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Futility of Work (Ecclesiastes 2:17-26)

Dennis R. Wiles, October 20, 2013
Part of the Fruit of Our Labor - Theology of Work series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

Dennis R. Wiles
FBC Arlington
October 20, 2013

Fruit of Our Labor
Theology of Work
Futility of Work
Ecclesiastes 2:17-26

God is the original worker.
We are uniquely designed for work.
God gifts us for meaningful work.
Work offers us an opportunity for healthy independence.
Work enables us to meet the real needs of others.
Work allows us to contribute to the common good.
Work is not gender specific.

Sermon Title Slide

Text: Ecclesiastes 2:17-26

There are three key words/phrases in Ecclesiastes: meaningless, chasing after the wind and under the sun.

Work must not become an idol.

The workplace is a broken place.

As followers of Jesus, we must not further the brokenness that already exists in our workplaces!

We confront the frustrations and futility of work with a strong, biblically-based theology of work!

Ecclesiastes 2:17-26

17 So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind.

18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, 19 and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. 20 So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun, 21 because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22 What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? 23 For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.

24 There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, 25 for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? 26 For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. (ESV)