Wednesday, 9th February 2022
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section One V1-6 Dreams of Vanity Under the Sun
May God help us to really quiet down our hearts and listen; because only when we quiet down our hearts, then we can hear what God wants to say to us. We focus too much on what we want in this world, emotionally or physically, we want to hold onto what we can see, but at the end we only receive vanity. Whereas when we focus more on God, we can receive fulfilment.
V1-2 ‘There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men: A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honour, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction.’ Why are riches, honour, and wealth evil? Because when we don’t rely on the Lord, serve the Lord only, and worship false gods, then everything we do and everything we receive will be vanities in the eternity.
What is freedom? If our freedom is based on troubling others, then that is not true freedom. We thought freedom is to do whatever we want, but the world is in the hands of the devil, therefore in this world we can never have true freedom. Only in the Kingdom of God, then we can be set free. Let us really hear the voice of God, really read the Word of God, and really understand the truth He wants to deliver to us. When we are willing to humble, to obey, to listen and to carry out, we can then live under the Tree of Life, understand the love of God little by little, day by day, year by year, not just though one Bible verse but every Word in the Bible.
God has given each one of us a field to look after, do we really focus on what God wants us to focus on? Or do we feel dissatisfied with what we have and always seek for alternatives? We must really see things from God’s perspectives, and not to base our decisions on our own emotions, desires, or needs. We live a life of vanity, the way we treat our children is different at home and in front of others, we fake our behaviour to build up good reputation. Everything is vanity.
Section Two V7-9 Labour for Mouth Under the Sun
V7 ‘All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the soul is not satisfied.’ We are all living for our mouth, we labour to fill our stomach. This is how God created man in the first place, in the Garden of Eden, ever fruit created by God is for Adam and Eve to eat, apart from the fruits of one tree. We live to satisfy our mouth and to fill our stomach. But we often forget to give thanks for the food we have. There have been many stories of missionaries, who go to foreign countries and eat the food they are not comfortable with, only to share the gospel with the people there. Peter also saw the dreams of eating food he was told not to eat in the past, so he could share gospel to the Gentile.
V8-9 ‘For what more has the wise man than the fool? What does the poor man have, who knows how to walk before the living? Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.’ We must believe in what God wants us to see, be simple and be humble, because what God sees is definitely a lot more than what we see! God knows what’s best for us, have trust and love for Him, be satisfied with what we have, and we can live everyday with joy and fulfilment!
Section Three V10-12 Things of Vanity Under the Sun
V10-11 ‘Whatever one is, he has been named already, for it is known that he is man; and he cannot contend with Him who is mightier than he. Since there are many things that increase vanity, how is man the better?’ King Solomon was the richest person of the world, he lived in palace and had treasures of the world, yet he felt empty and vanity. He wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes because the more he had the more vanities he felt. What do we seek in life? All the questions Solomon listed out in this chapter have only one answer, vanity of vanities.
V12 ‘For who knows what is good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he passes like a shadow? Who can tell a man what will happen after him under the sun?’ All we work hard for on this earth should be for the eternity with God. God wants us to preach the gospel to the end of the world and to disciple the nation. Only Jehovah is the true answer to all our questions in life.
传道书 6 – 虚空的虚空 唯有耶和华
V1-2 “祸患”是一件很严重的事情，“重压在人身上”，使人可以看见。这件事“就是人蒙神赐他资财、丰富、尊荣，以致他心里所愿的一样都不缺”- 这个人拥有了一切人所求所想的，“只是神使他不能吃用，反有外人来吃用”- 这里讲的是以色列人，就是神所拣选的子民，他们一切所需的就算不用求神都给他们，然而最后他们不能享用，因为以色列人没有单单倚靠、事奉神，反而拜迦南地偶像，随从迦南风俗和自己的情欲。我们也好像那些以色列人一样，常常看见别人拥有的东西比我们的好，没有看到神所给我们的一切。我们用这个世界的思维模式去生活，到头来过得一点也不轻省。耶稣教导我们的主祷文最后说“不叫我们遇见试探，救我们脱离凶恶，因为国度、权柄、荣耀都是你的”，然而我们要自己进入试探、凶恶，不相信国度是属于神的，只想要自己的自由。自由不是为了自己想要做的事而给别人带来麻烦，但我们所要的自由常常就是随从自己的情欲、不要权柄来管理我们。圣经里面的自由是在灵里面的自由，我们不再被罪所辖制，而不是肉体的自由。
V10 “比自己力大的”- 原文指的是神。我们不管多厉害，当我们没有倚靠神的时候，最后什么都失去了。
V11 所罗门建了圣殿、盖了很多宫殿 ，受人称赞，大家都想像他那样拥有荣华富贵，却看不到他生命的问题。这些都是虚浮的事。
本章中6个问题（v.6, 8, 11, 12）让我们看到，地上的事表面上很吸引人，其实都是虚空的，唯有那“力大的”耶和华神才是我们要倚靠的。