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Chasing the Wind – a Life of Futility

Chasing the Wind – a Life of Futility

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Published by: Zamar1 on Oct 14, 2009
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CHASING THE WIND –A LIFE OF FUTILITY
COMMENTARY ON BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES
Paul AppleJohn CobbBrian RacerOpen Door Bible ChurchCatonsville MD 1997
This data file is the sole property of the author Paul Apple. However, permission is granted forothers to use and distribute these materials for the edification of others under two simpleconditions:1) The contents must be faithfully represented including credit to the authorwhere appropriate.2) The material must be distributed freely without any financial remuneration.This data file may not be copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications,recordings, broadcasts, performances, displays or other products offered for sale, without thewritten permission of Paul Apple. Requests for permission should be made in writing andaddressed to:Paul Apple, 304 N. Beechwood Ave., Baltimore MD 21228.
webmaster@bibleoutlines.com
 
 
TEXT: ECCLESIASTES 1:1-18
TITLE: INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW – BRIAN RACER
BIG IDEA: THE FUTILITY OF ALL ENDEAVOR
I. THE PREACHER: (:1)Who is the author? Solomoncf. 2 Chron. 9; 1 Kings 4:21-34What was his life like?He had the largest geographic parcel of any Israelite king; plenty of wealth; these werehappy times in Israel; he was a philosopher, scientist, thinker, diplomat;He kept a journal of his life; he was more blessed by God than anyone;Still, he was not satisfied!Don't try to duplicate his pursuit of meaning in life -- Instead, learn by his mistakes;Believe what he has to say"Cut to the chase; don't chase the wind"II. THE PERSPECTIVE & PREMISE (:2-3)A. The Perspective --In the later years of Solomon's life; this is a journal of his wanderings"under the sun"; a view with blinders toward heaven; he writes as a broken man;Initially as king, worship had a prominent role; then money and women became an endin hemselvesHe ended up pursuing life apart from Jehovah God and ran into a wall;stopped including God in his perspectiveB. The Premise of the Book -- "Vanity of vanities! All is vanity!"Life is empty; like blowing bubblesFame, etc. only brings fatigue and not true happiness(quotes from Norman Roy Grutman, famous trial lawyer who defended JerryFalwell)His testimony = "I spent my life shoveling smoke" -- like a breath that flows byand is gone;Easy to get caught up in this perspective; Life often is not all that exciting; Lifeisn't always a bowl of cherries; sometimes it is the pitsSometimes life is boring, dull; it lacks senseWhat is real to Solomon is not necessarily real to all of lifeThe Black Hole of his existence sucks everything else in; sucks the meaning outof life;But there is something above the clouds!There are little dawnings throughout the book where he sees beyond theblinders; thereis a reality beyond the materialistic worldThemes of the book center around: What constitutes purposeful existence and
 
how can we find itQuote from
 Living on the Ragged Edge
-- commentary byChuck Swindoll"Apathy rules and nobody seems to care. Life isn't simply tragic. Life is dull.H. L. Mencken said it well, 'The basic fact about human experience is not that it is atragedy, but that it is a bore. It is not that it is predominantly painful, but that it islacking in any sense.' No one ever said it better than Thoreau: 'Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.' We don't want to believe that. Motivational speakers who cheerleadseminars all across America hope that we won't believe that. It would blow a hole intheir business. The last thing we're supposed to realize is that we have lied to mostof our lives.EXPOSING FOUR LIES ABOUT LIFEI can think of at least four falsehoods many still call the truth.1. 'Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone.'I've found quite the opposite is true. 'Laugh and you laugh alone. Cry and you get acrowd. The whole world will cry with you.'2. 'Every day in every way our world is getting better, better, better.' I'd like to meetthe guy who first wrote those words, wouldn't you? I'd string him up before sundown.What a tragic, disillusioning dream!3. 'There's a light at the end of every tunnel.' Keep hoping ...keep looking for it.Murphy was right when he said that the light at the end of the tunnel was really the'headlamp of an oncoming train.'4. This fourth one comes from the pop music world of yesteryear: 'Things never are asbad as they seem. So dream, dream, dream.' Want to sing it with me? No, probablynot. Things are not really as bad as they seem. They're often worse, and dreamingwon't make them better!...Why do they tell us those lies? ... There's one simple answer: to make us believethere's purpose and happiness if we simply keep on hoping..."III. PONDERINGS ON THE PREMISE IN LIGHT OF CREATION (:3-11)Life is Work; you are investing there; what is your return for all of your labors?What does our dot in time matter?The dependability of Nature is contrasted with the unpredictability of our life; all thingsare wearisome;We are never satisfied!IV. THE PARAMETERS OF THE PURSUIT(:12-18)Tries to look at things from every possible perspective;the Futility of Wisdom -- it is an afflicting, grievous matter to try to search out all of theanswers;Don't say: "If only I had the opportunity to seek all the answers in life"; Solomon hadthe best opportunity anyone will ever had and testifies that the search was futilelike chasing dandelion seeds in the wind;

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