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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.



  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.



  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