Worship, Sunday, February 12, 2023
      • Bible Trivia
      • Bible Trivia
      • Bible Trivia
      • Bible Trivia
      • Psalm 15GODSWORD

  • He Is Exalted
  • Jesus, Lord to Me
  • His Strength Is Perfect
  • I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever
      • Matthew 5.13-14ESV

      • Matthew 5.15-16ESV

      • Ecclesiastes 9:11–18ESV

  • We’ve been working our way through the book of Ecclesiastes, a book of 12 short chapters that sits in the midst of the books of wisdom within our Bibles. Ecclesiastes is one of the books we don’t know specifically who wrote it. We do know the author intended to sound like Solomon to whom much of Proverbs is attributed.
    Speaking of Proverbs, we read in that book Proverbs 13:20
    Proverbs 13:20 ESV
    Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
    There may have been a reason why your parents didn’t want you hanging out with certain friends when you were a kid. And the same wisdom really follows us into adulthood.
    Our Scripture lesson today from Ecclesiastes 9 gives us several examples of how people strive in this life that fails them.
    …the race is not to the swift...
    …the battle is not to the strong...
    …food does not come to the wise...
    …wealth does not come to the brilliant....
    …favor does not come to the learned...
    and then the conclusion - time and chance happen to them all.
    Ecclesiastes 9:11 ESV
    Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.
    Time and chance happen to them all.
    What is it? Is it worth seeking?
    Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations 7373 Wiser Scientists

    In January 1970, Max Born died. A close friend of Albert Einstein and a colleague of Max Planck and Otto Hahn, the nuclear physicists, he was one of the great minds of the twentieth century. In an interview on German television before his death, Born commented: “I’d be happier if we had scientists with less brains and more wisdom.”

    Have you ever known someone that knew a lot of facts, but lacked wisdom. I think we can all say that we have. I remember in school a friend who I think had a photographic memory. She would ace every test, and could practically tell you what page the answer was on in our book, but when it came to wisdom…well, in High School anyway she was severely lacking. Knowing facts is not necessarily knowledge nor is it wisdom.
    Trivial Pursuit came out in the 80’s, and to this day trivia competitions are popular. But knowing a lot of facts does not make you knowledgeable nor wise.
    Proverbs tells us:
    Proverbs 20:15 ESV
    There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
    So knowledge is good, and wisdom takes it to the next level. And what is the beginning of wisdom? We read that in Proverbs too.
    Proverbs 1:7 ESV
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    Proverbs 9:10 ESV
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
    Proverbs 10:27 ESV
    The fear of the Lord prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short.
    In our passage this morning we read of a small city beseiged by a powerful king:
    Ecclesiastes 9:14–16 ESV
    There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it. But there was found in it a poor, wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man. But I say that wisdom is better than might, though the poor man’s wisdom is despised and his words are not heard.
    I’m reminded of the story of an engineer and his family on summer vacation. As they approached a tunnel the traffic slowed and then came to a stand still. Something was blocking the road. After being stuck for over an hour people were out of their cars and moving to the front to see what was going on. Surrounded by his family, the engineer asked one of the workers what was going on. The construction worker explained that a large truck was stuck at the entrance of the tunnel blocking the entire road. Despite their best efforts with tow trucks and big equipment trying to unwedge the truck to open up the flow of traffic again, they hadn’t been able to get it to move. They were trying to figure out what to do next.
    Just then the engineer’s daughter tugged on her dad’s shirt. “Just a minute, honey,” the father said. The father continued talking with the construction worker about what they’d tried so far, and what they might be considering. His daughter tugged again, and again he dismissed her again, “Honey, the truck is stuck and I’m trying to help them get it unstuck so we can get going.”
    “Why don’t they just let the air out of the truck’s tires?” she asked.
    “Honey, wai…what?”
    “Why don’t they just let the air out of the truck’s tires?” she repeated.
    The solution seemed so obvious to her, but to the engineer and the construction workers what they saw was a truck wedged into a tunnel that wouldn’t budge. By letting the air out of the tires the truck lowered it’s clearance and they were able to pull it out.
    We read in our passage:
    Ecclesiastes 9:17 ESV
    The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.
    Another story…I was asked to officiate a wedding for some friends, and when I do weddings we always have a rehearsal. We were at the rehearsal and my friends had a unity candle that was going to be lit as part of their ceremony. They were trying to decide whether to blow out the family candles they used to light the candle, or to leave them lit. They were weighing the symbolism in both choices and their families and friends began to weigh in from the pews. It got louder and louder to the point it was difficult to hear the young couples discussion and I was standing right next to them. I finally turned around and said, “Excuse me, this is their wedding, and when THEY’VE made a decision we’ll let you know.” The bride sighed heavily and looked up at me and said, “Thank you!”
    Sometimes when we’re faced with a problem there is a cacophony of noise from people who want their way. As a preacher friend of mine once said, “Weak point? Talk louder!”
    In our lives there is a lot of noise, there are a lot of voices clamoring for our attention. Some want everything to be a crisis, there’s an urgency, there’s a problem and if you don’t act now…and then they give you a list of what might happen, heightening the anxiety.
    If anyone can make you anxious, make you worried, they can control you. How often do we read in our Scriptures, “Do not worry…,” “Do not be anxious...” “Do not fear...”
    I don’t have the number in front of me, but I can think of a lot of verses just off the top of my head.
    God does not want you controlled by the whims and worries of the day. God wants us to be free.
    Ecclesiastes 9:18 ESV
    Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.
    Wisdom begins with seeking after God. Wisdom is not getting caught up in the anxiety of NOW. Wisdom is being able to step back and have a broader perspective, an eternal perspective if you will.
    I’ve said this before, and I want to say it again…Sin is when I put myself in the middle, when I become the center of everything, when it’s all about me. God invites us to broaden our view beyond ourselves, our groups, our church, our socio-economic status, our political party, our country and even our time and to look at a much broader eternal perspective.
    God’s Word is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. God’s steadfast love never ceases, his mercies never come to an end - eternal, eternal, eternal.
    So what we take away again and again from the preacher in Ecclesiastes is that anything temporal we might seek in this world - being faster, being stronger, being wiser, being richer, being more intelligent, it’s all folly. It falls short to the glory of God. Without a connection to God a seeking after God it amounts to a chasing after the wind.
    So what are you doing to connect to God?
    You’re here. That’s awesome. Gathering around God’s Word, sharing in worship, and gathering with fellow believers sharing our lives together is important as we seek to follow God.
    What about in your daily life?
    Reading your bible?
    Let’s continue to put God first in our lives, and seek his wisdom, without it no other wisdom really makes sense, no matter how loud it might clamor for our attention.

    Walk with the Wise

    To the Glory of God, AMEN!
    Let me Pray for us:
      • Proverbs 13:20ESV

      • Ecclesiastes 9:11ESV

      • Proverbs 20:15ESV

      • Proverbs 1:7ESV

      • Proverbs 9:10ESV

      • Proverbs 10:27ESV

      • Ecclesiastes 9:14–16ESV

      • Ecclesiastes 9:17ESV

      • Ecclesiastes 9:18ESV

  • O Bless The Gifts
  • Something Beautiful
      • Bible Trivia

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