Sunday Morning Podcast Febuary 23, 2020. Bro. Dave Goble.
TEXT: ECCLESIASTES 1:1-3
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Just as in Ecclesiastes, Jesus was also speaking of the meaning of life, the purpose, the vanity and frustrations. What creates meaning, and the frustrations of meaning when you are only looking for it in this life. Two things here that once could be convicted of in this life; one is “What happens to us after we die?” (Jesus was speaking here to the disciples and the pharisees.) In Ecclesiastes, it speaks to us not after this life, but during this life. So we have two concerns. First the frustration to find meaning when trying to find it’s purpose ‘in’ this present life. In Luke, the second concern is one we find with the rich man of what might happen to us ‘after’ this life. Here Jesus draws our attention to the torment of the rich man in hell. After He speaks about Abraham’s bosom, (or Paradise). But again here in this passage it’s about a judgment and torment. Two things….Our existence while in this life, and one the destiny of the next. The ultimate concern when spoken about here, are of these two different concepts. We talk about what happens to us after we die, and the vanity and frustrations of life while we are here. The mundane circumstances ( “something” broke, etc.) are not of the ultimate concern. The ultimate concern has to do with our purpose in life, of our existence. Our meaning of life here, and after. Our attention needs to be drawn to the answers Jesus has for us! The frustrations and pointlessness ..without knowing Christ. The tensions and frustrations of life when not knowing ‘why’ we are here, or what happens when our existence on earth is over. The absurdities of it. ‘Absurdity’ simply means…it doesn’t have a point! So the thought of this message is “The Antidote for the Absurdity of Life.” The Antidote is Jesus Christ! Our life’s proclamation should be that Jesus Christ is Lord over all! To be glad to be able to still proclaim that, in these times that we live in today! Jesus the antidote for the absurdity of life! We all know what an antidote is. If you get a snake bite, there’s a medical antidote. An anti venom if you are fortunate to find some. It stops the poison from hurting you even further.
The absurdity is the pointlessness and despair. Yesterday “it” was available, today it is not. Everyday the same thing. Nothing ever changes, describes an absurd existence. What’s the point? Why should I come back tomorrow if you keep telling me the same thing? Always tomorrow it is the same. Life’s like this sometimes, especially when we cannot go to the Lord in prayer to construct a meaning for us today. Especially when we’re looking for answers for the ultimate “What happens to me after I die?” What about today? I’m really sick, and I need to be healed, etc. Not just about things you ‘can’ get through, without the help of things that must happen in order for us to survive. Things that must happen! Breathing is an ultimate concern for us! We have to breathe! Without air we don’t think about anything else! We have to drink fluids, or things get real dire! These are ultimate concerns! These cause people to really think about their life. It’s good to examine your life. To try to understand, for the Lord has the answers! One might say, “The unexamined life is not worth living!” Better to realize, “The examined life is more fulfilling!” So let’s take time for the Lord to examine us! So when we “leave” here, we are a lot more fulfilled when we do. Allow yourself to be examined, everyday, and always. Christ can then tell you what He wants for you, and what you can do to please Him. But only “if” you allow Him to examine you. Don’t just go to learn things, but take the time to mediate, …yourself with the Lord.
The rich man had everything he needed for this life. Then he died and found himself in a place of torment. The beggar had nothing, and was full of sores, when he died he found himself in the bosom of Abraham ( a type of Paradise). Jesus spoke of this as either torment, or of rest. It seems as if Jesus was saying that the rich man had an opportunity in this life, that had something to do with what happened to him after he died. The beggar was helpless in his circumstances, and God had mercy on him. The beggar was not obstinate, proud, angry or bitter. His circumstances was what it was, …but the Lord took care of him. The rich man used his great wealth for his own benefit, and ignored the need that laid at his gate. In the life of the rich man, there was also a life of absurdity. If we think about it, the rich man used his influence and riches for his own benefit; his own life of ease, guaranteed by his wealth and position, …and taken for granted. Everyday he lived a life of absurdity. Everyday was ultimately pointless in his life, lived to the point of eternity, facing now more than a severe problem, when he could have done something, but did nothing! His life became absurd. Pointless. He lived for self. Because he didn’t take care of spiritual business while he lived on earth. Is this all there is? Is this as much meaning that I’m going to get out of life? Thank God there is a time given to us, when we allow Jesus to pull us out of the meaningless of life. Not to mere religion, which is often the problem pointing to absurdity. Religion offers a lot of promises, often found in the bible, but a promise not kept, is no promise at all! We have to find a supernatural connection with God! But first you have to find yourself in the absurdity of life, before you can find the antidote. Jesus is the antidote!
The Antidote for the Absurdity of Life!