Westminster Theological Seminary1997-07-22 - Worldly Enjoyments

Proverbs 23:1-3 "When you sit down to dine with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you; and put a knife to your throat, if you are a man of appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for it is deceptive food."

Ah!! Worldly enjoyments! We love them. And worldly enjoyments are different for us all, keeping up with the 6pm news, a weekly dose of "ER", a glass of fine wine, or an apple fresh off the tree, worldly enjoyments differ as the person does. But worldly enjoyments are not our refuge. Scripture admonishes us to store our treasure in heaven and not here on earth. "Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee." (Luke 12:20) Here on earth we beat our brains, tire ourselves, and yet like silkworms, we die in our work. As long as we live, we live yet to see our flower fading. It is insane to be proud of that which will perish. Our joy should have a sure object and there is only one object that is sure, namely Christ. The uncertainty of worldly enjoyments are much like a flower, beautiful, in many cases, but fading. From this we should learn two things:

  1. The things of the world are attractive, yet they should not allure us, because they are merely fading. Flowers are a wonder, an orchid can last for months, but that is all, they eventually die. Other flowers like a night blooming cirrus are also wonders. This plant might produce one flower a year, (some years none), that blooms for one night, and only for a couple of hours and dies, and yet it is the most beautiful flower I have ever seen. Such is life, fading. I am sure the flowers that the groomsmen put on their tuxes at the wedding I attended this past weekend were beautiful. 10 hours later as they and I sat around a table talking, the flowers were so pathetic that they became the subject of conversation. So also are the temptations of the world, glorious in their own way, but fading.

  2. The most wonderful things in the world are the most fading. "Surely every man at his best is altogether vanity." (Psalm 39:5) When the height of flourishing is reached there is the famine begun. The Lord knows our condition and it may be that when the flourishing is begun, we may be closest to withering. For this reason it is good to trust in heavenly things. Things that are lasting are worthy objects of our attention.

"Pleasure, profit, and preferment are the worldling's trinity." John Trapp

"They lose nothing who gain Christ." Samuel Rutherford

Soli Deo Gloria,