Participants: David Shin
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000356
00:31 I would like to welcome you today to Faith Chapel.
00:33 My name is David Shin, and we will be spending the
00:37 next few moments together in a study of God's word.
00:40 But before we do so, I would like to invite you
00:43 to bow your heads with me as we pray together.
00:46 Father in heaven, we thank you today
00:48 for the privilege and opportunity
00:52 we have to study your word and we ask
00:54 that your Holy Spirit which inspires,
00:56 would also be the spirit
00:58 that instructs in Jesus name, amen.
01:02 A numbers years ago I had the privilege
01:05 and opportunity to visit New York City.
01:07 We were on a quiet trip and several of my friends
01:11 and myself decided that we would go
01:13 and visit the Statue of Liberty.
01:15 We rode out on the ferry to Ellis Island
01:18 all the while basking in this picture
01:22 of religious liberty and just pictured ourselves
01:25 as those immigrants coming across the ocean
01:28 and many times that was a first thing
01:30 that they would see when coming to America.
01:33 We got off the ferry and decided that we would
01:36 spend the time to climb the Statue of Liberty.
01:39 Now the Statue of Liberty is hollow in structure
01:43 and they have this stairs inside specifically for
01:47 repairs and tourists and they wined around
01:49 the inside of the statue and they go
01:51 all the way up to the torch and to the crown
01:53 and on this particular day, the torch was not opened
01:58 for construction reasons and so forth,
02:00 but that was opened for the crown
02:02 and so we decided that it will be worth it,
02:04 and there was a crowd that wrapped all the way
02:06 from the crown of the Statue of Liberty
02:08 down to the base and wrapped around the base
02:10 and you can imagine that there were several
02:12 hundred people that were waiting with anticipation
02:15 and baited breath to climb this Statue of Liberty.
02:20 But we thought it would be worth it
02:21 because we were anticipating the view
02:24 that would be from the top of this statue
02:27 of a beautiful New York City, and so we waited
02:32 for an eternal two hours inside the statue,
02:37 most of it on, sometimes 15 to 20 minutes
02:40 on one staircase, our legs were cramped
02:43 and air isn't too much in there as we got to the top
02:46 of the, the neck of the statue
02:48 particularly there was a spiral staircase
02:50 that went around and only one person at a time
02:54 was allowed to go to the staircase
02:55 and many of us were on our hands, and knees
02:57 because we didn't want to stand up.
02:58 The air was stifling; you could hear
03:00 women screaming and so forth.
03:02 But we were just waiting for that moment
03:04 when we got to the top, and after two hours
03:06 we stepped out on the platform to look out
03:08 from the top of the Statue of Liberty.
03:10 And I'm just going to be honest here
03:12 all of us were disappointed,
03:14 not because necessarily the view
03:16 but because our expectations
03:18 did not match the actual event,
03:21 and I will never forget the words
03:24 of the young lady behind me.
03:26 She said, this is it, this is it, we've waited
03:29 two hours just for this and out of courtesy
03:32 for the people that were behind us,
03:33 we took just the few moments it wasn't even
03:36 30 seconds to look out at a smoke filled New York City
03:40 through this stained plexiglass windows,
03:42 and had to work our way down.
03:45 And what took two hours of waiting,
03:49 it took 15 minutes to descend.
03:52 And I thought about that
03:54 it's kind of like life sometimes.
03:56 We believe that if we can just reach a certain point,
04:00 if we can just get that job or that promotion
04:02 or have this experience that we will find
04:05 ultimate fulfillments, so we press, we grovel,
04:08 we put in all our expenditures in our lifetime
04:11 into getting that goal or that attainment
04:14 or that achievement, and many times
04:16 we find out when we've reached the top
04:17 that there is absolutely nothing there.
04:21 Jack Higgins who is a renowned author of the book
04:26 "The Eagle Has Landed" makes this statement
04:29 when he was asked if you could tell yourself a child
04:32 something or when you are growing up
04:34 what do you wish you knew that you know now.
04:36 And he says, I wish that someone had told me
04:38 when I was a boy that when you get to the top
04:40 there is absolutely nothing there.
04:44 Here is a renowned author, he has achieved fame
04:47 and honor and riches and he says,
04:49 I wish someone had told me
04:50 that when you get to the top,
04:51 there is absolutely nothing there.
04:53 Another author says that the loneliness moment in life
04:56 is when you have reached that which you thought
05:00 would deliver the ultimate, and has let you down.
05:03 The loneliness moment in life is when
05:05 you've achieved that which you thought
05:07 would deliver the ultimate and has let you down.
05:10 Our topic today is entitled
05:13 "What is worthwhile under the sun".
05:15 And we would like to go to scripture in our study
05:18 today to study the life of one particular individual,
05:21 his name is Solomon.
05:22 The beauty of the Bible friends is that when we
05:25 study the Bible not only do we have
05:27 endorsement of characteristics
05:29 that we have to possess, but also characteristics
05:32 that we have to avoid and we have these lessons
05:34 from the lives of individuals that have gone down
05:37 before us to give afore warning
05:40 about how we ought to live our lives.
05:43 I would like to take us to the book of Ecclesiastes,
05:47 this book it gives an illustration of how
05:50 we ought to live our lives.
05:52 Ecclesiastes chapter 1 and verse 1, as Solomon
05:56 begins his discourse and his disposition.
06:00 He says "The words of the Preacher,
06:02 the son of David, king in Jerusalem".
06:06 Here Solomon is giving an account of his life.
06:10 He is giving what from a philosophical standpoint;
06:13 it's almost an existential philosophy
06:15 that he is portraying. He was the son of David.
06:18 He was the wealthiest man arguably that ever
06:21 lived in history and he gives his own history of how
06:26 we ought to live our lives from experience,
06:28 from his own life.
06:30 In Ecclesiastes chapter 1 verse 2,
06:32 he starts with this vane of words almost.
06:35 He says, Vanity of vanities, he says the Preacher;
06:38 Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
06:43 Notice this word is repeated over and over again
06:46 and the word "Vanity"
06:48 simply means vapor or breath.
06:51 Now the Hebrews when they wanted to emphasize
06:54 something in particular would repeat it
06:56 repeat it and repeat it and you will see that
06:58 five times this word 'Vanity' is repeated,
07:02 and it means meaninglessness or emptiness of life.
07:06 Now how is it that this preacher
07:09 would say in these words?
07:11 I had a friend of mine who was going through seminary.
07:14 He was studying the book of Ecclesiastes and he said,
07:17 David I found something interesting
07:19 about the book of Ecclesiastes.
07:21 It has a myriad of illusions to the book of Genesis.
07:25 Case in point in Ecclesiastes chapter 12,
07:28 he refers to the sun, moon and the stars,
07:31 also makes a reference to remembering the creator
07:34 but the most powerful illusion I found
07:37 is this word "Vanity" Vanity in the Hebrew is Abel,
07:41 and when it's transliterated in the book of Genesis
07:44 it's the same word for Abel and I can't help
07:48 but think that when the Hebrew mind was reading,
07:51 this book Ecclesiastes and he saw the word "Vanity"
07:55 there was an illusion to the life of Abel.
07:58 You remember he was the second son of Adam
08:01 and he lived, he got in skirmish
08:03 with his brother Kane and he died.
08:05 There was virtually hardly any reference
08:08 to Abel in the Old Testament.
08:10 His life was like a breath, it was like a vapor,
08:13 it was there and suddenly it was gone.
08:17 And friend's happiness cannot exist without
08:21 Jesus Christ. Life is short lived and here Solomon is
08:26 illustrating by the word "Vanity" that without
08:29 Jesus Christ, our lives are like a breath,
08:32 they are like a vapor.
08:33 I came across this interesting illustration
08:37 of how short life really is.
08:40 The average life even if you live beyond this
08:42 lifespan of 78 years is approximately only
08:46 650,000 hours, that's not very much
08:52 when you think about it, and if we live approximately
08:54 70, 80 years this is how we can break down our lives.
08:58 The average American who leaves college at 22
09:01 and lives to be 70, so you can break down
09:04 this 48 years of existence between the age
09:07 of 22 and 70, 48 years and they can be broken
09:12 down to these different activities as we see.
09:15 16 years, if you were to compress it all into one
09:19 will be consumed in work,
09:21 that's not taking time to sleep, eat,
09:24 16 years compressed of working.
09:27 15 years of sleeping that just
09:30 under the shade of 8 hours a day.
09:32 After 16 years of working, 15 years of sleeping,
09:36 the next thing is quite a shock
09:38 it's 8 years of watching television.
09:41 The average American would spent 8 years
09:44 compressed watching television,
09:46 2 years commuting and after your take up
09:47 all of life's activities it's quite shocking
09:50 when you think about how much life you have to
09:53 actually spend with the things that are essential,
09:55 and it's only 4 years, 4 years to spend
09:58 with the family, family, intimate moments,
10:01 recreation and the things that you actually want
10:03 to do and most of that time is spend during those
10:06 "Golden years of retirement".
10:09 So when you think about life, life is short
10:12 and when you compress your moments 16 years working,
10:16 15 years sleeping and 8 years watching television
10:20 heaven forbid and after that 4 years you only have
10:22 a few moments of life to do
10:24 what you actually want to do.
10:25 And Solomon is pointing out, the brevity, the
10:28 meaninglessness of life are part from Jesus Christ.
10:32 But how is it that Solomon can make the statement.
10:36 He was a king, he was a powerful ruler,
10:38 he was wealthy and we get a little bit of window
10:41 into the life of Solomon from this account.
10:45 I like to read to you from Ecclesiastes chapter 2
10:49 verses 4-10 from the New King James Version,
10:53 and he said. I made my works great,
10:57 I built myself houses, I planted myself vineyards.
11:01 I made myself gardens and orchards,
11:04 and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
11:07 I made myself water pools from which to water
11:11 the growing trees of the grove.
11:13 I acquired male and female servants,
11:16 and had servants born in my house.
11:19 Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks
11:23 than all who were in Jerusalem before me.
11:26 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the
11:30 special treasures of kings and of the provinces.
11:33 I acquired male and female singers,
11:36 the delights of the sons of men,
11:38 and musical instruments of all kinds.
11:41 So I became great and excelled more than
11:44 all who were before me in Jerusalem.
11:47 Also my wisdom remained with me.
11:50 Whatever mine eyes desired I did not keep from them.
11:55 I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure,
11:58 For all my heart, from my heart
12:00 rejoiced in all my labor;
12:03 And this was reward from all my labor.
12:08 Solomon essentially gives us a list of all the things
12:13 that he had. He had riches, he had honor,
12:16 he had fame and Solomon arguably
12:19 is the richest man in the history of mankind.
12:23 And I just like for us to bridge the gap a little bit
12:26 and modernize this so that we can relate
12:28 to how wealthy Solomon actually was.
12:31 He was a modern Bill Gates, I would like to think.
12:33 And the last time I checked Bill Gates was worth
12:36 approximately $33.15 billion dollars.
12:40 Now that varies depending on the stock market
12:42 and it goes up and down but for the sake
12:44 of our illustration he is rich, $33.15 billion
12:47 and so if you were too cash in $33.15 billion
12:52 and take it all back in once,
12:55 this is how astronomically big this amount would be.
12:59 Let's say that you lay them
13:01 billion $1 bills.
13:04 You would make a round trip to the moon and back
13:07 6.7 times, that means round trip that's one you do
13:12 it 6.7 times for $33.15 billion $1 bills.
13:17 Let's say in the old days, remember how grandma
13:20 used to keep the money under the mattress.
13:22 If you were to keep all of this money
13:24 under the mattress and let's assume that they sleep
13:27 Bill and his wife Melinda sleep on king size mattress,
13:30 you would have to go 5.64 miles to get from the top
13:35 of the bed to the floor every morning and that's
13:38 not counting the thickness of the mattress itself.
13:40 This was interesting a sack of $33.15 billion $1 bills
13:44 would weigh the equivalent of 84 times
13:47 more than a Boeing 747.
13:51 Its astronomical to think how rich this individual is
13:54 and this was I found one.
13:56 Let say and assume that you want it to spend
13:59 every dime of Bill's money and you had set
14:01 a limit of 36 years to do it.
14:04 Assuming that you work 24 hours a day,
14:06 365 days a year, you will have to spend it
14:09 at the following rate, wouldn't it be fun
14:11 to spend all of his money.
14:12 Per second you would have to spend
14:14 approximately $29 dollars every second,
14:16 so right now we've just spend $29 dollars,
14:22 per hour a $105,000, per day $2.52 million.
14:28 It means today you have to go out
14:29 and spend $2.5 million, per weeks $17.65 million,
14:33 per months $76 million and every year you will have
14:36 to spend approximately $920.73 million.
14:42 That's rich and the Bible tells us that
14:46 Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived.
14:50 Not only did he have intelligence but the Bible
14:53 tells us that he had political power as well.
14:56 He was a king of one of the most powerful countries
14:59 in the unknown world at time.
15:02 I've had friends who have this theory
15:05 that for every thing that you have,
15:06 you are lacking in other areas.
15:09 And I didn't really believe him
15:11 but as I looked around in high school,
15:13 I notice that it tended to be true that the people
15:15 that were intelligent were lacking in other areas.
15:19 And the guys that were athletic had other issues.
15:23 I notice that they were asking me
15:25 for my homework sometimes, or there were people
15:27 that were really beautiful or pretty had other issues,
15:30 but every now and then I would meet
15:32 an individual that had at all.
15:33 They were intelligent, they were sophisticated,
15:36 they had the personality, they had the money
15:37 and they were just what we can say
15:39 was the all American person.
15:42 And so here is Solomon
15:44 he has the intelligence of Einstein.
15:47 He has the wealth of Bill Gates.
15:49 He has the political power of George Bush and I'm
15:52 assuming that he was also good looking as well.
15:55 Remember his parents were David and Bathsheba,
15:57 and so he had the personality, the looks,
16:01 the wealth and everything that from a human
16:04 perspective that life had to offer.
16:08 And you would think that after this Solomon
16:10 wouldn't say essentially that he was the happiest
16:13 person in the world, but he wasn't.
16:17 I just like to add one more thing,
16:18 the Bible says that not only did he have
16:20 all these things but according to Kings it says
16:23 that he had 700 concubines and 300 wives.
16:28 That's a thousand women and remember concubines
16:30 is just a second degree wife back in the Bible
16:33 and so he could essentially see a different
16:36 woman or wife a day for approximately 2.8 years
16:40 I don't know what it is
16:41 and not see the same wife twice,
16:43 I can't imagine that kind of display.
16:46 But anyways after all this you would imagine
16:48 that Solomon wouldn't say I'm the happiest person
16:50 in the world, but it's interesting what the Bible
16:53 says in our next verse in Ecclesiastes
16:57 Chapter 2 and verse 11.
16:59 After he makes this statements Solomon
17:02 essentially says this words in
17:05 Ecclesiastes Chapter 2 and verse 11:
17:07 Then I looked on all the works that my hands
17:10 had wrought, had done and all the labor
17:13 in which I had toiled;
17:15 And indeed all was vanity
17:18 and grasping after the wind.
17:21 There was no profit under the sun.
17:25 Essentially Solomon is saying this
17:28 then after looking at all the things that his hand
17:30 has wrought and all the things that he toiled to do,
17:32 his riches, his honors, his fame,
17:33 his political powers, his intelligence
17:35 and everything under the sun.
17:37 He says everything was in vanity,
17:40 meaningless and vexation.
17:43 Now, what would cause Solomon to say
17:46 something like that and it illustrates a simple point
17:49 that we cannot find happiness
17:51 from the things of this world.
17:54 Happiness is internal; it's not external.
17:58 And if you will notice from the previous verses
18:00 that we just read there are certain
18:02 things that keep reoccurring.
18:04 He says I built me great houses;
18:07 I built me these things, I and me
18:10 are the center of his quest for happiness.
18:14 Selfishness and happiness cannot coexist.
18:18 The secret of living is giving and the secret
18:22 of self preservation is self sacrifice.
18:26 You know it's interesting there is a body of water
18:28 out in the Middle East, that has an inlet,
18:31 but it doesn't have an outlet,
18:33 it's called the Dead Sea.
18:34 And the reason why it's called the Dead Sea is that
18:37 there is virtually no life in the Dead Sea.
18:41 It's always receiving water from the Jordan River,
18:44 but it has no outlet and it illustrates
18:47 a simple principle of life.
18:49 That if you want to be alive in every aspect,
18:52 in every dimension of your being that
18:55 you've got to not only receive but give.
18:57 Selfishness and happiness cannot coexist.
19:02 Happiness is not external, it's internal and I came
19:06 across these interesting quotes from these
19:09 individuals you will recognize many of them.
19:11 This people from a humanistic standpoint
19:14 had achieved fame and fortune,
19:16 and they make some interesting statements
19:18 about the nature of their fulfillment in life,
19:22 and here is one. I thought I had reached a point
19:24 in my life where everything would be smooth,
19:26 but is not. It just gets more jagged and pitted
19:30 and filled with turns that take you
19:33 into the dark recesses of your mind.
19:35 It never seems to get easy.
19:38 Sylvester Stallone, the guy who played in a myriad
19:42 of Hollywood movies you think he would be the happiest
19:43 person in the world, but he isn't.
19:46 The next one is given by a gentleman,
19:49 If I were given a change of life, I'd like to see
19:52 how it would be to live as a mere six-footer,
19:55 you know who said that? Wilt Chamberlain,
19:58 seven feet tall center he said,
19:59 if I were given a change of life,
20:01 I just like to be a mere six-footer.
20:03 This is interesting I don't like my voice,
20:06 I don't like the way I look,
20:08 I don't like the way I move,
20:09 I don't like the way I act, I mean period
20:12 so you know I don't like myself, Elizabeth Taylor.
20:18 I can count the number of dates
20:20 I've had on one hand. I wish that guys
20:22 would ask me out, but they don't,
20:23 La Toya Jackson, Michael Jackson's sister.
20:27 And this is astounding in tennis Wimbledon is
20:30 considered the greatest tournament of the ages,
20:33 greater than the US Open,
20:35 greater than Australian Open and Boris Becker
20:37 number years ago after winning Wimbledon,
20:39 was asked this essential question
20:41 what is it that you struggle within life?
20:43 And he says I struggle with suicide,
20:46 he shock the world with that statement,
20:49 and so here are individuals that have achieved
20:52 everything that life has to offer they've achieved
20:54 the fame the fortune and every ability under the sun
20:58 and they come to the end of this statements
21:01 and virtually say that life is meaningless
21:03 or something is essentially missing in life.
21:07 G.K. Chesterton makes this statement
21:09 that meaninglessness does not come
21:12 from being weary of pain.
21:13 Meaninglessness comes from being weary of pleasure.
21:19 You know it's interesting when you come
21:21 to the final moments of your life
21:23 how these individuals make their last statements.
21:27 There is his book out called
21:28 "The Last Words of Sinners and Saints".
21:32 And essentially it goes something like this
21:35 Davis Livingston makes his statement
21:38 and he says these words:
21:40 Build me a hut to die in, and I am going home,
21:43 what a way to die. John Wesley says, best of all,
21:46 God is with us farewell.
21:49 F.U. Mark said read me something from the Bible,
21:53 something brave and triumphant.
21:56 D. L. Moody said, I see earth receding;
21:59 heaven is opening, God is calling me.
22:02 And so, you these guys that were Christians
22:05 they lived their prayer times in accordance
22:07 with Judea Christian values,
22:09 they come the end of life and they say
22:10 I see Heaven open and God is calling me,
22:13 death is not something to be scared out.
22:15 Now it's interesting when you read on the flip side
22:18 people that don't believe in God, these are atheist
22:20 and this is what they said this was interesting
22:22 from Ramon Narvaez he says: I have no enemies,
22:26 I have shot them all, what a way to die.
22:28 Here is another one: You must not let me die,
22:31 I dare not die, oh, doctor,
22:33 save me if you can antithesis.
22:36 Here is one from Voltaire, the renowned atheist,
22:39 he says: I am abandoned by God and man.
22:42 I will give you half of what I am worth
22:44 if you will give me six months of life.
22:46 Then I shall go to hell; and you will go with me.
22:50 O Christ! O Jesus Christ!
22:53 The nurse who attended Voltaire said,
22:56 "For all the wealth in Europe
22:57 I would not see another infidel die.
23:01 Here is another one Thomas Paine he says:
23:04 I would give the worlds, if I had them.
23:06 'The Age of Reason' had never been published.
23:09 O Lord, help me! O Christ, help me!
23:12 If there had ever been a devil had an agent,
23:16 if ever the Devil had an agent,
23:17 I would had been that one. And he says
23:19 hell, hell, hell, in the final moments of his life.
23:27 Another atheist by the name of Friedrich Nietzsche
23:30 who in many ways epitomized a life apart from
23:35 Jesus Christ made this statements and he says:
23:39 The main obstruction is the Christian,
23:42 the religious man the warm theologian for religion
23:45 is the forest engendered
23:47 by the fear of the world beyond.
23:50 He says push the Christian aside bury him,
23:53 tell him of his illusion and ignorance,
23:55 tell them he doesn't belong in this new world
23:57 and when you see his arms and legs twitching as he
24:00 falls and dies give him the greatest news of all,
24:05 proclaim to him that there is no Heaven to be gained,
24:07 no hell to be feared and as he breathes his last
24:10 he will reach out his hands to classed you
24:12 in ground to altitude, go and bury him
24:14 so that you see his face no more once
24:17 and for all removing this burden of God
24:20 that the misguided saints have set upon us.
24:24 Essentially Fredrick Neitzsche believed
24:26 that with the demolition of God
24:28 he can live essentially a guilt free life.
24:33 Its interesting the way Fredrick Neitzsche life ended
24:36 he collapse in Basel, Switzerland and was taken
24:40 off to an asylum and died in, in for me.
24:43 You know the secret of living is giving the secret
24:47 of self preservation is self sacrifice and the secret
24:50 my friend of happiness is living with Jesus Christ.
24:55 I like to turn to our first, our last text here today
24:58 Ecclesiastes 12 and verse 13 as Solomon concludes
25:04 his discourse he says:
25:07 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
25:10 Fear God and keep His commandments,
25:14 for this is man's all. Essentially the wisest man
25:20 that ever lived comes to the end of this
25:22 book of Ecclesiastes after talking about all his
25:25 wealth, fame, honor, intelligence, good looks
25:28 and all the things that life has to offer.
25:30 He says fear God and keep his commandments
25:33 for this is the whole duty of man.
25:37 Happiness cannot exist from Jesus Christ
25:40 and as Pascal said: There is a God shaped
25:44 hole in every heart that only he can fill.
25:48 Jesus is the secret of happiness. External things
25:53 cannot bring true fulfillment in life.
25:56 From one of my favorite books
25:58 Steps to Christ makes this statement.
26:01 It's a mistake to entertain the thought of God
26:04 being pleased to see His children suffer.
26:07 All heaven is interested in the happiness of man.
26:11 Our heavenly Father does not close the avenues
26:15 of joy to any of His creatures.
26:17 The divine requirements call upon us to shun those
26:20 indulgences which would bring suffering
26:23 and disappointment, that would close to us
26:27 the happiness of heaven.
26:29 The world's redeemer accepts men as they are,
26:32 with all their wants,
26:33 imperfections, and weaknesses.
26:36 He does not only cleanse from sin
26:38 and grant redemption through His blood,
26:40 but will satisfy the heart longing of all who consent
26:45 to wear His yoke, to bear His burden.
26:47 It is His purpose to impart peace and rest to all
26:51 who come to Him for the bread of life.
26:54 Who requires us to perform only those duties
26:57 that will lead our steps to the height of bliss
26:59 to which the disobedient can never attain?
27:03 The true, joyous life of the souls
27:05 is to have Christ formed within the hope of glory.
27:12 Jesus is essentially saying to us
27:15 through the words of Solomon come unto me,
27:17 all you that labour and are heavy-laden
27:21 and I will give you rest. Solomon by his discourse,
27:27 by his disposition is urging us when we live
27:30 this life as were steaming to climb these ladders
27:33 to make Christ the center of your life.
27:36 It is my prayer for you that you make Jesus first,
27:40 last and best in your life for that is only way that
27:45 we can truly find happiness and joy and fulfillment.
27:50 May God bless you and keep you to that end?