Better Things (Part 2)
We continue our study about better things written by King Solomon, the riches and the smartest man
who ever lived. Despite of all that he has, he was telling us all is vanity and vexation to the spirit. He
gives us is experiences and his advices regarding many things so let’s see the other better things.
I. The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit or in simple terms, patience is better
than pride (Eccl. 7:8b, 9)
A. Pride is inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one’s own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others. Pride comes from the fallen heart of man (Mk. 7:22).
1. God hates pride and judges it (Ps. 10:4; Pr. 8:13; Isa. 16:6)
2. The wicked are proud (Ps 10:2; 73:6). Pride is evil.
3. Pride produces contention (Pr. 13:10). Contention is quarrel, debate, strife, whichis caused by anger which rests in the bosom of fools (Eccl. 7:9)
B. Patience is the suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness; the act or quality of waiting long for justice or expected good without discontent; perseverance; constancy in labor or exertion; the quality of bearing offenses and
injuries without anger or revenge (Webster).
1. Patience is commended by God (2 Thess. 1:4; Rev. 2:2-3)
2. The Christian is called upon to exercise patience (Rom. 12:12; 2Pet. 1:6; Rev. 1:9).
3. Patience is a virtue which can indicate that a man is wise.
C. Patience is absolutely better than pride. Patience is godly, pride is evil.
Illustration: Hebrews 12:1
Hebrews 12:1 tells us to “run with endurance” the race set before us. George Matheson wrote, “We
commonly associate patience with lying down. We think of it as the angel that guards the couch of the
invalid. Yet there is a patience that I believe to be harder—the patience that can run. To lie down in
the time of grief, to be quiet under the stroke of adverse fortune, implies a great strength; but I know
of something that implies a strength greater still: it is the power to work under stress; to have a great
weight at your heart and still run; to have a deep anguish in your spirit and still perform the daily tasks.
It is a Christlike thing! The hardest thing is that most of us are called to exercise our patience, not in
the sickbed but in the street.”
To wait is hard, to do it with “good courage” is harder! (Our Daily Bread)
II. The present is better than the past (Eccl. 7:10)
A. Say not thou, `What was it, That the former days were better than these? In simple terms, we must not ask the question “why was the former days (past) better than the present”?
1. People always think about the good old days.
2. They look back and say the past is better, the present is more difficult.
3. While this is true, people forget that “good old days” or the past has some bad events which they forget.
4. In the wilderness the Israelites long for the good food when they are in Egypt.
They forget that when they are there, they were slaves and treated badly to the extent that their baby boys were murdered.
B. Why it is not good to ask this question?
1. According to Solomon it is not from wisdom if these things are said.
2. The past is gone and you cannot turn back the time.
3. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present!
4. Make most of today for tomorrow may not come. Learn from the past and prepare for tomorrow.
5. Things may be hard now but there’s still a reason for rejoicing. We must live today in the will of God, counting our blessing.
6. In good or in bad times, always remember that the Lord Jesus Christ will never leave us nor forsake us. (Heb. 13:5).
Illustration: A Life Once Spent Is Irrevocable
A life once spent is irrevocable. It will remain to be contemplated through eternity. The same may be
said of each day. When it is once past, it is gone forever. All the marks which we put upon it, it will
exhibit forever. Each day will not only be a witness of our conduct but will affect our everlasting
destiny. How shall we then wish to see each day marked with usefulness…! It is too late to mend the
days that are past. The future is in our power. Let us, then, each morning, resolve to send the day into
eternity in such a garb as we shall wish it to wear forever. And at night let us reflect that one more
day is irrevocably gone, indelibly marked.
The Life of Adoniram Judson (Anson, Randolph & Company, 1883), pp. 13-15
III. Wisdom is better than wealth (Eccl. 7:11-12)
A. Wisdom together with inheritance (prosperity) would be very beneficial.
1. The person who has wealth but lacks wisdom will only waste his fortune, but the person who has wisdom will know how to get and use wealth.
2. Wisdom and wealth can both serve as a defence (Eccl. 7:11, Prov. 10:15).
3. However, riches and wealth cannot redeem the soul (Ps. 49:6-9; 1Pe 1:18) and cannot deliver in the day of God’s wrath. (Zep. 1:18; Rev. 6:15-17)
4. The advantage of wisdom is that it can preserve the life of its possessor and can protect better than money.
5. Wisdom can help one survive the hardships and difficulties of life as well as
enjoyment and purpose of living.
IV. The sovereignty of God (Eccl. 7:13-14).
A. Sovereignty is the right of God to do as He wishes (Ps. 50:1; Is. 40:15; 1 Tim. 6:15) with
His creation. This implies that there is no external influence upon Him and that He also has the ability to exercise His right according to His will.
B. The Lord Jesus Christ is in complete control in everything.
C. We cannot change or alter what the Lord hath made. Let us just accept the fact there are things that we cannot change, things that we just have to accept as it is. (Eccl.7:13)
D. Christ’s sovereignty is immutable and we cannot understand His ways
E. Christ has made prosperity and adversity and will put them together in our life to bring about His perfect plan for us. (Eccl. 7:14, Job. 1:21, 2:10)
F. Prosperity will always be good if it is used wisely. Prosperity is our time to enjoy and that’s when we forget God.
G. Adversity however, is different. In adversity we experience difficult times that makes us humble and cry to Christ for help and deliverance.
H. In adversity Christ wants to bring out the best in us, while the enemy wants to bring the worst in us. The response is always our choice.
I. We will never understand why bad things happens to good people even to faithful Christians.
J. We will never understand everything that is happening in our lives but always remember Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
K. Trusting God for tomorrow is better than knowing about tomorrow.
Illustration: God’s Sovereignty
There is no attribute more comforting to His children than that of God’s sovereignty. Under the most
adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that sovereignty has ordained their
afflictions, that sovereignty overrules them, and that sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is
nothing for which the children ought to more earnestly contend to than the doctrine of their Master
over all creation—the Kingship of God over all the works of His own hands—the Throne of God and
His right to sit upon that throne…for it is God upon the Throne whom we trust. (C. H. Spurgeon)
Patience is better than pride, the present is better than the past, wisdom is better than
wealth, and Christ is sovereign. We will never understand everything that is happening in
our lives now but we can trust the Lord Jesus Christ. He knows the future and He knows
not only the “better things but the best things” for us. Will you put your trust in Him? You
should and the reason is He can give you the best, more than you can think of and imagine