all. Therefore, our moral standards should be no different than God doesn't exist with them, seen them. We can test him and her test tube. We we have a meaningless ministry. At least the unbeliever would say to life itself were we. Some might conclude are more basil we observe nothing more than insects living for a few seconds on Adams of mud. This is the tragedy, beloved of living here under the son of trying to find meaning down here under the sun all the while denying the revelation of the creator of this who designed the puzzle who knows the answers and has the power to eventually put all the puzzle pieces together.

In the meantime, while even for the believer there pieces missing right on here under the sun can be discouraging, difficult, how do we live down here.

This is a paragraph again. It starts out pessimistically and somewhat negative, though realistically, but once again includes encouraging trees.

That is if you accept the word of God, the fall of man. The existence of sin, death came because of it, and without them the promise of a coming Redeemer in life has meaning that there are at least two principles I want to wrap up with that all drafts from this paragraph and the first is this enjoy the place God has assigned for you. It isn't meaningless.

It is the passing of time.

It is in a few seconds into neither friar free.

Enjoy it.

Look at what he says in verse 22, so there is nothing better than the demand should rejoice in his work for that is his lot.

That's his assignment where you are right now.

Beloved is his assignment as I make it easy.

No, Solomon says when you understand your assignment from God that you have one life you don't live in regret. You don't you don't live for revenge.

You don't live with complaint. You make the most of it.

That's his point.

Even our lives.

Even our locations even our addresses. Even our employment.

They are assignments by God. Your word is God's gift to you.

Whatever it is might be in the kitchen. I might be in the courtroom and might be in the classroom do your jobs well asking ask God to give you a perspective of joy during this brief life for the assignment provided to you. It isn't just God leading you there. It is the enemy of your soul who will rob your joy throughout it. You can have your soul, but he will take your joy because if he can. He will rob God of your worship, which he hates to see take how do you worship God by giving thanks praising him by trusting him by surrendering to him by obeying him all of that is tantamount to worship. Worship. Worship isn't just here on Sunday morning.

It's going to be your opportunity on Monday morning it in Justin.

Here's out there, so our lives can be wasted if God is not worship your coming. We can be wasted if God is not worship. How do you worship praising him and trusting him and thinking leaving those unanswered questions to him.

Those missing pieces to his prophet look for ways to think when we are asleep now with the Lord wrote on this text. The illustration of the farmer who evidently was looking for new ways to thank God he prayed at the dinner table, Lord, thank you for good food and good digestion strewn opinion of the older you get your ears grateful for good digestion. As you are for for good food, which is why people are pouring. Chia seeds on everything in sight stop that, by the IT people for Chia seeds on ice cream that is not in the Bible. I want you to know that enjoy the place God is a sign for you. Secondly, anticipate the place God has shared Solomon's tenant. God alone is the power to bring you beyond death and is seeing, experiencing eternal life. So if I can reword these two principles. One.

Don't waste your life, and number two.

Don't forget your future. Don't forget your future. Anticipate the place God has prepared for you as a way of changing perspective to the difficulties of life down here under the sun can have a redeeming purpose. It is a way and in as we trust God.

He uses them to develop in safety, prolonging a deeper desire for something beyond this life. Certainly our life with him. That is to come to forget your future. Paul David Tripp Road along these lines. With this illustration with this close. He writes this I am persuaded that the entire purpose of camping is to make a person long for home on that first day in the woods putting up the tent is exciting. But three days later tenant has odors. You can't explain. You love the taste of food cooked over an open flame.

But three days later tired of forging for wooden irritated by how fast it burns you were excited. The prospect of catching your dinner from the stream running past her campsite, which was reported to be teeming with trout, but all you've caught the roots of trees at the bottom. You're now four days in in your back hurts. No more firewood laying around a four-inch tire to keep the fire going anyway you look into what was once an ice and food filled cooler to see stakes floating gray in a pool of water to begin to think fondly of home is dinner hoping that someone in the family will break the silence and say why we go home before days in the wilderness have accomplished their mission, you are prepared to appreciate the address bar world is in a very good amusement park. After all, it's actually a broken wings droning for redemption time here is meant to prepare us for eternity is meant to make us long for heaven home with that Stephen concludes this lesson and this series entitled finding meaning under the sun. This is the kind of series that really gets to the heart of what every person deals with what is the meaning of life.

If you'd like to go back and listen to the series again or if you'd like to share it with a friend, we've posted the complete series finding meaning under the sun to our website. The address is wisdom online.org. We've also posted it to our smart phone app the wisdom for the heart app is available in the iTunes or the Google play stores if you'd like to have the series on a set of CDs we can make that available for you as well call us today at 86 648 Bible. That's 866-482-4253 when we come back tomorrow Stevens going to begin teaching a series from the book of Titus entitled slave trades and you won't want to miss that.

So join us tomorrow here on wisdom for the heart


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