We did not only sing a rock song by the Rolling Stones, we also sang the theme song to the lives of many people. Biblically, we also sang the soundtrack to the Book of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes is the private journal of King Solomon. Solomon also went on a 40-year journey searching for satisfaction. Did he find any?
No Satisfaction, Journey of Solomon - Delbert Young - (sermon notes) (listen sermon audio mp3)
Scriptures: 1 Kings 3:5, 1 Kings 3:9, 1Kings 3:11-13, Ecclesiastes 1:1-2, Ecclesiastes 1:13-14, 1Kings 4:30-34, Ecclesiastes 2:1, 1 Kings 11:3, Ecclesiastes 2:4-10, Ecclesiastes 12:6-7, Ecclesiastes 12:13
I want you to play a game with me today. Here is how it works. You raise your hand if my question relates to you – humor me, okay? Let's begin. First, raise your hand if you hate audience participation games where you have to raise your hand. Doesn't matter because we are going to play the game anyway. Raise your hand if you are not totally SATISFIED with your cell phone coverage. Raise your hand if you are not totally SATISFIED with your current financial picture. Raise your hand if you are not SATISFIED with your body and the way you look. Let's get a little more serious. Raise your hand if you are not SATISFIED with the job you are doing as a parent. I want you to raise your hand if you are not SATISFIED with the way you have been living your life and the way your life is going. Some of you cannot get any SATISFACTION, can you?
This is interesting. In 1965, there was a person who felt a lot like you do and he wrote a song called "I Can't Get No Satisfaction." Who knows who this person is? Mick Jagger. It was over 40 years ago and you would think over a 40-year period he would get some satisfaction, but Mick is in his 60's now and he is still looking for satisfaction. He is still wearing his tight jeans, dressing like a teen, wearing his hair long, and trying to jump around on a rock stage. I heard him on a talk show not long ago and he still "can't get no satisfaction." Here is what we are going to do so we can get into what I want to talk about. We are going to actually sing "I Can't Get No Satisfaction." We can do this in this church, maybe we couldn't in some, but we will here. I cannot sing well, so if you do not participate, this could be really bad. Okay, on the count of three, One, Two, Three. "I can't get no satisfaction. I can't get no satisfaction. But I try and I try and I try and I try… I can't get no...." Oh man, you are feeling it.
The reason I did this is we did not only sing a rock song by the Rolling Stones, we also sang the theme song to the lives of many people – some of you. Biblically, we also sang the soundtrack to the Book of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes is the private journal in the Bible of King Solomon who was King David's son and successor. Solomon also went on a 40-year journey searching for satisfaction.
Let me tell you a little bit about King Solomon. When he started out as king, he had a very intimate, close relationship with God and God blessed him. God deposited leadership gifts and wisdom into his life. God gave him resources to build the kingdom. You name it and God gave it to Solomon. You probably remember the story when the Lord asked Solomon what he wanted.
1 Kings 3:5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you."
1 Kings 3:9 …give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?"
1Kings 3:11-13 So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked… Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for - both riches and honor - so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.
It was amazing. No one in the Bible did, or had, what Solomon did and had. He began very well and climbed quickly to success. Not long into it, something began to happen internally to Solomon. Internal erosion began eroding at the heart of Solomon. It seemed King Solomon hopped in his car/chariot and took a long trip away from God. For the next 40 years of his life, he wandered through life. King Solomon could not get any satisfaction and he wrote about it in the journal of his 40-year trip.
Ecclesiastes 1:1-2 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! EVERYTHING is meaningless."
Solomon thought life was MEANINGLESS. We have a person who initially was full of excitement, purpose, and extremely willing to do anything God asked. Something happened. He moved away from God and wandered through a 40-year taste test/smorgasbord/buffet life searching for satisfaction.
Before you get too down on Solomon, how many remember how it was when you first came to the Lord? You were excited, purposed, extremely willing to do anything God asked. "Mission field? Sure, I'll go." You were excited about God, played praise tapes/cd, read your Bible, prayed, etc. However, it's not like this today. Something happened. You got in your chariot and, for years now, you have been searching for satisfaction. Maybe you have been to several churches looking for a good word (I trust you found one). You tried some freedom and liberty and maybe changed your emphasis from God to work and money. Amazingly, this is exactly the roads Solomon traveled and he wrote about it in his journal. His first stop was searching for education.
Ecclesiastes 1:13-14 I devoted myself to search for UNDERSTANDING and to explore by wisdom EVERYTHING being done in the world. I soon discovered that God has dealt a tragic existence to the human race. Everything UNDER THE SUN is meaningless, like CHASING THE WIND.
Amazing! God gave Solomon so much, yet Solomon felt he had a tragic existence. How about you? Solomon searched out EVERYTHING for understanding. He studied art, architecture, built magnificent buildings, studied music, composed 1,005 songs, studied astronomy, biology, etc. You name it, Solomon knew about it. He was so educated and knew so much people came from the entire world to hear Solomon speak.
1Kings 4:30-34 Solomon's wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than any other man… He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. He described plant life… He also taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon's wisdom…
Solomon knew all there was to know about everything, but with all his education, Solomon said, "I CAN'T GET NO SATISFACTION." So, he did what we all do. He continued searching. His next taste test was pleasure.
Ecclesiastes 2:1 I said to myself, "Come now, let's give PLEASURE a try. Let's look for the 'good things' in life." But I found that this, too, was meaningless. "It is silly to be laughing all the time," I said. "What good does it do to seek only pleasure?" After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine…
It was all about the women and the wine. It was the "Hugh Hefner" lifestyle – Playboy mansion. He had wine and women night after night after night.
1 Kings 11:3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray.
Solomon slept with more women than he could remember. He drank the finest wines and said, "I CAN'T GET NO SATISFACTION."
Solomon took another taste test from the smorgasbord. This time it would be possessions, money, and wealth.
Ecclesiastes 2:4-10 I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves. I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned great herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who lived in Jerusalem before me. I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I HAD EVERYTHING A MAN COULD DESIRE! So I became greater than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. And with it all, I remained clear-eyed so that I could evaluate all these things. Anything I wanted, I took. I did not restrain myself from any joy. I even found great pleasure in hard work, an additional reward for all my labors.
Solomon found pleasure, but not satisfaction – big difference. Solomon built a huge life for himself. He had any possession a person could want. He could snap his fingers and people came running to provide his desires. He had more money than Bill Gates and Donald Trump added together. He was the most powerful person in the world. Nevertheless, do you know what? He said, "I can't get NO SATISFACTION."
Solomon did everything and tried everything including checking out religions. He married women from other religions only to find they took him even farther from satisfaction. Solomon tasted the education thing and said, "I can't get no satisfaction." He tasted the pleasure/sex/party thing and said, "I can't get no satisfaction." He tasted the possession, wealth, power thing and said, "I can't get no satisfaction." He tasted the religion thing and said, "I can't get no satisfaction."
I will make certain we balance here. DOES GOD WANT YOU TO BE SUCCESSFUL AND ENJOY LIFE? OF COURSE HE DOES, BUT IF THIS IS WHERE AND HOW YOU DETERMINE YOUR SATISFACTION IN LIFE, YOUR LIFE WILL BE MEANINGLESS. Solomon was wealthy enough, wise enough, and powerful enough to search higher, deeper, and farther than anyone has ever searched and he said here is the conclusion.
Ecclesiastes 12:6-7 Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Don't wait until the water jar is smashed at the spring and the pulley is broken at the well. For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the duty of every person.
The wisest man who ever lived who did it all, saw it all, tasted it all, felt it all, said this is it. THE CONCLUSION IS TO FIND GOD BEFORE DEATH FINDS YOU.
Fear God and obey his commands. Does God actually want us to 'fear' him as in be afraid of him? I thought God was like a wonderful father who loves and takes care of me. I don't know I 'fear' or 'feared' my natural father. What's up with this? Most people think the fear of God is thinking God has a holster full of lightening bolts just waiting for you to screw up and as soon as you do, bam, he zaps you. This is not the thought here or the context of the passage. Fearing God is not a fear of his "lightening bolts." It is knowing not doing what he commands will not work well for our lives and the farther we distance ourselves from his commands, the worse our life goes. It is like, why would you fear jumping off a cliff? It is because the outcome would be bad. Injury is the least that will happen. The fear is I will severely mess up my life, not God zapping me with lightening bolts. Yet, I watch people jump off cliffs every day by not fearing if they disobey God's ways they injure their own lives.
Solomon used the term "under the sun" in 27 different verses. Solomon did everything under the sun. His conclusion is to spend your days under the sun finding the God who lives above the sun.
Solomon uses the term meaningless 38 times. Solomon talked about the wind and chasing after the wind 14 times. Life goes by like the wind and people chase after nothing and reach for something emptiness. Do not do this. Spend time finding God. In your time under the sun, did you find the God who dwells above the sun?
What have you tasted? Maybe you have not tried it in the huge proportions Solomon tried, but in reality, you and I take sips every single day. For example, what do people do when a relationship does not satisfy them? They go out and taste test another. What do people do if their job does not satisfy them? They taste test a different job. Maybe you say if you had a great friend who would treat you great and be the kind of friend you really need then it would SATISFY you. Maybe you feel like if your kids would just obey you it would SATISFY you. Or, if they would turn out to be the kind of children you want them to be this would SATISFY you. If you can get your degree, or make the perfect grade then it would SATISFY you. If your husband would come to church with you, it would SATISFY you. Maybe for you it is money. You think if I could just get this much money it will SATISFY me. Maybe you are not happy with the way you look. Maybe a plastic surgery will SATISFY you or a new fad diet that works and the list goes on and on and on. One day you will pull over on the side of the road just like Solomon. You will look at your life and see you taste tested and it was all meaningless and none of it SATISFIED. You will say, "I CAN'T GET NO SATISFACTION."
Did you see the movie "Meet Joe Black" staring Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt? Bard Pitt played the role of death (Joe Black) who came to take Anthony Hopkins (Bill Parrish). Bill is very successful, wealthy, powerful man, but one day Bill meets death face to face. (Let's watch the clip.)
A day comes when we will all ask "the question." It is, "Am I going to die?" WHEN YOU MEET DEATH FACE TO FACE AND EYE TO EYE, HOW WILL YOU REACT? Have you spent the necessary time, money, possessions, and wisdom searching for God, or have you merely searched for money, possessions, and earthly wisdom? What will be the outcome? Have you been truly successful? Have you found the God who dwells above the sun?
In the movie, it came time for Bill to go. Should he be afraid? Should you? One more clip… (watch the clip).
So, do you need to be afraid? Only you know. It depends on what you do under the sun concerning the God who dwells above the sun. It's all meaningless, meaningless, meaningless - without Jesus.