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Without The Lord, Even Earthly Wisdom Is Vain

SIH HALTAL ICONEccl 4:4-16

Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit.  The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.  Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.  Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun.  There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.  Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.  Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?    And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.  Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.  For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor.  I considered all the living which walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his stead.  There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them: they also that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit. 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4wc

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 4 Verses 4-16

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 13)

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spritiual truths of God to those in his nation and to Christians throughout time.

Keep in mind, Solomon learned these truths by trying to find the meaning to life through experiencing all this world has to offer.  Solomon was uniquely suited to learn these lessons and share these truths with the people of God…

First of all, very few men possess sufficient wealth and power to be able to sample all this world has to offer (1 Kings 10:23).

Secondly, only Solomon and a few others throughout time, have been universally respected causing his teachings to be taken very seriously and thoughtfully by all (1 Kings 4:30-34).  (Keep in mind, even Christ Himself and His teachings were rejected by many of those around Him.)

Solomon was God’s man, in God’s place, at God’s time, by God’s grace, to learn this most important truth and proclaim it with authority to those he loved.  May we all listen carefully as Solomon reveals to us the true meaning to life and answer the question…  “What Is Our Life If Not Lived for The Lord ?”.

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Eccl 4:4-16

Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit.  The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.  Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.  Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun.  There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.  Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.  Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?    And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.  Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.  For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor.  I considered all the living which walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his stead.  There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them: they also that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit. 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Solomon now considers wisdom (as characterized by diligence and contentment) and foolishness (as characterized by laziness envy and coveting) …

  

Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit. 

Solomon begins his examination of wisdom and foolishness by looking at those who painfully labor seeking to do what is upright, moral and proper.  Instead of him being honored and emulated, he is only envied and criticized by those who are foolish

Solomon sees that without the Lord and a coming judgment, the man who seeks to do right is wasting his time.  All of the pain and abuse he endures makes his labor worthless and frustrating.

 

 

The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.  Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit. 

Solomon then examines the opposite of the wise, diligent man… the fool.  He sees that the fool labors only for his minimum needs and lazily rests whenever possible.  Basically he does without much to avoid labor.  In that sense, he is feeding upon himself.  He takes from himself to feed his own laziness.

After seeing the lazy fool, Solomon comes to see, that if there is no eternity, nor final judgment, it is better to be the fool.   Solomon reasons that it is better to be content with the smallest possible amounts and live lazy, lives of inactivity, than work diligently bringing pain to oneself, only to be envied and criticized.

 

 

Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun.  There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail. 

Solomon then turns his attention to another area of earthly life that is short-lived and worthless… a man who labors to accumulate goods solely for his own personal benefit.  Solomon sees a man who is alone, he is responsible to care for no one but himself, he is lonely, has no one to care for him, and no one to whom he can leave an inheritance.  Perhaps, he is alone because he forgot and ignored those around him, being so obsessed with accumulating earthly wealth.

In any case, Solomon sees him laboring to an extreme, never being satisfied with the wealth he has accumulated.  He does all of this without having anyone to care for, nor anyone to leave an inheritance.

Solomon sees this attitude is one of short-lived, eventually becoming worthless, and labor that only produces pain and suffering.

 

 

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.  Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?    And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. 

Solomon sees that two people working together is better than one person working alone.  He sees that there lies rewards in working together…

  1. when one falls the other can help him to stand
  2. when one is cold the other can help to heat him
  3. when one is attacked, the other can help fight off the attacker.

Based upon all of these, Solomon comes to the conclusion that a threefold cord is not easily broken.  In other words, where two can be a great help to one another, so too, a third friend added to the equation makes the group almost invincible.

However there are a few other lessons we can see presented in the “three-fold cord”:

  1. First of all, the three fold cord can represent the two friends along with Jesus as their Leader. When two the friends include the Lord in their plans and labors, they will be able to accomplish great things while standing up against the strongest of their foes.

 

Also, based upon 1 John 5:7-8, the three-fold cord can also represent two other truths…

1Jn 5:7-8 –“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.  And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”

 

  1. The three-fold cord can represent the three persons of the Godhead and their work of redemption. The Father’s eternal decree of election, the Son’s work which secured the salvation of the elect, and the sealing of the Spirit, guarantee the salvation of God’s people and their preservation into eternity.
  2. Finally, the three fold cord can also represent the the Spirit, and the water, and the blood. These bear witness in the earth of the redemption of God’s people. The indwelling Spirit testifies of God’s redemption, the water of baptism publically declares the salvation that has taken place in the life of the believer, and the shed blood of the cross testifies to the great payment of sin debt that was made to save God’s people from their sins.

 

 

Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.  For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor.    

Solomon now looks at wisdom versus foolishness in the exercise of authority…

Solomon sees it is better to be poor, inexperienced, and under the authority of others but possessing wisdom, than to be old and experienced, ruling over all others, but being a fool.

The child has the opportunity to be exalted and receive great authority to reign over others than a foolish king who is destined to a public fall.

 

 

I considered all the living which walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his stead.  There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them: they also that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Solomon concludes by looking at the succession of generations of mankind.  Solomon saw that as one generation passes, another generation comes to take their place.  As he said “There is no end of all the people”.

Solomon also sees that with the coming of each new generation, the preceding generation is not honored nor appreciated for their acts of diligence and wisdom, but in actuality, forgotten.

Once again, Solomon’s summary of life on earth, without God, a consideration of eternity and His judgments of mankind, comes to the conclusion that earthly life is “vanity and vexation of spirit”.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all come to understand the insignificance of wisdom and diligent living if we do not use these to serve our Lord and prepare for our eternal life.

 

 

Solomon’s pursuit of the meaning of life included:

 

1. 2:1-3 The pursuit of carnal desires  (the base pleasures found in a fallen world)
2. 2:4-11 The pursuit of material possessions through human labors
3. 2:12-17 The pursuit of worldly wisdom, madness and folly
4. 2:18-23 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #1
5. 2:24-26 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #2
6. 3:1-8 A recognition of the Lord’s sovereign control over all life events   Prt #1
7. 3:9-15 A recognition of the Lord’s sovereign control over all life events   Prt #2
8. 3:16-22 A recognition of our need of Christ to see the nature and purpose of our life.
9. 4:1-3 A recognition that never being born is better than the sufferings of this life.
10. 4:4-16 The pursuit of earthly wisdom, diligence and living responsibly

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Only In Christ Do We Find Genuine Comfort For The Abused..

SIH HALTAL ICONEccl 4:1-3 –

So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.  Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.  Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4w5

 

 

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 4 Verses 1-3

 SIH TOTT ICON What Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 12)

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spritiual truths of God to those in his nation and to Christians throughout time.

Keep in mind, Solomon learned these truths by trying to find the meaning to life through experiencing all this world has to offer.  Solomon was uniquely suited to learn these lessons and share these truths with the people of God…

First of all, very few men possess sufficient wealth and power to be able to sample all this world has to offer (1 Kings 10:23).

Secondly, only Solomon and a few others throughout time, have been universally respected causing his teachings to be taken very seriously and thoughtfully by all (1 Kings 4:30-34).  (Keep in mind, even Christ Himself and His teachings were rejected by many of those around Him.)

Solomon was God’s man, in God’s place, at God’s time, by God’s grace, to learn this most important truth and proclaim it with authority to those he loved.  May we all listen carefully as Solomon reveals to us the true meaning to life and answer the question…  “What Is Our Life If Not Lived for The Lord ?”.

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Eccl 4:1-3 –

So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.  Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.  Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.

  

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Solomon continues to review the injustices in this fallen world and mankind’s condition in the midst of these injustices…

 

So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun:

Solomon steadily gazed at all the injustices this fallen world has to offer, and saw two very important truths…

 

and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter. 

First of all, Solomon saw that there existed men who had been mistreated, deceived and misled.  These abused people had no one they could look to relieve their sufferings.

Secondly, Solomon saw that those who abusively ruled over them possessed all the physical strength, authority and economic power and no one to deliver the abused from the bondage of their rulers.

 

Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.  Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun. 

Because of the great abuse that takes place on the earth, and the lack of an earthly remedy for that abuse, Solomon saw the great benefit in departing from this abusive world through death.  His reasoning was that, once dead, an abused person’s suffering is finished.

Solomon also saw that those who never lived were of the greatest benefit.  This is because they never had to experience the abuse that the living and the dead have had to suffer at the hands of their oppressors.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, the only available comfort for the abuses and trials of this world lies in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Apart from Christ, in many ways, it is truly better to have never been born than to face the abuses of this sinful world.

Solomon’s pursuit of the meaning of life included:

 

1. 2:1-3 The pursuit of carnal desires  (the base pleasures found in a fallen world)
2. 2:4-11 The pursuit of material possessions through human labors
3. 2:12-17 The pursuit of worldly wisdom, madness and folly
4. 2:18-23 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #1
5. 2:24-26 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #2
6. 3:1-8 A recognition of the Lord’s sovereign control over all life events   Prt #1
7. 3:9-15 A recognition of the Lord’s sovereign control over all life events   Prt #2
8. 3:16-22 A recognition of our need of Christ to see the nature and purpose of our life.
9. 4:1-3 A recognition that never being born is better than the sufferings of this life.

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Apart From Christ, Man Is No Better Than A Beast…

SIH HALTAL ICONEccl 3:16-22 – (16)  And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.  (17)  I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.  (18)  I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.  (19)  For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.  (20)  All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.  (21)  Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?  (22)  Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him? 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4w0

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 3 Verses 16-22

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 11)

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spritiual truths of God to those in his nation and to Christians throughout time.

Keep in mind, Solomon learned these truths by trying to find the meaning to life through experiencing all this world has to offer.  Solomon was uniquely suited to learn these lessons and share these truths with the people of God…

First of all, very few men possess sufficient wealth and power to be able to sample all this world has to offer (1 Kings 10:23).

Secondly, only Solomon and a few others throughout time, have been universally respected causing his teachings to be taken very seriously and thoughtfully by all (1 Kings 4:30-34).  (Keep in mind, even Christ Himself and His teachings were rejected by many of those around Him.)

Solomon was God’s man, in God’s place, at God’s time, by God’s grace, to learn this most important truth and proclaim it with authority to those he loved.  May we all listen carefully as Solomon reveals to us the true meaning to life and answer the question…  “What Is Our Life If Not Lived for The Lord ?”.

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Eccl 3:16-22 –

(16)  And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.  (17)  I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.  (18)  I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.  (19)  For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.  (20)  All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.  (21)  Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?  (22)  Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him? 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

As Solomon examines life he comes to understand the great difference between human and animal life lies in their eternal existence and their responsibility before God…

 

And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. 

Solomon sees that, when man is left to himself, the decisions he makes and the areas where justice should be found are both filled with wickedness.  Because we live in a fallen, sinful world there is no reason to expect just and right judgements to be made.

 

I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work. 

However, when Solomon expands his view of human life to include the eternity to come, he realizes true judgment can be found.  He knew in his heart that the Lord would bring all men into judgment, and the injustices of this world be brought into account before Him.  God has fore-ordained a set time (as a part of eternity) for that judgment to take place, and nothing will stop it from happening.

 

I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. 

Due to the sinful nature of fallen mankind, Solomon understood that lost mankind was not able to perceive the wicked condition of the world around them.  They cannot begin to see their own sinful condition, nor the wickedness of their judgments.  He knew that the Lord could open their eyes and show them that, except they take God, eternity, and the final judgment in account, they are really nothing better than a simple beast of the earth.

 

For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.

On an earthly level, many of man’s cycle of life events are shared by the animals.  Birth, growth, raising families, sicknesses, injuries and even death are shared by both.  As Solomon reminds us, both share a physical type of life (“one breath”) that is eventually brought to an end.  Both man and animal possess earthly life that is mortal.

 

All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. 

When the physical life of man and animal ceases their bodies both return back to the dust which proves that even the disposition of the bodies of men and animals are the same.

 

Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? 

Without exercising faith in the Lord and His Word, man has no proof of the eternal existence of the human spirit.  Herein lies one of the greatest differences between man and animals.  Man’s spirit goes upward to live eternally with the Lord.  The spirit of a beast simply accompanies its body into the grave and goes out of existence with its death.

 

Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him? 

If we accept the human philosophy that man is no better than a beast, then a man should find joy in his own earthly works. This is the only source of joy that is left from man to experience.

There is no glorious eternity to look forward to, nor is there any escape from physical death which is the end of his existence of both body and spirit. No man can open the eyes of the lost and allow them to see their eternal existence that lies ahead of him.     God alone can show man the truth of his eternal existence and the Day of judgment that lie ahead of him.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Without the Lord, our human life on earth is no better than that of animals.  It is only with the realization of our eternal spirit, the coming judgment, and the need for the Lord’s intervention In our lives, that we can begin to under the true meaning and purpose to our existence on earth.

Solomon’s pursuit of the meaning of life included:

 

1. 2:1-3 The pursuit of carnal desires  (the base pleasures found in a fallen world)
2. 2:4-11 The pursuit of material possessions through human labors
3. 2:12-17 The pursuit of worldly wisdom, madness and folly
4. 2:18-23 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #1
5. 2:24-26 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #2
6. 3:1-8 A recognition of the Lord’s sovereign control over all life events   Prt #1
7. 3:9-15 A recognition of the Lord’s sovereign control over all life events   Prt #2
8. 3:16-22 A recognition of our need of Christ to see the nature and purpose of our life.

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

God Makes Everything Beautiful In His Time!

SIH HALTAL ICONEccl 3:9-15 – (9) What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?  (10)  I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.  (11)  He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.  (12)  I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.  (13)  And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.  (14)  I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.  (15)  That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past. 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4vR

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 3 Verses 9-15

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 10)

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spritiual truths of God to those in his nation and to Christians throughout time.

Keep in mind, Solomon learned these truths by trying to find the meaning to life through experiencing all this world has to offer.  Solomon was uniquely suited to learn these lessons and share these truths with the people of God…

First of all, very few men possess sufficient wealth and power to be able to sample all this world has to offer (1 Kings 10:23).

Secondly, only Solomon and a few others throughout time, have been universally respected causing his teachings to be taken very seriously and thoughtfully by all (1 Kings 4:30-34).  (Keep in mind, even Christ Himself and His teachings were rejected by many of those around Him.)

Solomon was God’s man, in God’s place, at God’s time, by God’s grace, to learn this most important truth and proclaim it with authority to those he loved.  May we all listen carefully as Solomon reveals to us the true meaning to life and answer the question…  “What Is Our Life If Not Lived for The Lord ?”.

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Eccl 3:9-15 –

(9) What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?  (10)  I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.  (11)  He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.  (12)  I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.  (13)  And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.  (14)  I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.  (15)  That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

After Solomon acknowledges that the Lord is in control of every one of life’s events, he now also acknowledges… If we do not take into account the need to be faithful to the Lord during our life events, they will bear no lasting effects in our lives…

 

What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?  I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. 

Solomon now examines the lost world and their great need of Christ in their lives.  He sees their futility and pain as they labor with no lasting results in their lives.  By not understanding the opportunities for service opened to them in their life events, they disregard the Lord’s desires for them and end up losing all the eternal benefit that could have been gained.

 

 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. 

Although many men will miss out on understanding and applying God’s will to their lives, that does not stop God’s purposes being accomplished through our life events.  On God’s timetable, as we enter into eternity… the beauty of His purposes in all of our life events will be revealed.

God has given to us a revelation of His greatness and our inability to understand Him in His fullness.  He has done this by placing in the heart of all mankind a revelation of Himself in nature found in the world around us.    Since we cannot understand many areas of nature around us, it proves to us that God does many other works (including the events in our lives) with purposes that are beyond our understanding.

 

I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.  And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. 

Because we cannot understand all of God’s purposes behind our life’s events, our responsibilities are two-fold… to rejoice in the Lord knowing all comes from His hand with a purpose behind them and to obey Him in the midst of life’s events.  Once we do this, we then can enjoy the blessings of this world that the Lord has given to us.  After all, this world was given for mankind’s use and pleasure (not abuse).

 

I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.  That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past. 

Solomon’s bottom line is this… God’s purposes in every life event will be brought to completion and hold eternal results.  Man cannot frustrate the sovereign will of God.

The truth of God’s sovereignty is given to us so that we might learn to reverence and fear the Lord as THE sovereign ruler over all.

God’s sovereign will was decreed before time began and contains all the events that take place among mankind.  Because of this… 

  1. “That which hath been is now”; – God’s past decree is now taking place before our eyes 
  2. “and that which is to be hath already been”; – The events in life that are yet to take place have already been included in God’s decrees.
  3. and “God requireth that which is past.” – What God has decreed in the past is now required to take place by God. His decrees WILL come to pass with no exceptions.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks. How important it is for us to understand that when our lives seem to be spinning out of control… our Lord is in control.

When things take place in our lives that we cannot understand… the Lord has a purpose behind all of them.

When our physical labors and struggles seem to overcome us, and we no longer know what to do… by faith, we can seek the Lord’s face and submit to whatever He has in store for us.

 

Dan 4:34-35  –

“And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:  And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”

 

Solomon’s pursuit of the meaning of life included:

 

1. 2:1-3 The pursuit of carnal desires  (the base pleasures found in a fallen world)
2. 2:4-11 The pursuit of material possessions through human labors
3. 2:12-17 The pursuit of worldly wisdom, madness and folly
4. 2:18-23 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #1
5. 2:24-26 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #2
6. 3:1-8 A Recognition of the Lord’s sovereign control over all life events   Prt #1
7. 3:9-15 A Recognition of the Lord’s sovereign control over all life events   Prt #2

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

God Has A Purpose, And A Time, For Every Life Event!

SIH HALTAL ICONEccl 3:1-8 – To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: (2) A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  (3)  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;  (4)  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  (5)  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  (6)  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  (7)  A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;  (8)  A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4vJ

 

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 3 Verses 1-8

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 9)

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spritiual truths of God to those in his nation and to Christians throughout time.

Keep in mind, Solomon learned these truths by trying to find the meaning to life through experiencing all this world has to offer.  Solomon was uniquely suited to learn these lessons and share these truths with the people of God…

First of all, very few men possess sufficient wealth and power to be able to sample all this world has to offer (1 Kings 10:23).

Secondly, only Solomon and a few others throughout time, have been universally respected causing his teachings to be taken very seriously and thoughtfully by all (1 Kings 4:30-34).  (Keep in mind, even Christ Himself and His teachings were rejected by many of those around Him.)

Solomon was God’s man, in God’s place, at God’s time, by God’s grace, to learn this most important truth and proclaim it with authority to those he loved.  May we all listen carefully as Solomon reveals to us the true meaning to life and answer the question…  “What Is Our Life If Not Lived for The Lord ?”.

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Eccl 3:1-8 –

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: (2) A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  (3)  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;  (4)  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  (5)  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  (6)  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  (7)  A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;  (8)  A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Although Solomon is struggling to see the purpose of the events of our life on earth, he still acknowledges that the Lord is in control of all these events and has a purpose behind every one of them.  He has a purpose… although we may not be able to recognize what that purpose may be.

 

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

He expresses the Lord’s sovereignty over all the events in this world by declaring that there has been a “season” and a “time” appointed for each under heaven, and behind each event there lies a “purpose”.

By “season” and “time” Solomon is telling us that there is an appointed time for each event to begin and an appointed duration for that event to continue on.  Not only does God control “when” it will happen, but He also controls “how long” it will continue on.

By “purpose” Solomon teaches us that, the Lord has a premeditated, significant, reason for every life event to take place.  Every event is significant and holds an opportunity for His people to be faithful and holds an opportunity for Him to be glorified in it.

 

 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;  A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. 

Solomon now gives us a comprehensive listing of life events that the Lord controls.  Please note that within this list we find every possible type of event that can take place in our lives…. In other words… a purpose lies behind each event in life and the Lord controls the timing of them all…

 

Life Event Category
   
Time to be born / die Physical Life & Death
Time to plant / pluck up Productivity
Time to kill / heal Physical Life & Death
Time to break down / build up Productivity
Time to weep / laugh Emotions
Time to mourn / dance Emotions
Time to cast away stones / gather stones Accumulate & Disperse
Time to embrace / refrain from embracing Relationships
Time to get / lose Accumulate & Disperse
Time to keep / cast away Accumulate & Disperse
Time to rend / sew Productivity
Time to keep silence / speak Relationships
Time to love / hate Relationships
Time to war / peace Relationships

 

Also, please notice in the above listing, that Solomon gives us a full range of life events, from insignificant to momentous, from routine to unusual.  All of these are under the control of our Lord and take place for a specific purpose.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, do we understand that EVERY life event is under the control of our Lord and holds for us opportunities of service to Him?   Whether we understand His purposes or not, our responsibility before the Lord is simply to place our faith in Him whatever may take place in our lives! He is in control, our life events are happening for a purpose and He will be with His children every step of the way!

 

Dan 2:20-21- “Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:  And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:” 

 

Dan 4:34-35 – “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:  And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”

 

Heb 11:6 – “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

 

Rom 14:22-23 – “Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.  (23)  And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solomon’s pursuit of the meaning of life included:

 

1. 2:1-3 The pursuit of carnal desires  (the base pleasures found in a fallen world)
2. 2:4-11 The pursuit of material possessions through human labors
3. 2:12-17 The pursuit of worldly wisdom, madness and folly
4. 2:18-23 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #1
5. 2:24-26 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #2
6. 3:1-8 A Recognition of the Lord’s sovereign control over all life events

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

The Lord Uses The Wicked To Meet The Physical Needs Of The Righteous…

SIH HALTAL ICONEccl 2:24-26 –

There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.  For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?  For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit. 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4vA

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 2 Verses 24-26

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 8)

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spritiual truths of God to those in his nation and to Christians throughout time.

Keep in mind, Solomon learned these truths by trying to find the meaning to life through experiencing all this world has to offer.  Solomon was uniquely suited to learn these lessons and share these truths with the people of God…

First of all, very few men possess sufficient wealth and power to be able to sample all this world has to offer (1 Kings 10:23).

Secondly, only Solomon and a few others throughout time, have been universally respected causing his teachings to be taken very seriously and thoughtfully by all (1 Kings 4:30-34).  (Keep in mind, even Christ Himself and His teachings were rejected by many of those around Him.)

Solomon was God’s man, in God’s place, at God’s time, by God’s grace, to learn this most important truth and proclaim it with authority to those he loved.  May we all listen carefully as Solomon reveals to us the true meaning to life and answer the question…  “What Is Our Life If Not Lived for The Lord ?”.

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Eccl 2:24-26 –

(24)  There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.  (25)  For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?  (26)  For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

After Solomon saw that devoting our lives to accumulating this world’s riches was a vain pursuit.  He begins to understand that our material possessions were given to us by God to meet our physical needs and give us comfort in this life…

 

There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour.

One of the great purposes for the creation of this world was to meet the needs of mankind. When man labors, it allows him to meet his physical needs and bring temporal joy during his life on earth.

 

This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God. 

Solomon understood that the ability to labor and the receipt of the riches of this world come only through the gracious intervention of the Lord in our lives.

It is the Lord that created the world and all things in it, He is the One who gives us the ability to labor to reap the world’s offerings, and it is He who gives us the wisdom and knowledge to know how to use the world’s possessions for our good and His glory.

 

For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I? 

Solomon understood the blessed societal standing that he had been given by the Lord. Solomon was perhaps the most wealthy man on the face of the planet during his lifetime.  If anyone could enjoy the material blessings this world had to offer, it would have been Solomon.  He could enjoy the best foods, drinks, and joys this world had to offer.

 

For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God.

Solomon attributes to the Lord earthly wisdom, knowledge and joy which enables him to labor and receive the goods this world has to offer.  For the man that is Godly, he uses his God-given wisdom and knowledge to use properly and bring much joy to his heart.

However, for the wicked man, earthly wisdom and knowledge results in great pains.  This is because he uses his abilities to accumulate and hoard great wealth.  This then leads to discontentment, selfish hoarding and constant coveting of another man’s goods.

Also, the Lord, in many cases, will meet the needs of his people through the wealth accumulated by the lost man which eventually can end up in the hands of the saved.  This can take place in many ways, through inheritance, business transactions, or charitable giving etc.

 

This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Solomon saw that this is “vanity” (short-lived with no lasting value) and “vexation of spirit” (grasping for the wind that can never be caught).

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

 

May we all come to understand the futility of living our lives for the accumulation of worldly wealth and may we learn to use our assets wisely to care for our needs, enjoy life that the Lord has given to us and give to help meet the needs of God’s people and work.

Solomon’s pursuit of the meaning of life included:

 

1. 2:1-3 The pursuit of carnal desires  (the base pleasures found in a fallen world)
2. 2:4-11 The pursuit of material possessions through human labors
3. 2:12-17 The pursuit of worldly wisdom, madness and folly
4. 2:18-23 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #1
5. 2:24-26 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #2

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Is The Main Goal Of Our Life Center On Being Frugal In The Things Of The World? … If So, It Is A Vain Pursuit!

Eccl 2:18-23 –

Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.  And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity. 

Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.  For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil. 

For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?  For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity. 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4vq

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 2 Verses 18-23

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 7)

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spritiual truths of God to those in his nation and to Christians throughout time.

Keep in mind, Solomon learned these truths by trying to find the meaning to life through experiencing all this world has to offer.  Solomon was uniquely suited to learn these lessons and share these truths with the people of God…

First of all, very few men possess sufficient wealth and power to be able to sample all this world has to offer (1 Kings 10:23).

Secondly, only Solomon and a few others throughout time, have been universally respected causing his teachings to be taken very seriously and thoughtfully by all (1 Kings 4:30-34).  (Keep in mind, even Christ Himself and His teachings were rejected by many of those around Him.)

Solomon was God’s man, in God’s place, at God’s time, by God’s grace, to learn this most important truth and proclaim it with authority to those he loved.  May we all listen carefully as Solomon reveals to us the true meaning to life and answer the question…  “What Is Our Life If Not Lived for The Lord ?”.

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Eccl 2:18-23 –

(18)  Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.  (19)  And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.  (20)  Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.  (21)  For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.  (22)  For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?  (23)  For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Solomon now begins an investigation of the short-lived benefits of responsible stewardship over the things of this world …

  

Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me. 

Solomon came to despise possessing a life goal of laboring for material possessions.  What was the reason behind this?  To put it in today’s vernacular, Solomon realized that “you can’t take it with you”.  He realized that, eventually, at his death, he would lose all of his material possessions and they would be given to another person.

 

And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun.

Solomon understood that the one who would receive his possessions may be a poor steward of all for which he had labored.  At his death, Solomon would lose all authority in his possessions.  The one receiving his possessions would have complete control over how they would be used.  He could use them wisely or waste them in a very foolish way.

 

This is also vanity. 

Solomon came to understand that the transferal of all his possessions, at his death, made all his labors to accumulate those possessions simply acts of vanity (short-lived benefits, no lasting value).

 

Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.  For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion.

As Solomon learned of the vanity of accumulation of earthly goods and the disposition of them at death, Solomon became very depressed and despondent.  A man can use his many talents, knowledge and morality to gain a great fortune on earth, and yet lose it all to one who has done nothing to deserve them.

What a great waste of human effort, what a sad misuse of accumulated material possessions to lose them at death and have them turned over to others who do not deserve them but will only  squander them.

 

This also is vanity and a great evil. 

This is makes the accumulation of worldly possessions short-lived, of no lasting benefit, and actually harmful to both the one who accumulates them and the slothful one who wastes them of carnal, worldly pursuits.

 

For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?  For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night.

When a man devotes his life to live frugally and wisely in an attempt to accumulate the vain things of this world, he is destined to live a life filled with:

  1. labour – great effort that only wears one down
  2. vexation of heart – constant unfulfilled desires (always wanting more).
  3. sorrows – painful regret
  4. travail grief – busyness that produces only sorrow
  5. no rest in the night – worries, cares, lack of sleep

 

This is also vanity.

When Solomon looked at the effects of living for worldly possessions on our lives, he comes to the same conclusion…. It is short-lived and without any lasting value.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, we should always be careful to not misinterpret Solomon’s teachings on these issues.  There is nothing wrong with frugal and wise use of our material possessions.  In many ways these can be admirable pursuits…. However, it should never be our goal in living.

hen the accumulation and frugal use of material possessions become our life goal we are headed to living a wasted life.  Solomon has proven to us all that it is vain pursuit that will only bring regret and pain to us as we come to an end of ur lives.

Solomon’s pursuit of the meaning of life included:

 

1. 2:1-3 The pursuit of carnal desires  (the base pleasures found in a fallen world)
2. 2:4-11 The pursuit of material possessions through human labors
3. 2:12-17 The pursuit of worldly wisdom, madness and folly
4. 2:18-23 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

There Is No Lasting Benefit To This World’s Wisdom, Pride, Or Jesting

SIH HALTAL ICONEccl 2:12-17 –

“And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.  Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness. The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.  Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.  For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.  Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4va

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 2 Verses 12-17

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 6)

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spritiual truths of God to those in his nation and to Christians throughout time.

Keep in mind, Solomon learned these truths by trying to find the meaning to life through experiencing all this world has to offer.  Solomon was uniquely suited to earn these lessons and share these truths with the people of God…

First of all, very few men possess sufficient wealth and power to be able to sample all this world has to offer (1 Kings 10:23).

Secondly, only Solomon and a few others throughout time, have been universally respected causing his teachings to be taken very seriously and thoughtfully by all (1 Kings 4:30-34).  (Keep in mind, even Christ Himself and His teachings were rejected by many of those around Him.)

Solomon was God’s man, in God’s place, at God’s time, by God’s grace, to learn this most important truth and proclaim it with authority to those he loved.  May we all listen carefully as Solomon reveals to us the true meaning to life and answer the question…  “What Is Our Life If Not Lived for The Lord ?”.

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Eccl 2:12-17 –

“And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.  Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness. The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.  Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.  For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.  Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly:

Solomon now begins an investigation of the benefits of:

  1. worldly wisdom – worldly skills, abilities. Knowledgable of worldly things
  2. madness – foolishness, boastful ravings
  3. folly – silliness, jesting, joking

Do any of these hold a lasting value for us?  Solomon will be seeking to answer this question for us.

 

for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done. 

Solomon was very thorough in his examination of these things.  Apparently, he had observed and/or experienced many different aspects of wisdom, madness, and folly which allowed him to draw a conclusion on this subject.  So much so that men who would come after Solomon would not be able to experience any differing aspects of the three nor draw any different conclusion than he.

 

Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.

As Solomon examined these he found that wisdom far excelled over folly.  In other words, Solomon saw that exercising worldly knowledge and abilities far outweighed spending time performing acts of foolish jesting.   As a matter of fact, these were as different as day and night.

  

The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all. 

A wise man perceives and understands what is taking place around him, because his eyes are in functioning properly. He sees the dangers that lies ahead and makes adjustments to avoid that danger.  He sees the true nature of events that take place around him, giving him a clear view of his coming needs.  The fool, on the other hand, is much like a man walking in a darkened room.  He cannot see anything around him due to the darkness that blinds his eyes.

Based upon these differences, it seems as if worldly wisdom holds great lasting benefit for man, however….

 

Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity. 

Solomon came to realize that the wisdom of the world only holds very limited benefits for man during his life on earth, and then holds no lasting benefits in the afterlife.

Solomon saw that the worldly wise men share many difficult life experiences with fools.  They both get physically ill, they both labor to meet their needs, they both face times of loss and heartache, they both grow old and eventually die. The list is endless.

This caused Solomon to recognize that both worldly wisdom and foolishness were vanity.

 

For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten.  And how dieth the wise man? as the fool. 

Another proof that both worldly wisdom and foolishness are both vain is the universality of death and man’s accompanying irrelevance.

Again, we can see the limited temporal value of worldly wisdom and the worthlessness of worldly wisdom following death.

 

Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit. 

After seeing that the pursuit of carnal pleasures (vs 1-3), the pursuit of material possessions (vs 4-11) and the pursuit of worldly wisdom (vs 12-17) are all short-lived and without eternal benefit, Solomon says “I hated life”.  He saw no purpose in living, saw that life only involved a hard existence with no lasting benefits, and realized that seeking long-tern value in this life is simply grasping at the winds.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Solomon’s quest led him to examine wisdom, madness and folly.  After looking at many different aspects of each, Solomon saw that the possession of worldly wisdom did hold its temporal benefits for man.  However, as Solomon looked at these things from a standpoint of lasting benefit for man, he came to the conclusion that “this also is vanity”

 

Folks, sadly, in many ways, human talents and knowledge, prideful boastings, and meaningless joking and acts of silliness, are highly valued by many in the world today.  However, Solomon was able to clearly show us that these human attributes can never bring us genuine lasting joy and fulfillment to our lives.

 

May we all seek to see these things as they are, not as the world sees them, and seek to live our lives in such a way that places that which gives our life meaning and joy the first priority.

 

 

 

Solomon’s pursuit of the meaning of life included:

 

1. 2:1-3 The pursuit of carnal desires  (the base pleasures found in a fallen world)
2. 2:4-11 The pursuit of material possessions through human labors
3. 2:12-17 The pursuit of worldly wisdom, madness and folly

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

The Futility Of Laying Up The World’s Offerings…

SIH HALTAL ICONEccl 2:4-11 – “I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:  I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:  I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:  I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:  I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.  So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.   And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4v4

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 2 Verses 4-11

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 5)

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spritiual truths of God to those in his nation and to Christians throughout time.

Keep in mind, Solomon learned these truths by trying to find the meaning to life through experiencing all this world has to offer.  Solomon was uniquely suited to learn these lessons and share these truths with the people of God…

First of all, very few men possess sufficient wealth and power to be able to sample all this world has to offer (1 Kings 10:23).

Secondly, only Solomon and a few others throughout time, have been universally respected causing his teachings to be taken very seriously and thoughtfully by all (1 Kings 4:30-34).  (Keep in mind, even Christ Himself and His teachings were rejected by many of those around Him.)

Solomon was God’s man, in God’s place, at God’s time, by God’s grace, to learn this most important truth and proclaim it with authority to those he loved.  May we all listen carefully as Solomon reveals to us the true meaning to life and answer the question…  “What Is Our Life If Not Lived for The Lord ?”.

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Eccl 2:4-11 –

“I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:  I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:  I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:  I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:  I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.  So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.   And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Solomon next examines human labor that produces great material possessions…

 

I made me great works;

Solomon begins to describe all of his abundant wealth that was the result of his human labors…

 

I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:  I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:  I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: 

Solomon possessed many great Real Estate assets which were produced through his labors.

You may be wondering what Solomon’s labor was that he performed.  As king, Solomon’s labor was, almost certainly, not physical.  However, he was the one that planned these great works, financed them, accumulated the materials that was needed, oversaw the projects, and then made arrangements for their upkeep.  In that sense, they truly were his labors and he was to be given the credit for them.

This can be likened to someone like Donald Trump who, probably, never actually did any manual labor, but is given the entire credit for the real estate empire that was built by his administrative labors.

 

I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house;

Also, Solomon held authority over many workers that increased his productivity and his material possessions.

 

also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: 

Through his labors, Solomon accumulated great numbers of various types of livestock which also increased his productivity and wealth.

  

I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces:

Solomon accumulated great riches of precious metals and all the natural resources that held value (different types of wood, animals, ointments, vegetation etc).  He got them from the Kings of the the various countries that surrounded Israel.

  

I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. 

His labors also allowed him to own musicians who were totally unproductive, but only possessed for entertainment purposes.

 

So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.   

When Solomon stepped back and looked at his enormous wealth, he could only describe himself as:

  1. great – He was “excellent”, “magnificent”, “worthy of boasting” – from a human standpoint Solomon was greater than all others and had sufficient reason to boast of the world possessions he had accumulated.
  2. increased more than all that were before me – he had accrued more wealth than all the Israelite Kings before him.

Besides the continuing accrual of physical possessions, Solomon retained his great wisdom to rule over Israel.

 

And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.

olomon had gathered so much wealth from his labors that he could have anything that he desired… and he did just that.  The ability to obtain whatever he desired gave his heart great temporary joy.

He believed that the ability to get his heart’s desire was the well-earned allotment for all his labors.

 

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” 

At the end of his labors, Solomon now stands back and investigates their true worth to man.  He came to understand that all was:

  1. “vanity” – short-lived with no lasting value
  2. “vexation of spirit” – grasping for the wind
  3. “no profit under the sun” – no gain in anything accumulated in this fallen world.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

What we have just read we see taking place around us all the time.  In some ways, today’s equivalent would be holding a very prestigious job (medical doctor, lawyer, investment banker, RE mogul etc) that allowed an individual to accumulate great wealth and obtain anything his heart desired.

Sadly, these types of positions are highly respected in society due to the great wealth that comes with the job.  However, Solomon clearly tells us that to live lives of labor for the sole purpose of accumulating great material possessions can never truly be satisfied nor possess lasting benefit.

Also, please notice the key word in all of these verses was the word “I”…

“I made”, “I builded”, “I planted”, “I made”, “I planted”, “I made”, “I got”, “I had great possessions”, “I gathered”, “I gat”, “I was great”, “I kept not from them”, “I withheld not”…

In all these Solomon did not give any credit to the Lord for allowing him to labor and obtain his great wealth and possessions.  This is the nature of accumulation of the things of this world… it is a self-centered accumulation that keeps self in the forefront of the mind.

If we keep the Lord in the forefront of our mind, we will see the need to devote our lives to Him and His will for us with the material possessions of this world taking a back seat.

 

Solomon’s pursuit of the meaning of life included:

 

2:1-3 The pursuit of carnal desires  (the base pleasures found in a fallen world)
2. 2:4-11 The pursuit of material possessions through human labors

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Living A “Party-Life” Holds No Lasting Pleasure For Anyone!

SIH HALTAL ICONEccl 2:1-3  – “I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.  I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?  I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.” 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 2 Verses 1-3

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 5)

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spritiual truths of God to those in his nation and to Christians throughout time.

Keep in mind, Solomon learned these truths by trying to find the meaning to life through experiencing all this world has to offer.  Solomon was uniquely suited to learn these lessons and share these truths with the people of God…

First of all, very few men possess sufficient wealth and power to be able to sample all this world has to offer (1 Kings 10:23).

Secondly, only Solomon and a few others throughout time, have been universally respected causing his teachings to be taken very seriously and thoughtfully by all (1 Kings 4:30-34).  (Keep in mind, even Christ Himself and His teachings were rejected by many of those around Him.)

Solomon was God’s man, in God’s place, at God’s time, by God’s grace, to learn this most important truth and proclaim it with authority to those he loved.  May we all listen carefully as Solomon reveals to us the true meaning to life and answer the question…  “What Is Our Life If Not Lived for The Lord ?”.

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Eccl 2:1-3  –

 “I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.  I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?  I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.” 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

 

Solomon continues to commune with his inward man and desires…

 

I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. 

Solomon resolved to be about the important business at hand and experience mirth (parties or other celebrations) which bring temporal pleasure (worldly entertainment and happiness) to men.

What did Solomon find out from partaking in a party-lifestyle?  “This is also vanity”… simply like a bubble that is short-lived with no lasting value.  A party lifestyle will bring very short-term happiness and joy during the celebration, but soon after all that joy and happiness is lost.

 

I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it? 

During these party times Solomon experienced “laughter”.  “Laughter” comes from a Hebrew word that means to have pleasure/joy from mockery, or scorning others.

Solomon came to understand that the pleasure we get from mocking others is actually a type of “madness”, or a type of foolish boasting in an attempt to make us shine in others eyes.  Oh how very true.  When we make fun of others, it is normally our sinful attempt to exalt ourselves over them.  How sad, stupid and sinful!

Solomon then asks the question what good do these attempts at partying, humor, and mockery really do for us?  The implied answer is that these attempts hold no real lasting value to our happiness and purpose of life.  In many ways, it sidetracks us from that which will give lasting joy and peace to us.

 

I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine,

Solomon then turns himself over to drunkenness.  “Give myself to wine” isn’t speaking of simply drinking wine moderately, but it is describing a state of drunkenness where wine is the controlling force in his life.

 

 yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly,

While he was experiencing drunkenness he applied his earthly wisdom to find the answer to his question.  What does he mean by this?

Perhaps, he was thinking that, perhaps, being intoxication added to wisdom may reveal to him something he could not see with wisdom alone.

Or he is saying that while he was drunk, he was using his earthly wisdom to see if his drunkenness was the real source of happiness and purpose in life or an act of foolishness.

Please keep in mind, several places in the Bible, drunkenness can speak of allowing any of our carnal, fleshly desires to control us.  Perhaps in this portion of Scripture, we see Solomon testing out all the desires of his flesh, seeing if any of them will bring him true joy and purpose to life.

 

till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.” 

As Solomon tested drunkenness to see what would hold lasting benefit to mankind.   In other words, he wanted to see into what men should invest their lives to bring to them the greatest amount of lasting, eternal benefits.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, in Solomon’s search for the true meaning to life, he first eliminated living a “party-life”, or in other words, living to fulfill the carnal desires of his flesh.   Solomon came to understand that these things only led to a living a wasted, unfulfilled life.

May we all learn from Solomon’s experience and seek after the things which are above, not the things that are found in a fallen world that is “under the sun”.

 

Solomon’s pursuit of the meaning of life included:

 

1. 2:1-3 The pursuit of carnal desires  (the base pleasures found in a fallen world)

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com