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Ecclesiastes: Chapter 11 Verses 1-6

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SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 36 )

 

 

 

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 11:1-6

Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.  (2) Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.  (3)  If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.  (4)  He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.  (5)  As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.  (6)  In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.  Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. 

Solomon is teaching us a very important principle about the need to give of ourselves to others.  We should be willing to “pass on a blessing” to others with no thought of personal gain.  It is much like throwing the bread God has supplied to us upon the waters, knowing it will float away from us, so that others may receive it downstream.

In other words, with which the Lord has blessed us, we are to share with others based upon our love and appreciation for the Lord.  Then he adds to us an additional blessing… the promise that we will regain the bread “after many days”.

Solomon goes onto to explain, by giving to others now, we are assured of the Lord’s future care for us when harmful times will come upon the earth.  In a sense, giving to others NOW is an insurance policy for our FUTURE needs to be supplied.

[Just as a side note.  The word for “bread” is the Hebrew word for “seed or corn or that which is eaten”.  It represents the staples of the Jewish diet.  This is why it is summarized by the term “bread”.

Also keep in mind the Word of God is pictured in the Bible as seed that is sown (Lk 8:11).  Likewise in the Bible “waters” represent lost humanity (Rev 17:15).

Based upon this, symbolically, casting our bread upon the waters carries with it the idea of sharing the Word of God, the gospel message, among the lost of this world. Not only are we to share our physical possessions with those in need, we are also to share God’s Word with those who so desperately need it as well].

 

If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.  He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.  As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. 

Much like the rain that falls on the earth and the tree that falls in the forest, trials, heartaches, and other difficult times take place on this fallen earth.  They are all a result of sin and the corruption of God’s creation.

The farmer that constantly watches the sky waiting for a perfect day to work in the fields will never have a crop.  Why?  Because he will never find the perfect day to sow his seed.  Likewise, if we wait to give of ourselves and share the gospel until the perfect opportunity arises we will never serve the Lord.  There will always be found hindrances to our service in the midst of a fallen, sinful world.

Why won’t the Lord give us perfect times to serve Him?  That’s a good question that only He can answer for us in eternity.  Keep in mind there are many things we do not understand that takes place on the earth, the blowing of the wind, the workings of the Spirit, the growth of a child in the womb, and, yet we do know the Lord controls it all.   The difficult times that attempt to hinder our service for Christ, is another one of those earthly events that we do not understand, but can know the Lord allows for a reason.

 

In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good. 

Solomon summarizes his teachings.  Because we do not know what the future holds for us, either poverty or wealth, we are to use what we have NOW to serve the Lord.  In doing so, we are serving the Lord while we can and helping others who have immediate needs in their lives.

If our future holds plenty, we have just formed good habits that will encouraged continued service to the Lord.

If our future holds poverty for us, then we have served the Lord while we can and be assured the Lord will care for our needs during this time of drought.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all learn the practical lesson of giving in the Lord’s service to help others in need.  Whether giving of our material possessions or spiritual truths, we all can give of ourselves in an effort to help those who are needy around us.   in doing so, we are being faithful to the Lord and assuring for us His future care in times of need.

 

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
11. 5:1-7 The pursuit of worldly vows, contracts, and promises
12. 5:8-17 The pursuit of worldly riches
13. 5:18-20 A recognition that enjoyment of this earthly life is God’s gracious gift to man
14. 6:1-2 A recognition of man’s inability to enjoy that which God has given to him.
15. 6:3-10 A recognition of man’s sinfulness, mortality and need of humility before God
16. 6:11-12 A recognition of the vanity of all that lies under the sun.
17. 7:1-10 The pursuit of prideful living
18. 7:11-23 A recognition of the value of Godly wisdom
19. 7:24-29 The pursuit of Godly enabling
20. 8:1-5 The pursuit of proper submission to authority  based upon Godly wisdom
21. 8:6-15 A recognition man needs Godly wisdom because he cannot control his own life nor see the eternal benefits of service to the Lord.
22. 8:16-17 A recognition that men cannot fully understand the work of God on earth
23. 9:1-3 A recognition that righteous and wicked share common life events
24. 9:4-12 A recognition that life is better then death
25. 9:13-18 A recognition of the excellence and rejection of Godly wisdom
26. 10:1-15 A recognition of the dangers of foolishness
27. 10:16-17 A recognition of principles for good rulership
28. 10:18 A recognition of the dangers of slothfulness
29. 10:19 A recognition of the value of money
30. 11:1-6 A recognition of the need to sow our seed for the benefit of others.

 

 

 

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