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Experimenting in Boredom

September 26, 2010 Speaker: Reid S. Monaghan Series: Chasing the Wind - Ecclesiastes

Topic: Exposition Scripture: Ecclesiastes 1:12–2:26

Thesis of Ecclesiastes

  1. All is vanity…yet we don't believe him
  2. All of life is weary...yet we don't believe him
  3. We get crazy bored...so we experiment

Human Response to Boredom

Seeking Happiness, But Where?

  • Intellectualism
  • Hedonism
  • Moralism
  • Materialism
  • Religionism

Messing with our Religions

A Biblical Category: Idolatry

  • LOVE: What do we enjoy imagining? What are our fondest dreams? We look to our idols to love us, to provide us with our sense of value you beauty, significance and worth?
  • TRUST: What, if we lost it, would make life not worth living? We make sacrifices to appease and please our gods, who we believe will protect us. We look to these things to give us a sense of confidence and safety.
  • OBEY: What makes us uncontrollably angry, anxious, or despondent? What racks us with a guilt we can’t shake? Idols control us, since we feel we must have them or life IS meaningless.

From Tim Keller's introduction in Counterfeit Gods

Setting up the Experiment

Experimenting with Intellectualism (Eccl 1:12-18)

 

Experimenting with Pleasure and Power (Eccl 2:1-11)

 

Experimenting with Wisdom (Eccl 2:12-17)

 

Experimenting with Legacy (Eccl 2:18-23)

 

Joy with God (24-26)

 

Issues of the Heart

What are we seeking “first?”

Matthew 6:25-34

Two Questions

1.    Question: Is what captures the eye able to keep the heart?

2.    Question: Maybe life is not found there?

We need to follow Jesus and be rebels against hebel...

 

Community Meditations

  • Solomon discusses the pursuit of understanding, pleasure, wise living and material success in his experiment in Ecclesiastes 2. How do all of these things fall short of grounding life with ultimate meaning?  In what ways do you “not want to believe” him? Let’s be honest for a moment please.
  • Discuss Tim Keller’s categories for understanding idolatry. 

- Love: What do we enjoy imagining? What are our fondest dreams? We look to our idols to love us, to provide us with our sense of value you beauty, significance and worth.

- Trust: What, if we lost it, would make life not worth living? We make sacrifices to appease and please our gods, who we believe will protect us. We look to these things to give us a sense of confidence and safety.

- Obey: What makes us uncontrollably angry, anxious, or despondent? What racks us with a guilt we can’t shake? Idols control us, since we feel we must have them or life IS meaningless.

  • The passage this week closes with the idea of enjoying God’s good gifts under the sun. When God is giver, we can live with joy and gratitude for his gifts.  Yet how can we know if God is enough for us and are not simply loving gift, rather than giver?
  • What practices do the Scriptures give to help us not worship money, work, and our successes?

More in Chasing the Wind - Ecclesiastes

December 26, 2010

Fear God, Follow Jesus

December 19, 2010

Shout out to the Young

December 12, 2010

Don't be Scared