- What is there to Gain?
Imagination, a toy for kids. We all have these imaginations growing up. I used to imagine being a pastor of a church, becoming a police office, joining the military, being a manager, flying to New Jersey and starting an church and even getting married. Imagination is a toy for kids, but a tool for adults. We as humans have this side of our brain that we think about what could be one day, what we could accomplish. Sometimes, we pursue those goals, if able and achieve the impossible. As of today, I have started a bible study, join the marines, in my 3rd management position. Some of my imaginations I pursued and achieved and guest what, left me empty. Yes, even starting a bible study, left me unsatisfied. Crazy to think, even good things can leave people unsatisfied.
Taking that into account, I want us to just imagine, we’re on our death bed and looking back at our lives. Some of us have gone off to college and got our dream jobs, saved up for retirement. Some grew families of our own and others stayed single and never got marriage, just lived life as a single guy or girl. Life was good either way. But we think about all the good and bad times. Some of us were homeless, as I am, others lived it up in castle hills, yeah! Either way, we all ended up in the same exactly place, the hospital bed waiting to breath our last bit of air and saying good bye to all our loved ones if we have any to say bye to. Quite sad really.
Now of course we are imagining this all from an worldview that really is the American Worldview, that there is no God or if there is one then he isn’t an personal being. This worldview, can in fact be an very depressing worldview. Because it takes meaning out of life and makes life meaningless and pointless. We begin to see life through a window of darkness and hopelessness. Because in this worldview, the God of Hope and Life is nowhere in the person’s walk in the world. It’s only about themselves and what they can try to gain out of it. When Solomon wrote this book, it was a reflection of his own personal life, he was an old men, looking back at his life and he starts with “What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?” Ecclesiastes 1:3
Solomon had it all. Literally, money, possessions and even 1000 woman at his disposal. To understand the book of Ecclesiastes and where Solomon is at we have to turn back pages of history and find out where Solomon came from and what his background was in Israel. Now we know he is a King in Israel and successful, but we have to look back at his childhood.
It all started with a shepherd boy name David. God raised David up from this no-body, to this somebody it seems overnight. He went to go feed his brothers who were at war, but God used him to defeat the enemies who were at war against Israel, all because David’s faith. David goes through all these many trails, that we simple don’t have time to talk about, but after all those trials, he becomes King over Israel. David was known as a men after God’s own heart.
Well, Mr. ‘Men After God’s Own Heart’ saw another men’s wife and sleep with her and got her pregnant, then try to deceive the men and make him think that he got his own wife pregnant. But it didn’t work, so he ends up killing the guy and taking the woman as his own wife. Yes, David, the men after God’s own heart did that. Then an prophet came and rebuked him and the punishment was the baby would die. It’s really mess up. Might wonder, why would God allow this to happen? I wonder, why would a Men after God’s own heart allow himself to fall into that deep of a mess? No matter how righteous we think we may be, sin, sin, sin is still an true reality of each person’s heart, soul and mind. It is in us, and it’s destroying not only us, but others to. In the process of David sinning, an marriage is broken, an men is killed, an baby dies and men after God’s own heart mourns for his own stupidity. But in the mist is this reality of brokenness, God doesn’t step back and try to look for another righteous person who seems to have it all together, he steps into the situation and brings beautiful back into the story. “Then David COMFORTED his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her and she bore a son, and called him Solomon. And the Lord Loved him…” 2 Samuel 12:24
So there is his birth, born out of an broken situation. Are you like Solomon? You mom and dad both from broken families and failed divorces and hopeless situations. My mom was with one men and bore my oldest brother, then another men and bore my other older brother and then with another men and bore me. Then with another men and bore no one, then with another men and bore an baby and he spent years in a federal prison afterwards, then when he got out, they both bore another and then got married and he been good to my mom since, though apart from Christ, good marriage. But with divorce rate being 50%, it’s hard to say that half of the people reading this book aren’t in broken families and households right now. We all in one way or another can relate to Solomon’s situation already.
So, in 1 King’s David dies and one of the very last thing’s he says is that Solomon will be King after he is no longer alive. So Fast forward’s and Solomon is King over Israel. In 1 King 3, God comes to speak with Solomon, and tells him he can ask for anything he wants. So, he asked for possessions and riches, right? No, Not exactly. Solomon asked for something else, for Wisdom to rule over Israel. So, he uses this wisdom to rule over Israel, literally, to rule over it, not to lead in it. So when he is old, he knows his days are coming to an end, he sits down and feels so horrible about his life he lived that he doesn’t say his name, he just calls himself, “the preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.” He looks backwards at his whole life at all his achievements, all he has done and how great he made his name. Looks at his mighty Kingdom that all nations at the time are looking at in amazement. “Vanity of Vanity!” I imagine he cries as he writes this. All he can think of at a moment’s reflection.
Now, picture yourselves, your Solomon and you have achieve great things that we’ll talk about farther into this book, and all you can think of is one question. “What did I truly gain by working so hard, so much, if I’m just going to die soon and nothing in this world is going to go with me?”
Steve Job, took the company of Apple to a whole other level of success, the world literally will never be the same again, but where is Mr. Job? Alta Mesa Memorial Park, with an unmarked grave. Unmarked for many remarkable reasons. But this is true, it’s already 2017, he died in 2011, at age 56, Apple grew perfectly fine without him. So well, that after he died stocks jump up $10 a share and today are worth well over $100 more a share then when he died. And I’m sure you’re wondering, what is his net worth? $10.2 billion. Even all his money couldn’t help him reach age 60. He couldn’t even get to retirement age. I’m not sure what his final words were before he died, but I google the question and one site says he said, “Oh Wow. Oh Wow. Oh Wow.” – (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/oct/31/steve-jobs-last-words) From an own personal view, I’m thinking, “Oh Wow, Oh Wow, Oh Wow, Steve Job, you had it all, money, success, fame and where are you today?”
Steve Job isn’t the first and won’t be the last, Solomon wasn’t the first either. The First was Adam. Adam back in the garden, he had everything, even more so than Solomon, God set Adam up with the perfect life, but because of wondering if God is really good, Adam disobey God, try some of that fruit, and sin enter into this world. And for some reason, all people go back into this Adam wondering question, “Is God really telling me everything? Is God holding me back from something that would actually help me?” And we all end up crossing the line, even from being little kids. Our Parents told us not to eat too much candy, but it taste so good, but it brought sickness, because we took something so yummy and over did it. Our parents didn’t hate us and therefore forbid us to not eat too much candy, they loved us and therefore warn us not to eat too much candy. God loves us so much, that he warn us not to go down this or that path, which leads to death. He loved Adam so much, he not only gave him a choice to accept him or reject him, but also warn him not to eat of this one tree, because death would come if he did eat of it.
So we return back to this book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon, with all this wisdom, but one question, “What does man gain by all the toil, at which he toils under the sun?” Ecc. 1:3. About 1500 years later Jesus will say something that would have been useful for Solomon, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:20. See, by storing up treasures in Heaven, we no longer live under the hot burning Sun, but under the living Son.
So we came across another question, I know you’re wondering, what is Jesus talking about? Is it really possible to go to Heaven and leave things in heaven for the afterlife? From the view point of reading what Jesus said, it may sound like Jesus is saying to use heaven as a storage place, instead of using your local storage business. So buy a plane ticket, we’re going to drop stuff off in heaven next month. But the reality is, it don’t work that way. Jesus said Heaven is where your heart is. So if your Heart is in Money, possession, fame, success, family, those are good things that we turn into bad things, and in the end they become our heaven. Life is the best it will ever be. Heaven is where your heart is, but what if, you lose all your money, possession, fame, success and family? You lose your Heaven as well, the moment that life hits you hard, is the moment that hard hits your life.
A lot of Christian profess that we were created for another world, but I disagree, I would say that we were created for another reason! God created us and placed us in this world, he made this world and placed us here. Ask scientist, their searching for life on any other planet, but can’t find it, the earth so far is the only life bearing planet. Why is that? Genesis 2:7, “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Life is found in God himself and it was a gift to humans from God. We are here for a reason and God made us with a purpose. All the World is alive only because of the air, which the bible calls, “Breath of Life”. God breath into existence all of creation. Take an deep moment right now and just breath some air in and know your breathing the very Breath of God (נשימה של אלוהים.).
So we have already examine, a few questions and got some answers. We know where heaven is, and that we are here with and for purpose and reason. But one more question, what is this treasure that Jesus is talking about? If it’s not money, possession, fame, success and family, then what is it? The sure is, I don’t know. From this view of the earth, I can see it being money, possession and fame, but you’re taking about Heaven, not earth, so, what does Treasure look like in heaven? I don’t know, but I do know Heaven is way better than earth, and the things in heaven are indescribable. For example, the Four Living Creatures, I read the 2 passages in the bible that the bible talks about the four living creature, and I still can’t wrap my mind around what they look like. I can only imagine that when I stand before that amazing sight, which those creatures are going to look even more so amazing then anything I’ve read in books or seen in pictures on google images. I think if God try to even tell us about the treasures we’ll receive in heaven, we wouldn’t even know how to wrap our minds around this ideal or even picture the images of it all.
So what are these treasures, I don’t know! That leaves a lot of clarity, let’s move on to the next question. That most important question. How do we store these treasures up in heaven? I been asking myself this question for a long time. Lot of people tell me all the time, “Keith, you really storing up treasures in Heaven.” And I think to myself, “Really, am I?” It doubt on my part, truth in the reality of it all. See, the way we store up treasures in heaven is giving up treasures on earth.
It was the dream, The American Dream. Be whatever you want to be, create whatever you want to create and be free to be you! That’s my personally summary of the great nation of USA. It’s this basic freedom, which I sworn into the marines a few weeks ago and I’m currently waiting to go to Boot Camp. Because I believe in Freedom and not slavery. By the age of 23, I’ve successfully entered into my 3rd management position, and went from poor to rich, from got everything to I’m homeless. Been there, done that, next. I’ve experienced and experimented with that American Dream! First hand taste that everything you gain in this world, is due to be lost sometime or somehow. I’ve lost everything I gain. What was the point of gaining all I could, if it was going to be a lost to me one day soon?
In the last 8 months of sleeping in my truck, I learn to better manage my money, accept not having possession, I’ve learn to accept my lot you might say, got a lot closer to God through his season and my faith and trust in God is stronger now than it was 8 months ago. Each night when I go to sleep in my truth, in an open parking lot, in the city of Dallas, TX. I pray and thank God for another day. I understand that tonight someone could walk up to my truck and kill me in my sleep. I understand that I’m not safe sleeping in my truck, but I trust that God is watching over me and even if I was or am to be killed this night, I’m going to heaven. I fixed my financial issues I was facing and I was so contempt with my situation and comfortable sleeping in my truck, I sign an lease for an office and started an church. 10 people in the last 3 months have entered in that church and heard a message of Hope. At the end of this month, I’ll be shutting this church down if another leader doesn’t come, because I have to get ready for the Marine Bootcamp. I’m going to pay off my truck and get ready to be ship.
What was my point in telling you all that? I could of used my money to get my an place to live. Or save it off to the side for a raining day or for a house for the future or something that would benefit myself and my own wellbeing, but I chose not to. I chose instead to put others first. That’s how you store up treasures in heaven! If you think that I’m telling you to be homeless and start a church in an office, you didn’t understand my point. You store up treasures in heaven by denying yourself and your own needs, for other people and their needs. I can’t tell you how much people how blessed me. One guy paid $1000 to fix my truck when I was down and out and broke, another guy pitch in money to help me pay the first month’s rent in this office church space, another guy generously gave each week out of his heart to this church plan. Another guy gave me money few weeks ago to help me pay off a $500 overdraft. God was and is and also working in the mist of our situations and my situation lately has been financial burden, but God is drawing people in to get his message across. That’s all you store up treasures in heaven, sums it all up, Love.
So back to the great Question that Solomon Asked, “What does man gain by all the toil, at which he toil under the Sun?” Ecc. 1:3 The best answer I can come up with is, if we toil under the sun, with no real purpose or reason, we waste our lift and gain nothing, but if we toil for that which is under the Sun of God, that we don’t waste our lives we find fulfillment and satisfaction and we inherit salvation through Christ on the Cross. We gain something far more than anything that this world can give us, we gain treasures in Heaven and I believe one treasure is Salvation through Christ, which no one can take from you, which no Moth or vermin can destroy.
- Endless Road
I never really understood to meaning behind, “why we do what we do, when we do which we do”. I mean, I never understood business people. When is enough enough? Will we ever reach the magic number or dollars in the bank? Is this just an big oh race against each other at this point, since we got too much money that we’re just board, so we just compete against each other to see who get the most customers through the doors? When I was making $7.25/hour, I thought $8.75/hour would satisfy me, then I made it to $10/hour and I thought, “Maybe if I double my money?” Once I had $10,000.00 in the bank, I was 19 year old and I learn how to play to stock market. $100.00 was pocket money, so I turn it into $200 in few hours, then $300 few hours later and by like 5PM I turn that $100 into $1150. I won’t tell anyone how I did it, because I lost it on an all in pot, you might say. And that was the last time I did that. I told my girlfriend at the time about it and she was not happy, because she told me not to do it in the first place and it damaged the relationship.
Why did I tell you about my own stupidity? Because I love it, I love telling people about all that times I miss the mark, I cross the line. I found myself wanting more and more and more and it was a never ending desire to have more, but it never came. Whatever I was searching for never was found, no matter how much money I was able to make that day. Left me unsatisfied.
Abe Vigoda, Frank Finlay and Doug McMillon, who are these people? Do you know anything about them? Most likely 1 out of 10 people will be able to know 2 of these guys, and ¾ would know McMillon. Abe Vigoda, character actor in “The Godfather” and “Barney Miller,” died at 94 years old on Jan. 26. 2016. Frank Finlay, Oscar-nominated actor who played Iago in Laurence Olivier’s “Othello,” died Jan. 30 2016 at the age of 89. Doug McMillon is current CEO of Walmart. These people have an amazing history, lives that they lived on this earth. They achieve greater things then I and you will achieve. They had Fame, Money and Possession. Their success was far beyond most people and the American dream was their everyday life.
A leader I know asks people, “Where you see yourself in 5 years?” People come up with this great plan of how much more successful they picture themselves to be and then he asked me, “Okay, Where do you see yourselves in 500 years?” Where we see ourselves in 500 years should have a major effect of where we see ourselves in 5 years. If we believe in Jesus, then we see ourselves in heaven in 500 years, so our all inner being of belonging on earth should be shaken to the core of our existence in the world
Martin Luther King had a mindset of where he would be 500 years from now. He didn’t care about the cost. So he led a movement across this nation that would bring equality to two different races. And we know his story, killed. Ended Bad? Yeah, really bad, so bad that the entire nation completely changed all for the better. So bad that this great men is far off better in heaven with Jesus. It all worked out for the good and God used him to change hearts and lives and really break the core of division in this nation. Personally, I’m happy for that, for what he did. My best buddies in life have been black folks. I love being around other races.
So who is most likely going to be remembered throughout history, CEO of Walmart Doug or Martin Luther King? The answer is, no one knows. But just taking an guess, I’m going to say Martin Luther King. Why do I say that? Remember Mary Magdalene, most Christians know about her. Now let go back like 5500 years ago in the genealogy of Adam to Noah. Enoch, in Genesis 5:24, says that he “Walked With God”. No one else does it say that about in the genealogy. What point am I trying to make? The point that only those who fear God will be remembered. Those who don’t fear God won’t be remembered.
Hitler Fear God? No, then why is he remembered? Do people natural go back and pay respect to his grave? No. We turn pages of history back and see people, in that that way we “Remember”. But what I’m talking about is this respectfulness remembrance. In 500 years, no one going to remember Hitler, unless the flip a book open and read about it, like we do with evil rulers in the bible, but people will remember key people like Martin Luther King who changed a nation. People will remember Jesus who changed history. When our purpose in life because God centered, then God is Honored and He will lift you up high, so people will remember your faithfulness to Him as an example to future generations, And in return Glorify himself using you in future generations, like C. S. Lewis. Like Jeremiah, Timothy, young servants of God, but their faithfulness was honored by God. God didn’t have to lift Jerimiah high up, there were prophets everywhere in those day, but Jerimiah was a faithful and God fearing prophet.
Okay, so I know I haven’t convince you yet, sounds like a new teaching, but it not. Solomon was reflecting life under the Sun, but as Christians, we are reflecting life under the Son. It’s always different, like a complete 180 degree turn. From death to Life, Jesus to give this life. Life under the Sun gives nothing, eat, drink and be married, for tomorrow we die. It’s a dead end. So as your living life under the Sun, You have no way, you have only death in the end, and honestly, you were lied to all your life, and led you to nothing. Go get yourselves the nicest car, house and highest paying job, pursue the american dream, and your be sit, but it just didn’t give you satisfaction, your still chasing after something more then what you got. That’s the point, because you’re PURSUING a Dream and not a Reality. In 1776, the American Dream was to have freedom, today people gave their freedom for an false American dream that left them lost and lonely and now in our times, families are broken, due to the American dream theory.
There is no wonder, the Teacher, the great wise Preacher of the old testament, the one who was so smart to those around him and to those after him and to us today, we look back in time and see and he says one thing that would image the heart and mind and motives of each of us, “There is no remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after.” Ecclesiastes 1:11 He ends with, but it starts with, “A Generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.” Ecclesiastes 1:4
Everything in life is in circles, round round and round everything all goes and goes. Think about it, the sun comes up, goes down, goes up and comes down, all creation is this way, grass is cut down, then it grows, then it’s cut down. I go church next Sunday and day after and Sunday after that, over and over and over. I go to work at 7AM, then in 24 hours, I go at 7AM again and this is over and over and over. It can seem so boring. Life could seem so plain. And ultimately, life becomes meaningless and pointless and it could lead to Depression, which recently been declared as the world #1 disease. It all because people live under the idea that there is no God, there is no purpose and life becomes dark and meaningless. That is not only depressing, but no surprise people chose to take their own lives.
Personally, I don’t know about you, but me, I want to build and upon that build and build, more and more and go and do and achieve great things. So it can be really depressing reading, “Is there a thing that it is said under the sun. “See, this is new?” It has already been in the ages before us.” We long for this newness, something better, but all we find it something more bitter. ‘e’ changes to ‘I’. Instead of our focus being on everyone and everything around us, we are focus on I and I only. Selfishness kills the body. We aren’t made for trying to glorify ourselves, our joy comes out when we focus on others instead of ourselves. Where am I going with this? When we pursue to build and go and create, it’s not a sin, it’s a calling. “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:28 God commanded us people to have sex, take control over the earth. Subdue it! That gives a idea of God telling us to use the earth as an resource to help us survive. So using lightning for electric is a way of subduing the earth.
So the big question is, How do you find enjoyment and satisfaction in a meaningless world? The Old Testament answers are in the New Testament answers are in the Old Testament. What is there that is new waiting for us under the sun as we live in this world? Here is the answer. Life under the Sun, leads down a very meaningless and endless dark deadly road. Don’t believe me, go walk down it for an while. And I promise, even if you gain wealth, you lose everything joyful in the process.
Five most important thing’s every person, Christian and non-Christian need to know. I would even go as far as saying, all Jews should know.
- In Christ this is a New Covenant. Jesus lived an perfect life, never once sin. He submitted to God the Father’s Will perfectly when he was on earth. He was killed for an crime he didn’t commit and he came back to life. I can’t do much Justice to the Life and death and resurrection of Jesus, but because Jesus died and paid the price of sin, we don’t have to pay for our own sin. When we enter into an relationship with Christ, he enter into an Marriage relationship with God and us as the church, the wife of Jesus. The Bible calls it the NEW Covenant. So just coming to Christ is completely New, something different then what it mostly known in this world. It’s unlike any other faith in the world. Luke 22:20 “In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”
- When we come into this covenant, something new happens, an NEW commandment. We are called to Love all people, our enemies, and our friends. This idea of Love is help, care for and be there for them no matter what. To forgive all wrong and keep no records of wrong. To love them in the same way God Love us. By no longer condemning us, but blessing us by his abundance provision. Sounds strange right? You’re against it all already right? Our Sinful nature can’t achieve this apart from Christ, we must stay connected to Christ and continue to seek and follow him, no one outside of him could do this without him, because it’s supernatural. It’s part of the sanctification process. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34 and we may wonder why God would command us to this. God wants to be glorified through us, as he desired to be glorified in the Old Testament to be gloried through Israel. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
- Everything is New, even Jesus’s Tomb is New. So this whole process that the New Conversant is being made, Jesus is put inside a New Tomb. Personally, I believe that this New Tomb was New because God wanted to draw eyes to this idea that Jesus wasn’t lying around the dead, because he was going to raise to life again. Wasn’t just any old tomb, but a Newly Made one, but a New Way. John 19:41 “At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid.” Maybe I’m going too far with this, but there has to be this idea God is making something new, having no part in old.
- Those in Christ will receive something New. An New Life. Have you heard of the endless stories of people who say their lives been changed because they turn to Jesus? I have heard of endless amazing stories of life changing accounts of just complete miracles. People who done drugs for years, coming clean, people in and out of jail, becoming law following citizens. Jesus is in the business, of opening the eyes of the blind, making the lame walk and raising the dead and giving hope and a future to people who seem to live life of meaningless purposeless existence. “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.” Acts 5:20
- Those in Christ will receive eternal life and experience the New Heaven and the New Earth. When sin enter the earth, it damage the GOOD creation God created and one day God is going to completely burn all the sin and everything that it processes. Fire is a way to purify Gold, to purify is like to make Holy again. God is not in the business of sending people to hell, but in restoring broken creation. That’s is way we as Christians suffer, he are being purified from our sin and God is slowly making us holy and into the image of his son and he desires to do this with all creation. So he died on the Cross, offers the world to come to him to be purified before he completely burns all creation and starts over with a new earth and new Heaven. We in Christ have this hope, of a coming New Earth and New Heaven. That will be far better than this far bitter earth. “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.” Revelation 21:1
I don’t know how you feel about fire, but I don’t’ like it, it burns a lot. Image a fiery lake as your forever home. Living under the Sun Leads to that forever home, but I’m calling you to consider Living under the promise of Jesus, Living under the Son, in stand of the Sun, because in Jesus we find Hope, Life and everything New. We no longer have to wonder if Life is worth living, because our Hope is in the future Glorious Creation that is to Come, with the Glorious Creator. We Must come today and repent of our way and turn to Jesus.
So Under the Son, we find Satisfaction
So Under the Son, we find Satisfaction, but Under the Sun we find nothing, everything is meaningless, but Under the Sun we find nothing, everything is meaningless.
Finding Out What Is Good
In most bibles Ecclesiastes 2 might have a title that says “Pleasures Are Meaningless” or something along the line of that title. I think that title tears away the true meaning or the heart behind the topic or the message of the chapter, which Solomon writes. So, before we dig into this chapter, I want to take us back to the beginning. “God Created the Heavens and the Earth” Genesis 1:1. We know that story, God spoked the entire creation into existence in 6 days. Rather you believe that is true or just an poem, isn’t my desired topic, it just gives no benefit to what we are talking about, but I encourage you to look into that.
God made everything perfect, it was all Good, every time he was finish making something he said, “It is Good.” Creation as we knew it, was pure, holy and set apart, truly perfect, a true masterpiece. God place creatures in his own image and likeness in this amazing garden, he set them up. We know the story, God told Adam and Eve, “But you must not eat from this tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:17 We know the story, Eve eats of this one tree and then she leads Adam to eat of it to.
Why? Why would you forget about all the other trees you could eat from and choose this one tree? Yeah the devil deceived them and got Eve to think that the tree was okay to eat. But it boils down to something even deeper than that. “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was ‘good’…….” Genesis 3:6 The Tree was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The evil side of the tree isn’t what drew Eve to eat of the fruit, it was the good side that did. Eve was good and she was drawn to good. The devil used her own strengths and who God made her to be, He used that against her to lead her away from God. When Eve ate of the Fruit, she received both that Good and the Evil in that fruit, causing sin to enter the World. Adam Followed along with her in this disobedience to God, because the moment that Eve disobey God, Adam Disobey God. They were one flesh together, a team.
Solomon was given this amazing gift from God to rule over the people of God. A gift of wisdom. Because of this gift, he was able to rule over the people of God in a way that caused other rulers to travel and hear from him. Amazing gift he had. Solomon took his gift and pursued whatever his heart desired. “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired.” If his eyes saw something that he wanted, he went and got it. Kind of like his old men David, David saw what he wanted and Solomon is born through all that sad story. How many times do we, me included, because I’m not perfect, we just look at something we want, a car, house, higher pay? When we put our eyes on the prize, we pursue it and then we get it. Personally, I have done this like million times, car, job, higher pay, school. I am 23, I have been a big boss, received 4 diplomas, stood before rich people who make millions an year. Today, I drive a 2017, I’m a manager, work 2 jobs, I might end the year off around $50,000 this year, last year I did $30,000. I’m not trying to boast about my achievements, but show you, that if we pursue all these things, it’s going to either be success or not at that end. I have to admit, some of my achievements have been the work and hand of God working in the mist of my decay. But what about the achievements that just set my eyes on and pursue like a warrior?
With all that being said, I have come up with 3 key points we can pull from chapter 2:1-9
- The Heart is looking for what is Good. All throughout history, we find people pursuing something to find out what is good. But their looking through their own eyes. It leads them down the very destructive path. Like Hitler, He thought it be good if there was only one race of people on earth, so he started killing every Jew, he envision an world of “Germanic race”—what he called an Aryan master It didn’t go to well I’m guessing. Few nations teamed up against him. He had one clear mission, a Perfect world! Don’t we all have that one clear mission? If you work for Walmart, you want everyone to save money. If you work for the government, you want to change the evil in the land. No one really goes into a job and just work 9 to 5 and call it a day, most people go and get the job of their dreams because they think they could make that world into a better place. I took a manager position because I thought I could help fix the store, think I did more damage than help, lol. We all have that one click or idea that we think, “Oh this is a Great idea.” But Hitler had an bad idea with this one world race, so he called it the Final Solution. Because of Eve taking the fruit, everything this world offers is evil and has thorns ready that just cut us up really bad. See just like the good side of the fruit drew Eve in for a bit, something with everything else in life. The good side like having an new car, good side of having an new job, the Good side of having house, that is what draws us in. We never really consider that cost, the cost of the $18,000 2017 Chevy Cruze I just bought, the insurance cost, $18,000 just for the insurance because I need full coverage, or the wifi inside of this piece of metal.
- The Heart is broken and needs to be healed. Solomon started off right in life, he grew up loving God and faithful to God. Part of the reason God gave him the gift of wisdom, because Solomon heart was in the right spot. But there was an transition in his life that he got comfortable and it was an slow fad away from the Lord, he married all these different woman and had kids, but wasn’t in their lives. We can see this because Solomon’s Son takes over his kingdom when Solomon dies, his son didn’t take the advice of the elders, and it shows a disregard for God. Solomon didn’t raise his own in the way of the Lord. We get a really clear vision of where Solomon was at in the middle of his career as King. He was building an amazing kingdom. Ecclesiastes 2:5-7 “5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me.”
Why would I tie a Broken Heart to Solomon building a great kingdom? Each of us has this emptiness inside us that needs to be filled. If you don’t believe me go sit down by yourself for few hours and search his life, you heart and mind and you’re going to find this emptiness on your chest, connected to your thinking. I fill it every day, it’s only when I turn to read the bible and pray that I can truly fill this whole. Solomon turn to building an might kingdom and doing all these great projects, so he could try to fill fulfilled, but he said, “When I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toil to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gain under the sun.” Ecc. 2:11
Due to the Fall of all mankind, the human heart is broken and needs to be healed daily, but Solomon turn to great achievements, instead of the one who is the source of healing. How many of us pursue after great projects, in hope to feel like we are achieved? One more dollar is never enough. We always want more and more and more. Don’t you find it fascinating, millionaires have everything, but they are still pursuing more. I find it personally fascinating, that we “Lowly People” or “Poor People” living in some of the most nicest houses in the world, driving $20,000 cars, got access to an grocery store and wear nice suites and live in luxury cities here in the DFW, would complain about the heat outside, when people in Africa are living in the heart 24/7. We play in water at major water parks, when they pray for it to rain. We all need to reevaluate our hearts and ask God to clean our hearts. So let’s leave this as this, that our broken heart is just a stone heart that needs to be replaced, not just on Sunday between 8:30AM and 1PM and 4pm to 6pm, but every day when we wake up, we need to replace the heart of stone with the Heart of Flesh that we are given, by God. 2 Corinthians 3:3 “You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
- The heart want to find delight in something. Solomon says, “The delight of man’s heart” Ecc. 2:8 Because of the broken state of mankind, because of the sin within our heart, we fall short of righteousness. But that doesn’t mean we lost sight of it. See man’s heart is hunger and thirsty. It searching for a place to find delight and we pursue all the wrong places. I don’t know what song this is, but there is a song that says, “Finding Love in all the wrong Places”. That song speaks truth in that one line. The truth that we are searching for Love, our heart are crying out to find delight in something, so we pursue relationships with everyone we think is cute, or we pursue high education and give each other names, like Dr. ——. The Truth is that the condition of the heart is bent on good and evil. Just like back in the garden, but this time inside our very core. So what is the solution? Hitler’s Solution didn’t work and it lead him to the grave. But I have a real final solution to bring healing to the heart. This solution been around since the beginning, because it’s not really a solution, but a substitution. From Adam to John the Baptist, everyone looked forward to the Christ and from the first 12 disciples to us today, look back at the Christ. It’s not the cross we need to look to, but to the Christ on the cross, he who paid the price of Sin for us. He became the Substitution and the Solution is to turn and seek him and not all the things of the world. Solomon found this out at the end of his life. His father David writes, Psalm 35:27 “May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, “The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.””
How many times do we Americans pursue worthless things, money, higher pay, better position? Isn’t what we have enough? Why not stop in out tracks and take time each day and praise God? Muslims do, why Christians don’t also. I’m in a Church right now, I see a lot of people conducting business, a few, tiny number will a Bible. Just last week I heard someone say, “You won’t really find anyone with a bible at this church.” I know what you’re doing right now, your eyes our light up and you’re saying, “Wow”, but how about we look inside our own heart and test our own self, before we test others.