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Chasing Wisdom (2 of 11)
Series: The Pursuit of Happiness
Ecclesiastes 1:12-18; 2:12-17
Good morning. We're taking the summer to walk through the book of Ecclesiastes-part of the Hebrew wisdom literature. It was most likely written by Solomon-King Solomon of Israel-who lived and ruled in the 9th century BC. So these are the questions and issues that people wrestled with 3,000 years ago. And the amazing thing is: it's the same stuff that college students, and songwriters, and philosophers, and regular people still wrestle with today.
So last week, and we introduced a word that's repeated all through the book-some translations use the word ''meaningless''; some translations use the word ''vanity''; but the most literal translation of the Hebrew word is ''vapor''-like your breath on a winter day. Which means two things: First of all, everything in life is very temporary, right? Like your breath-you see it, and then it's gone. And then also, it means that just like you can't grasp the vapor of your breath, life seems impossible to really grasp or understand. So listen for that concept again today.
So-Solomon was passionate to find meaning and happiness in life, and in today's passage he talks about one way that he tried to do that. So let's look at this passage. Actually it's two passages-Ecclesiastes 1:12-18, and then chapter 2:12-17. Here's what Solomon wrote…
12 I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind! 14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
15 What is crooked cannot be straightened;
what is lacking cannot be counted.
16 I said to myself, ''Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.'' 17 Then I applied myself to the u ...
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