Pastor Aaron E. Lavender
Sunday Morning, January 24, 2016
Sermon Series: CHASING THE WIND – Sermon #4
“The Futility of Chasing Pleasure”
Our study of the Book of Ecclesiastes now considers the matter of whether pleasure and luxury can give meaning to life. King Solomon experimented in pleasure with his mind still guiding him—in other words, he did not become corrupted but remained in control of himself. Not only illicit pleasures disappointed him but even morally acceptable activities and things done in moderation left him empty.
From our text we will consider three truths: the resolve to chase after pleasure, the key areas considered while chasing after pleasure, and the conclusion drawn from chasing after pleasure.
I. The Resolve To Chase After Pleasure for Personal Satisfaction: Ecclesiastes 2:1-2
II. The Key Areas Probed While Chasing After Pleasure for Personal Satisfaction: Ecclesiastes 2:3-8
A. Pleasure in WINE (2:3; cf. Proverbs 23:29-35)
B. Pleasure in WORK (2:4-6)
1. Solomon’s architectural works (v.4).
2. Solomon’s horticultural works (v.5).
3. Solomon’s hydrological works (v.6).
C. Pleasure in WEALTH (2:7-8a).
D. Pleasure in WOMEN (2:8b).
III. The Conclusion Drawn From Chasing After Pleasure for Personal Satisfaction: Ecclesiastes 2:9-11
King Solomon undertook his investigation in a thoroughgoing manner. He denied himself no gratification, however foolish. He enjoyed all his labor, and all which his labor procured for him. This was the reason he did not withhold his heart from joy. He was ready to taste any pleasure which his exertions might obtain. Each new experiment was exciting for a time. His pleasure, however, lasted only as long as the project lasted and the newness of it had not yet worn off (2:10).
Now he gives his conclusion concerning his pursuit of pleasure. His various experiments had contributed nothing to his anxious inquiry, and his sorrowful conclusion again is that “all was vanity, a grasping after wind.” In all the pursuits and labors that men undertake there is no real profit, no lasting happiness, nothing to satisfy the cravings of the spirit “under the sun,” i.e., in this world without light from God Almighty above (2:11).
Perfect example portrayed at the end of the classic movie Citizen Kane (1941). Money and possessions can never provide lasting satisfaction.