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Ecclesiastes: Chapter 5 Verses 18-20

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 20)

 

 

 

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 5:18-20 – Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.  Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.  For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

After Solomon reveals to us the inability for this world to give Godly satisfaction and lasting joy, he takes a moment to explain to us the benefits that can be had from them…

 

Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. 

Solomon sees that it is pleasing to God, and beautiful in His sight for us to partake of the bounty of this world, allow this world to meet our physical needs, and find temporal enjoyment in them.  This is one of the great reasons why God gave this world to man.

When men partake of the things found in this world, keeping within God’s bounds, and understanding this world and its benefits are only temporal, God is pleased with them.  It is only when we seek sinful pleasures and eternal satisfaction from this world that we abuse God’s very purpose for them.

 

Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. 

The same basic principle goes for the riches of this world.  God gives the ability to make, partake, and enjoy wealth to man for many reasons, one of which is simple enjoyment and pleasure.

However, a part of that enjoyment lies in an appreciation of the Lord, recognizing He is the One that has given us the undeserved gift of wealth and ability to enjoy it.

 

For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart. 

When we enjoy the things of this world, it allows us to forget many of the trials and dark moments in our life that we have faced.  God will answer the difficult times of life with the ability to enjoy the things of the world around us, reminding us of His greatness and His grace, which soothes and encourages our hearts.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all come to understand the benefits of enjoying the things of this world, in a Godly fashion, and allow them to remind us of our Creator’s greatness, grace and temporal joy that only He can give to us.

 

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

 

 

 

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Ecclesiastes: Chapter 5 Verses 8-17

 SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 15)

 

 

 

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 5:8-17 – If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.  Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field.  He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?  The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.  There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.  But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand.  As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.  And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?  All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they. 

Solomon sees the abuse of poor by those who are rich and powerful in this world.  He describes their abuse as:

  1. “oppression”- distressing someone by taking advantage of their weaknesses
  2. “violent perverting of justice and judgment” – to take wealth of others by twisting the law

Solomon says, if we recognize God and His role in eternity, when we see these things take place, we should not be surprised nor lose hope.  After all, God (He that is higher than the highest) sees what is taking place and will make all things right in eternity.

 

 

Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field.  He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.

The increase (fruit and animals of the fields) are for all mankind to use.  Even the highest authorities on this earth are dependent upon the fields.

Although the fruit of the fields is needful for life, there are many that live for the unnecessary riches of this world.  They accumulate them and want more, never being satisfied.  Solomon recognizes that this is vain.

 

 

When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?  The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep. 

Solomon understands that when men gains riches they increase the number of their servants and animals.  In doing, so the increase ends up consuming all the increase in riches.

Basically Solomon is saying when a person gains wealth, they will find new ways to spend it.  Therefore, what purpose is there to accumulating riches, when they will always be consumed?  The only good that comes from increased riches is the ability to behold them with their eyes.

When a man is poor, he can sleep well from a hard days work and no riches to worry about.  When a man is wealthy he loses sleep because he is worried about losing and investing the wealth he has accumulated.

 

 

There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.  But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand.  As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand. 

Solomon sees an irritating, raw evil in this world… when owners accumulate riches to their own harm.  When men live for riches, many times the riches open up opportunities for sinful indulgences and wasteful living.  In many cases, rich men spend their wealth and leave nothing behind for their heirs.   Even the most wealthy men in the world can take none of his wealth with him when he dies.

 

 

And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?  All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness. 

Solomon sees another irritating raw evil in this world… men ALWAYS come into the world, and depart from this world with nothing.  All of his worldly labors hold no lasting eternal value for him.  Once again, all of his labors are worthless, much like laboring to capture the wind.

For the man who never comes to understand truths about the Lord and eternity to come, it is like he lives his entire life blinded, as if in darkness.  He never sees the wasted life he is living, nor the worthless nature of this world’s riches.  This man has much grief and strife in his life due to his sickness (the blindness from which he suffers).

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Solomon’s examination shows him that chasing the riches of this world is a meaningless, wasted life pursuit.  The world’s riches only harm those who possess them and open opportunities for sins and carnal indulgences.

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

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 5 Verses 1-7

 SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 14)

 

 

 

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 5:1-7

Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.  Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.  For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.  When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.  Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.  Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore would God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?  For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Solomon now begins to look at the making of vows (promises) to the Lord…

 

Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. 

When we come into God’s presence during times of worship, prayer and devotions, we are to be careful with our attitudes, motives, words and actions.  We are to possess humble spirits that are willing to hear and submit to the will of God for our lives.

It is far better to have a quiet humble spirit before the Lord, than to be pridefully active in outward promises and acts of service with no concern for God’s will for our lives.   In reality, religious acts done without faith, apart from God’s will for us are acts of pride and sinfulness.

 

 

Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.  For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words. 

When we speak before the Lord, we should not be rash (speaking without thinking) nor are we to speak hastily (quickly blurting things out without proper consideration).

We should always remember that our Lord is over us.  He holds greater power, authority, and ownership of us. He is our Creator and we are simply a part of His creation which resides on the earth.  Because of this we should “let Him do the talking” and desire to simply humble ourselves and learn His will for our lives.

We need to take great care to find the Lord’s will for our lives because there are many ways we can get sidetracked from obeying Him.

First of all, we can get sidetracked from God’s will when we get heavily involved in a multitude of affairs in this world.   When this takes place, the affairs of this world can quickly dominate all of our desires, hopes and dreams.

Secondly, we can get sidetracked when we foolishly speak things that cause us to stray from His will.  Instead of weighing all of our words and being certain they align themselves with God’s will, we speak quickly without thought.  In doing so, we utter sinful words, make promises we cannot keep, or promises that go in direct opposition to God’s will for us.

 

When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.  Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. 

Solomon emphasizes the seriousness of making vows to God. Solomon tells us that when we make a promise to the Lord we should quickly work to keep that vow and not delay.  To make a vow and delay in keeping it is the action of a fool.

Solomon again stresses the seriousness of the vow when he states “Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.”    

 

Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?  For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God. 

When we make rash vows that depart from God’s will for our lives, there are only two possible results:

  1. We will keep our sinful vow which we result in sinful actions on our part.
  2. We will attempt to change or rescind the promise. This is described by Solomon as “say before the angel, that it was an error”.    The “angel” here is referring to Christ (Mal 2:7, Isa 63:9, Gen 48:16 etc), the One to whom the promise was made.

In either case, we end up angering God and ruining our testimony and service to the Lord.

Because of all of this, Solomon comes to the understanding that although there are many different types of lofty promises, contracts, and dreams, when made “under the sun” (apart from the Lord and His will for our lives), are all simply acts of vanities with no lasting value.

A Christian is far better to learn to simply fear God and in doing so, he will learn to guard his mouth and only make, and then keep, promises to God that align themselves with His will.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all learn to hold a proper reverence and fear of the Lord, and in doing so, learn to guard our mouths and be prepared to carefully make and keep vows that are pleasing to the Lord.

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

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com