Delivered By
C.C. Risenhoover
Delivered On
May 21, 2017
Central Passage
Ecclesiastes 11:5
Attached Document
Open Document
Description

 

Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of a pregnant woman, so you do not know all the activity of God who makes all things” (Ecclesiastes 11:5 NASB).

 

As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything” (Ecclesiastes 11:5 ESV)

 

In my lifetime, I’ve heard very few sermons based on Scripture found in Ecclesiastes…and I’ve preached very few times from that holy book. I’m not sure why…because it’s a book filled with common sense truth.

 

The only reason I can give you for preaching from Ecclesiastes today is that the Holy Spirit called this Ecclesiastes 11:5 to my heart and mind. It has taken a lot of years…but I’ve come to a point in life where I just do what the Spirit tells me to do without questioning why.

 

This I know: Ecclesiastes 11:5 is so deep in spiritual truth that I can’t do it justice in one sermon or in 100 sermons. But here goes.

 

We live in a time when, obviously, there is more collective knowledge about the world than at any other time in history. Our knowledge is supposedly growing so fast that…according to some thinkers…the collective total of human knowledge is doubling every 12 months or so. It has even been suggested that it won’t be long until that collective total of human knowledge will be doubling every 12 hours.

 

I have a little trouble believing that…although I’m amazed by…and grateful for…all the advances in science and technology that make it possible to gain more insight into the world and how it works. But increased understanding…or how we perceive understanding…does have a downside.

 

For example, I contend that with this alleged increased understanding… we have seen a sharp downgrade in ethical wisdom. So, while many people today know a lot of facts…they often have shallow and pliable ethical standards.

 

I also contend that while collectively human wisdom is increasing…collective spiritual wisdom is declining…the reason being that human beings collectively have come to a point where they think that they are smarter than God.

 

But I’ve got some truth for those who think they’re smarter than God. Take the smartest person in the world…load their brain with every fact known to humankind…and when compared to God’s knowledge it still won’t be as much as a speck in His mind. God’s knowledge is infinite…without end…whereas the most we can hope for is finite.

 

Take the smartest people in the world collectively and…when their knowledge of the universe and life itself is compared to God’s…they are woefully ignorant. And Ecclesiastes 11:5 tells us why. “God makes all things…God makes everything.”

 

God…through prophets and Scripture…brought truth and morality to the world. Can you imagine what the world would be like if that had not been the case? What would truth and morality look like if it had been dictated by Satan? Yet that seems to be what some people want. They want Satan’s evil to triumph over God’s good…and they’re doing everything in their power to make it happen.

 

People today tend to forget the wisdom of the past. There’s a tendency in this current culture to think that we are morally and intellectually superior to previous generations…simply because we have a greater number of known facts at our disposal. That’s why Scripture tells us the heart is deceitful above all things…and desperately wicked.

 

It’s hard to find any humility of understanding in today’s culture…the truth about…and recognition of…human limitations…the affirmation that human beings will never know everything that can be known.

 

To recognize and accept our limitations…we must remember theGod who made…and who makes…everything.” Obviously, we’re not completely ignorant of what He does…or completely ignorant of who He is. But our human minds limit us from understanding the total majesty of God and His ways in the world.

 

Paul expressed this quite well in Romans 11:33, when he wrote: “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!

 

Every scientific discovery made by humankind reveals how little we know about creation…even our understanding of human development in the womb. But, fortunately, to trust God we don’t need a comprehensive knowledge of Him and His ways. His Word is sure…and His covenant promises must come to pass.

 

To gain humility of understanding…we must know the character of God. When we can grasp the immense and incomparable nature of God…we begin to see our place in the world…and we’re forced to acknowledge our limitations…which is a part and parcel of true humility.

 

The critical element in all of this is acknowledging our limitations…which is difficult for some of us to do…even in worship. Too often worship is more about us than it is about God. It’s about what we want…the emotions that we want to experience rather than real praise for God. True worship isn’t about us and our feelings…it’s about praising God for who He is…and for what He means in and to our lives.

 

In Job 11:7-9, we find these words about God: “Can you discover the depths of God? Can you discover the limits of the Almighty? They are high as the heavens, what can you do? Deeper than Sheol, what can you know? Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea.”

 

That’s why I have been stressing the sovereignty of God so much in recent sermons. God must be the priority in the life of a Christian…more than family or possessions. The entire book of Job makes that very clear.

 

And Psalm 145:3 has this to say about God: “Great is the LORD, and mighty to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable.”

 

Another thing I want to stress is that God speaks directly to you in many ways. And if you think doesn’t speak to you…you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, He’s speaking to you right now. With every verse in God’s Holy Word He’s speaking directly to your heart and mind. He also speaks to your heart and mind through His Holy Spirit. And Scripture clearly tells us that He communicates with our hearts and minds through prayer…and through dreams and visions.

 

So, if you want to hear the voice of God…you can do so if you will just listen. Unfortunately, most people don’t want to listen…and when they do listen they want to edit what God is telling them to fit their personal agendas.

 

In the second chapter of 2 Corinthians, Paul wrote that Christians should reaffirm their love for each other…and that such a reaffirmation was a test of our obedience to Christ. He called for forgiveness of each other above all else…saying that if we can’t forgive when we’re in the presence of Christ…and we’re certainly in His presence when we’re worshiping Him…then we’re ignorant of Satan’s schemes.

 

So, if with all the spiritual knowledge available to us we’re ignorant of Satan’s schemes…we’re not listening to God. From Genesis through Revelation the schemes of Satan are laid out for us in meticulous detail. If we can’t comprehend and predict with certainty what Satan is doing in the world…what he’s trying to do to Christ’s church…and to us individually…we have bypassed ignorant and retreated to stupid.

 

In 1 Timothy 6:13-16, Paul gave his young protege the following admonition: “I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will bring about at the proper time – He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”

 

Again, Scripture makes the point that it is God who gives life to all things…and that it is Jesus who is the only blessed Sovereign…the King of kings and Lord of lords.

 

Human beings cannot fully understand the circular courses of the wind…or how the rivers flow into the seas…yet the seas are not full. We cannot understand that there is nothing new under the sun…but that all things have existed for ages in the mind of God.

 

Ecclesiastes teaches that you can indulge in every pleasure known to man or woman…obtain every possession you desire…only to learn that what you’ve done is simply a matter of vanity. You also learn that the wise man’s eyes are in his head…that the fool walks in darkness…but that both suffer the same fate. The earthly end of the wise and fool is the same. Of course, the eternal end for the Christian is far different than that of the fool who turns a blind eye to salvation.

 

One of the more familiar passages in Ecclesiastes is that there is a time for everything. The importance of time…especially in terms of a person developing a relationship with God…is cannot be overemphasized. God set eternity in our hearts…but we will not find out all the wok that God has done from the beginning to the end.

 

Ecclesiastes 3:14 tells us, “…everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.”

 

God cares about transforming and renewing people, along with transforming and renewing culture and society. God has a heart for people and for creation. If God created it, God cares about it.

 

Since God wants to renew both people and creation…to what degree does your faith address the wider world. In my experience, the faith of most Christians has very little to say about what they see on television…the movies they go to…what they read in the paper…what’s done in the public schools…or in law or business.

 

Look at the gaping holes in ethics that we have in our social fabric today. Where are the Christian leaders willing to fill those gaping holes with the truth of Christ?

 

Does your faith engage the wider world…or do you simply have a privatized faith? If you’re serious about engaging the wider world…start with your neighborhood. Start with the public schools…one of the greatest mission fields in America. And, don’t become drunk with the evasive entertainment mentality that saps your mind of all spiritual thought. Do something about it.

 

God wants to renew both people and creation. So, consider how you might encourage, pray and contribute to those who are engaging culture in this country. We need to be on Mars Hill with Paul, not hunkered down waiting for someone else to do the fighting for the souls of people.

 

The final verse in Ecclesiastes says this: “…God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

 

If your life is about self…getting what you want…and refusing to forgive those you perceive have wronged you…it’s time to let the Scripture speak to you. I don’t need to berate you about the kind of person you ought to be…because Scripture has already told you that. Wisdom is allowing the Scripture to speak to you…and doing what it says.

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