The scientific investigation began at the exit on the highway that we will call “No Outlet – Dead End”
I. The Material correspondence of creation. Ecclesiastes. 3:1-13
A. The examination of creation. Ecclesiastes 3:1- 8
This paragraph in chapter three is much more than a display of Solomon’s talent as a poet. He has written a profound and beautifully written summary of his investigation of creation. He has studied and found that God has created all things such that for every action there is a corresponding action and every emotion has a corresponding emotion. Everything that is done has its unique response. Solomon reported his findings in verses 1 through 8
B. The exception of man in creation. His relation to his labour! Ecclesiastes 3:9-11
Solomon does not state that man sows labour, and therefore reaps satisfaction. He has already determined that nothing under the sun brings happiness or contentment to man.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 the heart can never be satisfied because it was created for more than the world can offer!
When God created man, He set the world in their hearts. The ‘world’ translates from the Hebrew word meaning world ages and also eternity. It does not mean eternity specifically but it does not mean this world specifically either. Do you see what is being said? When God created man, He set more than this world in his heart – the world itself would never satisfy him. He would never find happiness and satisfaction through the world only.
C.S. Lewis said, “Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists . . . If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” God has designed us for eternity, and that is what we should be seeking and pursuing with our lives, because that is what will truly satisfy
C. The expectation of man of man under the sun. Ecclesiastes 3:11,12
The exit Solomon has turned onto has a sign posted ‘No Outlet – Dead End’.
Solomon encourages man to find satisfaction as he can in the fruit of his labour now. If all man has is the present, then God has given provision for only now –
sow and reap – earn and spend. Man’s actions will not bring happiness or contentment, but it is all that he has and, it is all that he is going to get!
At this crossroads, Solomon turns off of the material world road onto the moral world freeway to seek for answers in his search for purpose and peace in life. Are happiness and contentment at the end of this road?
II. The moral correspondence. Ecclesiastes 3:14-21
A. Man is unable to change what God has created. Man’s mind cannot conceive of a way to change what God has set in motion. Ecclesiastes 3:14,15
With all of the dramatic changes that are being decried by the environmentalist today, one thing is for sure – the environmentalist die and the earth keeps on its course. Man ignores God or claims that there is no God, until the creation of God reminds man of his weakness. Man cannot control the earthquakes, tidal surges, typhoons, volcanoes spewing forth destruction from the depths of the earth and so man excuses himself from responsibility by claiming these are “acts of God”. The very God they deny by their lives. They may deny Him, but He reminds them on occasion that fear belongs to Him! Man’s folly is repaid by fear.
B. Man is unrighteous, but judgment is coming. Ecclesiastes 3:16,17
Man’s unrighteousness will return judgment back to himself. It is not fate, karma, or any other term man would like to attach to it. It is
God’s program –
Galatians 6:7-8 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Since the natural man can only reap corruption, that only is what he shall reap! The natural man cannot reap spiritual things.
Psalm 14:1-3 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
C. Man is unbelieving, choosing to believe in himself rather than God. Ecclesiastes 3:18-21
This is, of course, not true. Man is not as the beast of the field. If death were the end, nothing beyond the moment of death, there would be no moral justice! The unrighteous would receive the same as the pure and holy. Living under the sun with only this life in view is cruel.
Solomon concludes that if this is the end of the road, then there is no reason for concern for the future as it beyond man’s reach –
Man should enjoy what he has in the present as there is no enjoyment in the future.
Who knows whether man is any better than the beast of the earth? Who knows whether man’s soul goes up to heaven and the beast simply return to the earth? Who has come back and informed man of the truth? God has informed man but as Isaiah cried out –
Isaiah 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
Solomon summed up his conclusion:
If there is a time to plant and a time to reap –
If there is a time to kill and a time to heal –
If there is a time to tear down and a time to build –
If there is a time to be holy but only a time to die as the unrighteous, life is cruel!
If you do not fear God, you may as well enjoy life, because it is all that you ever will have.
Paul cried out in despair over the futility of life in the flesh, the constant struggle with sin –
1 Corinthians 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
1 Corinthians 15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die.
But God revealed to man that death is not the end, that this life is not all that there is and a loving God has provided the truth to all men that life is in Him –
1 Timothy 2:3-6 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
Are you on the dead end road, the sign posted by Solomon warns “NO OUTLET”. Do not look around, look up! Look to the Lord to save you from this death and call out to Him for salvation!
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved