Regretting Life’s Disappointments

Part 8
A look at the direct relationship between our disappointments and our joy.
Ecclesiastes 6:1-12

Ecclesiastes 6:1-12 NLT
There is another serious tragedy I have seen under the sun, and it weighs heavily on humanity. God gives some people great wealth and honor and everything they could ever want, but then he doesn’t give them the chance to enjoy these things. They die, and someone else, even a stranger, ends up enjoying their wealth! This is meaningless—a sickening tragedy. A man might have a hundred children and live to be very old. But if he finds no satisfaction in life and doesn’t even get a decent burial, it would have been better for him to be born dead.  His birth would have been meaningless, and he would have ended in darkness. He wouldn’t even have had a name, and he would never have seen the sun or known of its existence. Yet he would have had more peace than in growing up to be an unhappy man. He might live a thousand years twice over but still not find contentment. And since he must die like everyone else—well, what’s the use? All people spend their lives scratching for food, but they never seem to have enough. So are wise people really better off than fools? Do poor people gain anything by being wise and knowing how to act in front of others?  Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind. 10 Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So there’s no use arguing with God about your destiny. 11 The more words you speak, the less they mean. So what good are they? 12 In the few days of our meaningless lives, who knows how our days can best be spent? Our lives are like a shadow. Who can tell what will happen on this earth after we are gone?

The Unfulfilled Life of a Rich Man

Joy Doesn’t Come From Fortune

Ecclesiastes 6:2
A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.

Joy Can Be Stolen By Foreigners

Ecclesiastes 6:2
A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.

Joy Is Not Tied To Family Life.

Ecclesiastes 6:3
If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say,that an untimely birth is better than he

Ecclesiastes 6:4
For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness. Moreover he hath not seen the sun, nor known any thing: this hath more rest than the other.

Ecclesiastes 6:6
Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?

The Unsatisfied Soul Of A Poor Man

You Can Experience Labor Without Reward

Ecclesiastes 6:7
All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

You Can Attain Wisdom Without Success

Ecclesiastes 6:8
For what hath the wise more than the fool? what hath the poor, that knoweth to walk before the living?

You Can Have Big Dreams And No Results

Ecclesiastes 6:9
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.

The Unanswered Questions Of A Confused Man

God Is God

Ecclesiastes 6:10a
That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.

Ecclesiastes 6:10a NLT
Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be.

You Are Human

Ecclesiastes 6:10a
That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.

You Can’t Whip Him

Ecclesiastes 6:10a
That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.

Ecclesiastes 6:11—12
11 Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?  12 For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?

Ecclesiastes 6:1-12 MSG
1-2 I looked long and hard at what goes on around here, and let me tell you, things are bad. And people feel it. There are people, for instance, on whom God showers everything—money, property, reputation—all they ever wanted or dreamed of. And then God doesn’t let them enjoy it. Some stranger comes along and has all the fun. It’s more of what I’m calling smoke. A bad business.

3-5 Say a couple have scores of children and live a long, long life but never enjoy themselves—even though they end up with a big funeral! I’d say that a stillborn baby gets the better deal. It gets its start in a mist and ends up in the dark—unnamed. It sees nothing and knows nothing, but is better off by far than anyone living.

Even if someone lived a thousand years—make it two thousand!—but didn’t enjoy anything, what’s the point? Doesn’t everyone end up in the same place? We work to feed our appetites; Meanwhile our souls go hungry.

8-9 So what advantage has a sage over a fool, or over some poor wretch who barely gets by? Just grab whatever you can while you can; don’t assume something better might turn up by and by. All it amounts to anyway is smoke. And spitting into the wind.

10 Whatever happens, happens. Its destiny is fixed. You can’t argue with fate.

11-12 The more words that are spoken, the more smoke there is in the air. And who is any better off? And who knows what’s best for us as we live out our meager smoke-and-shadow lives? And who can tell any of us the next chapter of our lives?

Are You a Rolling Stone?

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