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Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 5:13-18
Living a Balanced Life
1. Eccl. 7:15-18 has been called the “Golden Mean” since it describes and encourages the middle point between extremes.
a. Mean: “ Occupying a middle or intermediate position between two extremes” (thefreedictionary.com).
b. Wise to avoid the excesses of self-indulgence, Prov. 25:16 (23:4-8).
2. Solomon is not advocating “riding the fence,” compromising with error and sin, or remaining uncommitted, cf. 1 Kings 18:21.
3. He is advising we live in the balance of truth, not on the edges of unproductive, destructive (and sinful) extremism.
I. CONSIDER WHAT HAPPENS TO THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED, Eccl. 7:15.
A. Sometimes the Righteous Suffer and the Wicked Succeed on Earth.
1. Solomon observed this, Eccl. 8:14; 9:11-12.
2. Jesus lived this, 1 Pet. 2:21-22.
3. Israel complained against God because of it, Mal. 3:13-15.
4. God-fearers know God will judge righteously, Mal. 3:16-18; 2 Thess. 1:4-7.
B. Life’s Inequities Tempt Us to Overcompensate, Which Drives Us to Extremes, Eccl. 7:16-18. These extremes include:
1. Uber-righteousness (self-righteousness), 7:16; Luke 18:9-14.
a. Binding human traditions, Mark 7:8-13.
b. Establishing our own way of righteousness, Rom. 10:2-3.
2. The conceit of human wisdom, Eccl. 7:16; Rom. 12:3.
a. Becomes blind to truth, Rom. 1:22; 1 Cor. 1:18-24.
b. Becomes blind to its own futility, Col. 2:8, 21-23.
3. Deliberate wickedness that ignores God (skeptical selfishness), Eccl. 7:17; Ps. 10:4, 11; 14:1.
a. Presumptuous, willful sin, Ps. 19:13; Heb. 10:26-27.
b. Unattended sin gets worse and
worse, 2 Tim. 3:13.
4. Foolish, non-committal indifference, Eccl. 7:17.
a. Hating knowledge is not a virtue, Prov. 1:22.
b. Leads to not fearing God and complacency that destroys,Prov. 1:29-33.
5. These extremes are unwise and unfulfilling, Eccl. 7:16-17.
II. FEARING GOD BRINGS BALANCE TO LIFE.
A. The Balance of Fearing God Avoids the Pitfalls of Extremes, Eccl. 7:18.
-Teaches us to have a realistic view of life on earth, and to focus on what to live for, Eccl. 8:12-13, 14-9:1; 12:13-14.
B. The Balanced Life Fears God and Obeys Him.
1. Seeks righteousness God approves, Eph. 4:22-24; 1 John 2:29; 3:7, 10.
2. Relies on wisdom from above, James 3:13-18.
3. Resists willful sin, 1 John 2:1; 1 Thess. 5:21-22.
4. Is not complacent about sin, 1 John 1:8-10; Heb. 2:1-3; 6:11-12. (Zealous, not negligent and apathetic)
1. Prosperity and adversity have their places in life on earth, Eccl. 7:13-14 (3:1); cf. Job 2:9-10.
2. They exist so we will consider God, seek Him and rely on Him instead of ourselves (since we are limited and finite), Matt. 6:33-34.
a. Begins by becoming a Christian.
b. Continues with a faithful life devoted to Christ.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted May 19, 2021