Die, Live and Enjoy

Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:12

Introduction:

Hostage taking, Jueteng payola, NHA North triangle demolition.

Societal crises. Just when we have a new president-not like GMA-and we are facing upheavals. Coupled with that are people are more people who are more senior or more knowledge on this situation.

Our society is filled with many people who claimed to Know-it-All. From those who wasted the time of negotiation from real negotiators –to those who lawmakers who thought that everything must be discussed to death in the halls of Congress and Senate –to solve it.

People hate experts-unless they are the one-or thought they are the expert themselves.

But we need to have people who will really understand and take the proper action.

The Title of my message is “Die, Live and Enjoy”

This pertains to the 3 points division of the message and our text-however there is an introductory materials that ties up with epilogue

  1. Introduction:

The secret to proper appreciation of life is a confession that a Reformed or Calvinist Christian must do-He does not know what the future holds. He just know a God who knows all about it. He takes comfort in that relationship. He does not need to know it to the fullest.

  1. I Don’t Know 8:16-17

For true wisdom to come it is better to admit that we don’t really know about what is happening amongst us-than pretend as if we are the Wise Man of the age. Some don’t even sleep just to figure things out-and they lose their sanity in doing so. I know at least 2 persons who knows a lot that the first one has to be hospitalized-I even have to visit him in the hospital and play chess. The other is insomniac-He worries lot what the world will throw at him.

Once I was an elder of a Presbyterian Church. Then I was suspended because I held a contrary opinion. I resent the idea that they don’t want my opinion anymore-that my voice will be silence forever –until I learned that I need to be quiet before God –so that I can learn some more.  Sometimes –we can learn more when we are force to admit that we don’t know.

  1. Hand of God 9:1

Coupled with that confession is that God does control everything. Even we may try to be wise and righteous- do the right things, pay our dues-It is still up to God to manage what will happen in our life. God does not need our opinion, suggestion and especially permission before He do something.

If Jesus did not come –we might worry of staring at the uncovered God. And yes it is not comforting to behold the Glory of God-unless it is veiled in Jesus. We take comfort in the fact that the hand of God was pierced for our transgression and sins. It is no longer a threat to us. Our future is in Jesus hand.

Only when we admit our ignorance or limit of knowledge –and then bow before the Sovereign Lord can we understand the following:

  1. All Die 9:2-3

And yet we must accept that though Jesus conquered death at Calvary-we still face our mortality in the future. This age has not yet turn totally to that age –which is to come.

It is like Normandy-or D-day. The Allied forces has landed at Omaha beach-but it will take awhile before they reached Berlin and have Germany surrender. Between Calvary and Second Coming –Christians will still die. We have not yet transformed to the resurrected bodies like that of Jesus.

The good, the righteous, the clean and those who make sacrifice at the temple-will still die.

We want the wicked, the bad, the unclean and those who do not sacrifice who will die only. But it does not happen that way. We wish those who are good to live forever.

Kung baga sa cine-hindi namamatay si FPJ.

But this earth is tainted by sin-and so are we. There will be a time when this earth will ne purged by fire-but not until then-only until then that death will meet its end.

The problem with people –or sons of Adam-humans-men and women=maikli na nga ang buhay-bakit pa rin gumagawa ng kasamaang lantaran, hayagan o nakaksulasok. Men’s heart are filled with evil and madness.

Madness btw comes from a Hebrew word –referring to the howling sound of wind or animal. Meaning noisy. Unquiet hearts cannot be silent before God and men. Maingay sa loob kaya’t ano-anu ang ginagawa.

Consider this madness:

Shinjuku Incident starring Jacky Chan- a Chinese from farmland of North China-entered illegally to Japan to find his long lost girlfriend . Only to find that she is married to a Yakuza sub-leader. So he became evil himself so he can become legal immigrant himself. He cheated and killed others so that he can rise from poverty. In the process he lost himself and his girlfriend and then in the need He also died.

Or the case of Robin and Mariel. I think Mariel is crazy, mad. Wedding at India, Baguio? With a moslem with a wife that is still not properly divorced.

Or wala ka na ngang pera –inom ka prin ng inom. This is madness.

  1. Live 9:4-6

A live dog is better than a dead lion-shows the contempt of Israelite society against dogs-especially the street kind-And how majestic is a Lion. The king of the jungle and the animal kingdom. And yet it is still better to be a live dog than a dead lion.

When people die-in the future –they will be no longer remembered. Not that people will active suppressed their memories-but due to busyness and trying to cope with living-they no longer remember you.

Malapit nanaman ang Nov 1. I always joke that my burial lot must be near my father-in-law at Everest since many remembers to visit him. I don’t want to be forgotten myself-for I experienced such when I left JLOAPC.

-Indiana Jones Movie when the villain always hang onto the relic or treasure even when they are being threaten with death if they hang on to it.It is Madness.

  1. Enjoy 9:7-10

Then and only then we are prepared to enjoy life-This is common or general grace that God grant each man or woman. Something to enjoy because God is pleased to grant this simple things. It is our portion, our inheritance.

God has given these things:

  1. Foods
  2. Drink
  3. Appearance/Clothing
  4. Wife
  5. Something to do

And yet many are not satisfied with these simple joys. And some suppressed these or forbid it. Let us read 1 Timothy 4:1-4

“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,   because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. “

Not everything looking religious is right and proper. The New Covenant Faith –is not mere religious observance. It is demonstraion  of the Spirit’s power.

This was big issue in the time of Reformation i.e why Luther immediately married Katherine-a nun, to prove a point. And Calvin married Idelette.

When I was at Tokyo-and my wife was not able to come- I was lost emotionally at Tokyo-something is missing. Marriage is for someone to remember what you did-according to “Shall we Dance” Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez.

Sabi ngs kantang “The Best of Times” –“ The best of times are when I am alone with you.Some rain some shine , ww’ll make this world for two.”

Something to Do;

Do you know why old people must always read the newspaper of at least indulge in Mahjong or Chess? Because it is one of the qualites of someone living. He can do the following: No taong grasa ned to apply.

  1. Do something/work
  2. Make plans or calculations
  3. Acquire Knowledge or Skill
  4. Apply Wisdom or knowledge to situation.

If a person-newly retired –and does not have a plan to do afterwards-he will easily die. He must do something. For those who are old-a little bodily activity, a chess here or there, a childlike passion to learn something new and apply it to real-life situation-this is what makes living exciting and a blessings to others.

You muat also accept and master these things so to be succefull in life. Doing,planning, knowing and applying to real life situations .

If you can enjoy these simple things and then is able to engage in fruitful physical and mental  activity –then you are doing something God is pleased to bless.

  1. Epilogue 9:11-12

But enjoying God’s blessings does not mean that it is heaven afterwards. There are still inexplicable things that can happen. It is called by Reformed theologian Meredith Kline as the inexplicability of a Common Grace Era time before the Day of Judgment.

Define Common Grace and Covenantal Grace –if still have time. We always live in era of mercy and grace-or we are already dead-whether believer s or not.

  1. Time and Chance V. 11

Even if you are swift, strong, wise ,brilliant or learned or in the know-you may not always win-because death will still come. Time and chance will randomly snuff you away from your dreams and visions. It does not mean we resigned ourselves to a impersonal Fate. It only means we need to be prepared to what life can throw to us.

My team leader position –due to attrition-people retire, goes abroad-so It is really my time-I am awaited to become a TL. But I am not the best.  Only the one with most memories in Sales.

  1. Evil Times V. 12

Birds and fishes are usually caught thru deception-thru traps. And so –evil times can end someone else life and dreams.

Lydia Mercado-meralco house wife-who lose her child to a traffic incident. She was not fast enough.

It falls suddenly upon the ‘sons of Adam’-meaning they are caught unaware. One time nothing-then they lost everything or the best they have.

Di naman kayang tumingin ang ibon sa labas niya para Makita anung ang nangyayari. Kaya’t madalas ay nahuhuli siya sa bitag.

Kaya kailangan natin ng isang tagapagbantay sa labas ng panahon at siya ang gagawa ng paraan upang ito ay hindi mangyari o maibsan ang lupit ng hagupit ng panahon.

2 Chronicles 20: 17

“ You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’”

Egypt, Assyria and Rome are countries that relied on the swiftness, strength , intelligence and planning of their armies. But it is easily neutralized by the Lord when face with his people. He is faster, stronger, wiser, more brilliant and more knowledgeable than any creature alone or combined. He can make the difference.

Summary Point: We can only learn to enjoy this life if we stop trying to be all-knowing and let God be God. We might die in the future-but for now we live and enjoy all God’s legitimate blessings.

Application:

  1. We must learn to keep our mouth shut. We don’t need to express all our opinions. Our life must exemplify that God knows better than we do. Silence is a proper response to the All-Knowing God.
  2. God knows and control everything that will happen-whether we know it or understand it not. Awe and Praise is also a proper response to the All-Sovereign Lord.
  3. We must prepare our lives as if we will die tomorrow. Let us not hold tight to our possession on this earth. Let us not do anything foolish that we will regret in front of God.
  4. Never thought of ending one’s life. It is better than being dead.  But let not hate and jealousies be its defining characteristic. (Boy who killed his teacher because of haircut)
  5. Enjoy the simple things in life-not despised them when we eat, drink and clean ourselves in quiet and peace. War and devastation can change things. I think sex is also better when it is calm and serene.
  6. Ecclesiastes is not saying that we should resign our fate when face with evil times. It does not mean we cannot do anything. But it is not physical qualities that this world will be won over. It will be God’s decision and methods.
  7. There are times when we must face our mortality-impending death, flood waters higher than your house, fire than cannot be stopped-Let us face it bravely. Jesus faced such time, chance and evil times for us. It no longer has the same terror as before. Our faith will overcome such mindless disaster. We will triumph.

.

ENDING:

Read Revelations 21:3-5

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

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