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Remaining Up in a Down World (3 of 11)
As we've said already - Solomon wrote the Song of Solomon early in his life, Proverbs at middle age, and Ecclesiastes in his later years. We have done a study straight through all three books. Frankly, it seems like a different man wrote Ecclesiastes than wrote the Song of Solomon.
• In the Song of Solomon life was - happy, happy, happy.
• In Ecclesiastes it was - crappy, crappy, crappy.
Why, well because he had decided to engage in a grand experiment. He was going to use his great wisdom for our benefit. He wanted to discover what a person should give his life to.
He approached his experiment from two vantage points.
Under the Sun (1:3):
Life apart from God
This is all there is
This is all there ever will be
What you see, is what you get
Under Heaven (3:1):
Life under God's direct influence
Life is transcendent
God is providentially working
There's always more than you can see
As he observed his life and the life of others, he found life under the sun terribly discouraging. Now some people never get discouraged. Some people don't get colds, they get warms.
OPENING ILLUSTRATION: Jack Canfield was on his way home from work one day and he decided to stop in on one of his neighborhood's little league games. He took a seat on the bleachers behind one team and he asked one of the boys in the dugout what the score was. The little boy said, "we are behind 14 to nothing" with a big smile on his face. Canfield said, "well I must say you don't look too discouraged". The boy answered, "why should i be discouraged we haven't been up yet".
According to the American Heritage Dictionary the word discourage means to, deprive of courage, dishearten, hinder.
In the New Testament the word that has the same meaning as our word discouragement is often translated, "to loose heart", or in the older translations, "to faint".
In Chapters 3-5, S ...
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