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Even under the sun, wisdom is better than strength.  But if we were left simply with advice for better living, even with biblical advice, apart from the Lord Jesus, the Wisdom of God, we are to be pitied.  

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The Lord, through the preacher in Ecclesiastes 9 and his continual survey of the vanity of life apart from God, calls us to live life with the knowledge that the same event happens to all people: we go to the dead. That could be depressing. And yet, those that know Christ live with this in view but also in the reality that while we await the “same” event, we live in light of the “main” event: Jesus died for sinners and rose for our justification. We need not fear calling sin, sin. For we have an advocate, Jesus Christ, the righteous.

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Solomon says there are two very different looks and two very different outlooks of two very different wisdoms.  When we look into the mirror of Ecclesiastes 8, what do we see?

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The author of Ecclesiastes asks the question, "where is the righteous one?" The answer...there is only One, the One to whom we're driven, the Lord Jesus, the righteous One.

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The Preacher in Ecclesiastes moves to principles of life. We love “principles” of life because we feel like we’re doing something. However, while these things are “better,” they are never meant as a means to put us in right standing with God.

The good news of the gospel isn’t that you can feel better about yourself. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus died for sinners like you and me!

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As you may have heard, since 1999, the rate of death by suicide has risen by 30%...30%! That’s tragic! Blame and suggestions are being handed out by all the experts. The blame has included bad parenting, bullying, loneliness, lack of identity, among other things. Suggestions have included counseling, more freedom of expression, finding identity in one’s work, among other things. Listening to the world’s wisdom will get people nowhere- in fact, that effort is futile.

The preacher in Ecclesiastes has tried it all. He had all the means at his disposal to bring meaning and satisfaction to life - and yet he tries all this apart from the Lord. And the conclusion of it all- all is vanity.

Apart from the Lord, one might agree, life stinks and then you die. But God’s Word has the answer. Jesus satisfies. He has dealt with that one thing that plagues the human race- sin. And he’s the only One that has dealt with it.

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We are always pointing the finger "out there" in an attempt to deflect from our own hearts. Whether it's possessions, power, our work, or money - those have to be the problem! But the author of Ecclesiastes reminds us that money even isn't the problem - it's not a matter of a lack of money or plenty of money - it's a matter of the heart.

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The preacher in Ecclesiastes has, over and over again, spoken of the vanity of life apart from God. And this warning in worship seems almost not to fit in his train of thought - and yet, even worship, devoid of a proclamation of the Creator God who has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, is vanity - it's empty.

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In Ecclesiastes 4, the Preacher gives four snapshots of loneliness; it is, indeed, a depressing picture apart from the Lord.  But it is meant to drive us to Jesus, the friend of sinners. 

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Solomon says there is a time for everything, and we can either see it as having no meaning or as a basis for rest.  It's all about perspective.

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