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Ecclesiastes: Chapter 12 Verses 13-14

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 41 )

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spiritual 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 12:13-14 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Solomon now shares with us the end lessoned learned from all his research and life experiences…

 

Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 

Solomon’s conclusion is three-fold…

  1. fear God – recognize His greatness and His authority over us. Humbly recognize we cannot stand before Him of our own merit.  Recognize our inward and outward sins we have committed against Him.  Recognize our dangerous condition apart from His grace shown to us.
  2. keep his commandments – seek out, protect and follow his desires for our lives.  Keep in mind He only desires what will be for our good.   We only gain by following His instructions for our lives.
  3. these are the “whole duty” of man – Please note “duty” is not in the original manuscripts.  Solomon is telling us that fearing God and keeping His commands is the “whole of man”.  In others words, they should be the center of our lives.  They are the whole purpose for our existence.  These are our “whole” life.

These three give our lives true meaning and purpose, apart from them all of our accomplishments and life experiences are truly vain.

 

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Solomon not only shares with us the need to fear God and keep His commandments, but he also gives us a motivation to do  these things.  The future judgment.  The Bible makes it clear that in the future every man will stand before the Lord and answer for what we have done with our lives….

 

2Co 5:10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all heed Solomon’s advice to us all and “fear God and keep His commands”.  Folks this is what our life is all about.  May we all be motivated to fear and obey Him knowing that we will stand before Him in eternity and answer for all we have done with our lives.

The first, and most important way we are to fear Him and keep His commandments is by turning from our sins and coming to Christ believing in Him as our Lord and Savior.  It is through faith in Him that we will receive the forgiveness of our sins and eternal life in Him.

 

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.
31. 11:7-8 A recognition of the need to enjoy the days of blessings and expect the troublesome times of life.
32. 11:9-10 A recognition of the need to use the blessings of youth in service to the Lord.
33. 12:1-7 A recognition of the devastating effects of the aging process on all mankind.
34. 12:8-12 A recognition of the vanity of all the world’s offerings and the need to appreciate Solomon’s dedication to proclaim the truth to us.
35. 12:13-14 The Conclusion of The Whole Matter

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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Ecclesiastes: Chapter 12 Verses 8-12

 SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 40)

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spiritual 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 12:8-12

(8)  Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.  (9)  And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.  (10)  The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.  (11)  The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.  (12)  And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

 

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity. 

Everything offered by this world is short-lived and worthless if it is not dedicated to the Lord in His service.  Solomon emphasizes the vanity of this world’s offerings by using the phrase “vanity of vanities…. In other words, “worthless above all that is worthless” or “worthless to the extreme”.

 

And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.  The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. 

In addition to this, because Solomon was a wise man, he continued to instruct people concerning his observations about the world in which we live.  He listened attentively and researched his  subject thoroughly.  Then he sat down and recorded his findings in a series of wise sayings.  He took the time to choose words that would be accepted by his students.  His completed project was filled with proper words that revealed the truth to those who heard them.

 

The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.  And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. 

When wise men speak words of truth, their words are like prods and sharp nails that drive their listeners to take action.  All of these words of truth proceed from one shepherd (Christ) given to ministers throughout time to share with the people of God.

Solomon’s students are to allow his words to be warnings and sources of instruction… spending your life researching these subjects have no end to it.  There is always more to be learned.  Likewise, these types of lifetime studies will weary the flesh of man.  There is no reason for each of us to experience all that Solomon experienced and study all that Solomon has already studied for us.  We are to take his teachings, apply them to our lives, and serve the Lord, instead of wasting our lives researching what Solomon has already researched for us.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all be thankful for Solomon, whom the Lord raised up to invest his life and learning a very important lesson for all of us…. “vanity of vanities all is vanity”.

y we accept his words as truth and seek to live our lives in the pursuit of Godly service and not waste our lives living for the vain things of this 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.
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.
31. 11:7-8 A recognition of the need to enjoy the days of blessings and expect the troublesome times of life.
32. 11:9-10 A recognition of the need to use the blessings of youth in service to the Lord.
33. 12:1-7 A recognition of the devastating effects of the aging process on all mankind.
34. 12:8-12 A recognition of the vanity of all the world’s offerings and the need to appreciate Solomon’s dedication to proclaim the truth to us.

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 12 Verses 1-7

 SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 39 )

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spiritual 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 12:1-7

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;  (2)  While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:  (3)  In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,  (4)  And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;  (5)  Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:  (6)  Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.  (7)  Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Folks, as we grow older we find ourselves changing and, in most cases, the change is not for the better.  These changes take place due to mankind’s fallen condition and the effects of sin that touch each of our lives.  Solomon, as he observes the world around him, explains the need to serve the Lord while we are yet in our youth…

 

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say,

In Eccl 12:1-8, King Solomon reminds us of the need to always keep our Creator, and His desires for us, in the forefront of our minds, especially during our days of youth.

Solomon backs up his statement by explaining that as we progress in life it gradually becomes more difficult to serve the Lord.  He gives this advancing time of life the description of “the evil days” (ie the days of adversity and distress).    He calls them evil days in the context of aging’s devastating effects on both our physical and mental health.

He goes further and explains the effects that aging brings upon us,  He does this by using the symbolism of a vibrant city, and its individual citizens, that slowly become inactive and finally deserted…

 

 

I have no pleasure in them;

Physical aches and pains take the pleasure out of many of the activities that we used to find enjoyable.  As the aging process continues, for many of us, pleasurable days seem to become scarcer with each passing day.

 

 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened,

As we age, our eyesight grows dim, causing many sources of light to become darkened as we find it much harder to see.

 

nor the clouds return after the rain: 

Old age has a tendency to bring with it a series of health problems that return on a consistent basis.  Instead of having physical issues “every now and then”, they begin to appear more frequently, and in many cases become chronic.

 

In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble,

Our immune system begins to struggle and we find ourselves becoming ill more frequently, and acquiring illnesses that we had previously resisted.

 

and the strong men shall bow themselves,

Our physical strength begins to wane, as we can no longer do the heavy manual labor that we were used to doing.  Our weakness progresses until we cannot hold ourselves erect and we begin to stoop.

 

and the grinders cease because they are few,

Our teeth decay and we lose them until only a few remain.

 

and those that look out of the windows be darkened,

We can no longer see clearly with our eyes.  Not only do we need more light to see (vs 2), but also our eyes become cloudy with cataracts and other eye ailments.

 

And the doors shall be shut in the streets,

The doors of our mouths and lips are closed (Psa 141:3, Micah 7:5), no longer able to receive or digest the nutrients we need to survive.  We are no longer able to eat the foods we enjoy due to digestive distresses and, eventually, we struggle to eat any food at all.

 

when the sound of the grinding is low,

Aging brings upon us gradual hearing loss (and deafness) that does not allow us to hear ourselves chewing our food.

 

and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird,

Arising early due to an inability to sleep due to worries and light sleeping that is awakened by any small noise are common as we grow older.

 

and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low; 

Our natural talents and abilities are gradually lost.  Those who could sing joyous songs can no longer praise their Lord and bring joy to the heart of their listeners, as their talent to sing is taken away from them.

 

Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way,

Fear of accidents, falling, etc seem to dominate old age.  In our youth we could climb ladders to high places, now we are afraid of falling off a simple stepstool.  These fears have a tendency to stop us from attempting to perform activities to which we did not give a second thought.

 

and the almond tree shall flourish,

The almond tree has gray white blossoms.  This speaks of us losing our youthful hair color as gray hair replaces it.

 

and the grasshopper shall be a burden,

In our youth, we could easily deal with small pests by catching them and/or stepping upon them etc.  Now, as we get older, our reflexes are slowed.  These creatures evade our efforts to catch them and we have difficulty stepping upon them.

 

and desire shall fail:

As our age advances, we find our desire for activity and service reduced due to the pain and suffering that accompanies them.  Even our very “zest for life” is stolen by the aging process, stealing away our enjoyment of life itself.

These effects of aging come to dwell within our bodies like companions who move into our home and begin to reside with us.  With the passage of time, these companions increase in number and length of their stay, until they finally reside with us on a permanent basis.  They leave us only when, through their presence within us, they bring our life to an end…

 

because man goeth to his long home,

Our physical death

 

and the mourners go about the streets: 

Our funeral

 

Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. 

Our death described as:

  1. the silver cord binding our spirit to our body is broken, releasing our spirit to depart.
  2. the golden bowl of our body is broken taking away its usefulness and ability to perform the purposes of its creation, to glorify God in all we do.
  3. the pitcher of our body is no longer able to retain the spirit within it.
  4. the wheel of our body is no longer useful to anyone desiring water from the cistern.  Once dead our ability to serve others come to a complete end.

 

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. 

As aging brings about physical death, the spirit departs from our physical body.  At that point in time, our body returns back to the ground and our spirit enters into the presence of God for its eventual judgment and consignment to its eternal dwelling place.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

In this passage, Solomon explains in great detail the devastating effects of the aging process on all of us.  He does this in an effort to emphasize the need to live for the Lord while we are young and not hindered by the many ills that aging brings upon us.

May we all take Solomon’s words to heart and seek to serve our Lord throughout our lifetimes.  No matter what our current age, we should serve the Lord now… before the aging process takes a greater effect on each one of us with the passing of time.

 

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.
31. 11:7-8 A recognition of the need to enjoy the days of blessings and expect the troublesome times of life.
32. 11:9-10 A recognition of the need to use the blessings of youth in service to the Lord.
33. 12:1-7 A recognition of the devastating effects of the aging process on all mankind.

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 11 Verses 9-10

SIH TOTT ICON What Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 38          )

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spiritual 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 11:9-10

(9)  Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.  (10)  Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. 

 Solomon is sarcastically warning us of wasting our youth with enjoyment in the sinful pleasures of this world.  He describes this attitude as:

  1. rejoice – live for pleasure
  2. let thy heart cheer thee – allow your desires to center on worldly, carnal pursuits
  3. walk in the ways of thine heart and in the sight of thine eyes – follow your desires and live your life in pursuit of the carnal desires you hold within.

 

All three of these summarize the steps that lead us from the Lord’s will for our lives.  We determine to find carnal pleasure.  We allow our minds and desires to center on sinful ways to find that pleasure.  And then, we live our lives driven by our carnal desires.

Solomon tells young people,  “Go ahead, live for the things of this world and enjoy the pleasures found within it…. but keep in mind, you will give an account to the Lord for your attitude and actions.

This is clearly a warning and not a piece of good advice!

 

Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity. 

Now Solomon shares his words of wisdom (good advice) with us….

Because we understand we must give an account for how we live our youthful lives, we should change our desires to that of the things of the Lord.  In doing so, we are ridding our lives of the sorrow of desiring the things of the world while pursuing the things of God.   As we live for the Lord, with a new set of desires, we can enjoy life and be confident of our future with the Lord.

Childhood and youth will quickly pass away… this is why we are to use these blessings wisely in service to the Lord and not in service to the carnal desires of our flesh.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all learn to use our youth wisely.  It will pass away very quickly.  May we seek to live our youth for Christ and not waste it on living for the sinful pleasures of this world.

Also, lets use the knowledge that we must stand before the Lord to change our desires throughout our life.  May we always seek to please the Lord and put the sinfulness of this world behind us.  In doing so, we can look forward to our future with confidence knowing as we stand before the Lord, we lived our lives for Him.

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.
31. 11:7-8 A recognition of the need to enjoy the days of blessings and expect the troublesome times of life.
32. 11:9-10 A recognition of the need to use the blessings of youth in service to the Lord.

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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Ecclesiastes: Chapter 11 Verses 1-6

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.

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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Ecclesiastes: Chapter 10 Verses 20

 SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 35) 

 

 

 

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 10:20 – Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

 

Curse not the king, no not in thy thought;

Solomon warns us to be very careful in wishing evil upon those who have been placed in authority over us.   Not only in public, but even in our minds we should guard against standing against the rulers that the Lord has placed over us.

Folks, although we may not agree with a majority of what our leaders say and do, we should always give them our respect and the recognition that they have been placed over us by our Sovereign Lord.

 

curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: 

Solomon even goes further and reminds us to not be envious and resentful of those who possess the riches of this world.  Resentment leads to a desire for harm to fall upon those we resent.  These things should not exist in the lives of Christians.

 

for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter. 

The other major point Solomon is addressing in this section of Scripture, is the need to recognize that what we do in secret, immediately, or eventually, will come out in public.  Our sins truly will find us out. Even when we think our sin is being held in our minds and quiet places of solitude, somehow, someway, they will become public knowledge.

One of the most common ways that our “secret sins” are revealed finds its basis in ourselves.  Even when we believe that we are keeping our feelings about others a secret, others can see our true desires in our attitudes and actions towards the resented person.  What we believe is a well kept secret is, in actuality, a part of public knowledge die to our behavior around them.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all take to heart the instructions shared with us by Solomon.  May we learn to respect and honor our God-given authorities, remove all traces of resentment and anger from our lives, and learn that our secret, sinful, attitudes towards others will become public knowledge with the passing of time.

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

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 10 Verses 19

 SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 34olomon 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 10:19

A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things. 

Solomon now addresses the value of money that is found in its universal usage.  Most things found in this world have limited usages. For example, one of the few purposes for a feast is to make merry.  Likewise, wine has limited uses including merriment.

However, money, on the other hand, can supply almost anything that this world has to offer. For example money can be used to purchase the wine and makings of a feast we just saw in our example, it can also be used to purchase a multitude of other things as well.

Based on this principle, if given a choice, it is far better to possess money and be able to meet an innumerable number of needs, than to possess the makings for feasts or wine that can only meet a few specific life needs.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Please note in this section of Scripture, Solomon is not justifying the love of money, nor the possession of money as the goal for living our lives on earth.  He is simply explaining the legitimate, universal purpose of money and its ability to help us to meet our personal and family responsibilities.

Many times, as Christians, we have a tendency to “throw the baby out with the bathwater” by taking many things to an extreme.  Some Christians belief about money is a perfect example of this.  Folks, it is a fact of life that we all must have money to survive.  Our world systems are based upon money as the most common means of purchasing goods and services.

So does this justify loving money and living our lives in its pursuits?  Absolutely not.

However, just because money is a worldly tool that can open the door to many sins, and become a sinful obsession… that does not justify the total forsaking of it in the life of a Christian.

Just as in many of today’s practical issues of Godly service, moderation is needed.  It is not proper to live our lives for money, putting it first before all else.  However, it is proper to work for a living and seek to provide for our families, and lay up for our future worldly needs.  It is a part of our responsibility to our families and our 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
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

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 10 Verses 18

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 32)

 

 

 

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 10:18

(18)  By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through. 

Solomon warns that those who are “slothful”, in other words those who are not watchful but lax in their duties, will allow things to fall apart all around them.  They will see the needs and, yet, not attempt to meet them.

The end result of this lazy attitude is that, due to his resting hands, the entire house will come apart and fall to the ground.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, Solomon’s wisdom showed to him the need to “keep up with” his responsibilities.  In this case, he uses the idea of ignoring home repairs to illustrate the need for diligence in our duties.  Just like a man who ignores the work that must be done in his home, eventually losing the house as it gradually falls apart; he sees the life of a lazy person (one who fails to faithfully fulfill the responsibilities given to him) falling into utter ruin.

May we all see our need to live wise lives being faithful in our duties and aware of the needs around 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
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

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 10 Verses 16-17

 

SIH TOTT ICON What Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 31)

 

 

 

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 10:16-17

(16)  Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning!  (17)  Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and  for drunkenness! 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning!  

Solomon declares coming doom upon the nation who is ruled by those who lack wisdom and experience.   He goes further and warns those nations of allowing to selfish individuals who put themselves first to hold high positions of authority.

 

Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness! 

In comparison Solomon believed that nations whose rulers, as children, were brought up by parents who were pure and shining people (who displayed wisdom and Godliness in their lives) would have blessings awaiting them.  He adds that a nation will be blessed when their authority holders put their nation first, are unselfish, and exercise self-control.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Solomon understood that the leaders of a nation will directly affect level of prosperity and success in its endeavors.  A nation that is ruled by foolish and ungodly men cannot expect to be blessed of God.  Likewise, a nation who chooses and follows wise and godly leaders can look to the Lord in confidence, knowing they will be blessed of Him.

May the Lord help each of us to come to understand these truths and apply them to our lives as we seek out those who will lead 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
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

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Ecclesiastes: Chapter 10 Verses 1-15

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 30)

 

 

 

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 10:1-15 

Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.  (2)  A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left.  (3)  Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.  (4)  If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.  (5)  There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:  (6)  Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place.  (7)  I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.  (8)  He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.  (9)  Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby.  (10)  If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.  (11)  Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.  (12)  The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.  (13)  The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.  (14)  A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?  (15)  The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city. 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour. 

All it takes is one dead fly to contaminate a jar of medicine, just like it only takes one foolish act to destroy the reputation of those who are known for living a wise and honorable life.

This is due to the nature of human beings.  We all have a tendency to remember the stupid foolish acts of others instead of remembering their life in its entirety.

 

A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left.  Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool. 

Most of us have much better control of our right hands than our left hands.  This principle is used as a picture to represent that a wise man is in control of his actions, in comparison to the fool who lacks self-control.

A fool reveals to others that he is a fool through his actions.  As he progresses through life his wisest choices show himself to be a fool.

 

If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences. 

When those in authority oppose you, remind yourself that you are under their authority.  Do not try to exalt yourself against them.  When we submit to higher authorities, it encourages peace between our authorities and ourselves.

 

There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:  Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place.  I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.

There is a harmful action that Solomon saw that was commonly displayed by rulers…a ruler exalting a fool while demoting those who have proven themselves to be rich in wisdom.   To illustrate this great inequity, Solomon described it as seeing” servants upon horses and princes walking as servants upon the earth”.

 

He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.  Whoso removeth stones shall be hurt therewith; and he that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby. 

When a person sets out to be harmful to others, it will eventually come back upon his head.  This speaks of our imperfect human justice system, but especially the last days when all men must stand before the Lord and answer for the life they have lived upon the earth.

One exhibit of Godly wisdom is the understanding of these principles and allowing them to direct our lives.  In doing so, the wise man refrains from taking vengeance on others, realizing their will be a price to say on earth as well as in eternity.

 

If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct. 

An example of wisdom would be to sharpen an ax before using it.  Why is this? Because a sharp ax takes much less effort to cut wood than using a dull ax.   This is an example of the beneficial, practical, use of wisdom as we cut wood.

This helps us to understand that using wisdom does not simply aid our spiritual testimony, but it also aids us in our practical day to day walk on earth.

 

Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.  The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. 

Other examples of this same principle are enchanting a serpent so it does not bite, and the need to direct a foolish “babbler” before he does others harm with the words of his mouth.  Solomon reminds us that one of the greatest benefits to having Godly wisdom is the use of gracious words in comparison to the words of fools that end up hurting others and destroying themselves.

 

The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.  A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?  The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city. 

When fools begin speaking words of foolishness they result in doing great harm to others.  The result of the fool’s words are described as “damaging ravings’.  A fool never runs out of things to say.  He makes great promises and predictions that reveal his foolishness to all.  This is because he cannot know what tomorrow will hold or what will take place later in life.

The labor of a foolish man wears out all those who labor with him because he does not know how to accomplish the goal they are setting to accomplish.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, in this section of Scripture, we find Solomon teaching us many harmful aspects to foolishness that is allowed to affect our lives:

  1. Foolishness does great harm to our Christian testimony.
  2. Foolishness not exercise control of our life, and displays itself in our life
  3. Foolishness leads us to willfully opposes a ruler and bring down his wrath upon us.
  4. Foolishness leads to the exaltation of fools and demotion of wise men.
  5. Foolishness harms others and returns to the head of the foolish.
  6. Wisdom holds both spiritual and temporal benefits to the wise
  7. Foolish words discourages others while harming the fool
  8. Foolishness leads to unmet goals and weariness of its followers.

 

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

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 9 Verses 13-18

SIH TOTT ICON What Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 29)

 

 

 

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 9:13-18

(13)  This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me:  (14)  There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:  (15)  Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.  (16)  Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.  (17)  The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.  (18)  Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me:  There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:  Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. 

As Solomon observed the role of one seemingly insignificant woman who saved the city of Abel which was on the brink of defeat, he was reminded of the great value of wisdom…

2Sa 20:15-22 – “And they came and besieged him in Abel of Bethmaachah, and they cast up a bank against the city, and it stood in the trench: and all the people that were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down.  Then cried a wise woman out of the city, Hear, hear; say, I pray you, unto Joab, Come near hither, that I may speak with thee.  And when he was come near unto her, the woman said, Art thou Joab? And he answered, I am he. Then she said unto him, Hear the words of thine handmaid. And he answered, I do hear.  Then she spake, saying, They were wont to speak in old time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter.  I am one of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel: thou seekest to destroy a city and a mother in Israel: why wilt thou swallow up the inheritance of the LORD?  And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy.   The matter is not so: but a man of mount Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, hath lifted up his hand against the king, even against David: deliver him only, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said unto Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the wall.   Then the woman went unto all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it out to Joab. And he blew a trumpet, and they retired from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the king.”

This poor woman exercised wisdom by searching out the reason behind Joab’s attack on her city and came up with a solution that saved the inhabitants of her city while satisfying Joab’s demands.

 

Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.  The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.  Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good. 

Based upon this event, and probably others, Solomon comes to the conclusion that wisdom holds much more value than brute force.  The words of men who speak wisely without drawing attention to themselves should be given much more weight than the words of foolish rulers who cry aloud, attracting attention and demanding to be heard by all.

However, the world does not recognize this principle so it rejects wisdom.  Many times the problems that face this world could easily be resolved through wisdom, however, they remain unresolved because the “wise way” is not the “method of choice” in today’s society.  Our foolish rulers scream and demand to be heard and followed when most of them are leading us down the path of spiritual defeat.   These type of fools can do much harm to our world and to the wisdom that quietly resides in it.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, in today’s society we need to take heed to the words of wise men, not necessarily those who possess great authority, fame, or riches.   Sadly, it seems as if these are the very people that our society seeks to hear and follow.

May the Lord raise up not only Godly men of wisdom but an attitude of willingness to hear and follow their words in the face of the multitude of trials that face our country, churches, and families.

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

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 9 Verses 4-12

 SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 28)

 

 

 

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 9:4-12 

(4)  For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.  (5)  For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.  (6)  Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.  (7)  Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.  (8)  Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.  (9)  Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.  (10)  Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.  (11)  I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.  (12)  For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.  For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.   Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. 

Solomon came to understand that as long as we possess physical life we have hope of forgiveness, salvation and an eternity with the Lord.  It is far better to hold a position of low estate (such as a menial dog) who is alive, than to be a lion (a regal, universally respected beast) who no longer living upon this earth.

Those who are alive know they are facing death and can prepare for it by turning to Christ, in faith.

This is compared to those who are dead who have no knowledge of what is taking place on the earth.  They no longer have any opportunity for salvation and service to Christ which will lead to their eternal rewards.  They are so separated from this earth, that memories of their existence and works have been forgotten.  Their earthly works have ceased and they no longer can share in anything that takes place on the earth.

What must be done to prepare for eternity and serve Christ must be done while we are yet alive on the earth.

 

Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.  Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.   Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun. 

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. 

Solomon now addresses those who have prepared for eternity and now can enjoy their remaining time on earth.  There is no reason for the Christian to not be joyous.  The Lord has blessed us with our physical life and the opportunity to prepare for eternity.  He then graced us with repentance and faith enabling us to receive forgiveness and the hope of eternal life.  Joyful living, enjoying creation around us, and having opportunities for continuing service to Christ are the blessings that Christians are given “under the sun”.

In previous chapters, Solomon has been showing us that for men without Christ physical life is vain.  However, in this chapter he is explaining that, for those who have trusted in Christ, life can be of great joy and pleasure when it is used in service to Christ.

This is why, as Christians, we are to do everything to the best of our ability.  All that we do is important in this earth, because we are a reflection of Christ on this earth.  Everything we do (in one way or another) can, and should, reveal Christ to those around us.  Therefore we are to do our best in everything we do.

 

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.  For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them. 

In comparison to the saved, Solomon turns his attention back to the general condition of mankind on this earth.  He sees that, in many ways, the world is not fair.  This world does not always rightly reward those who excel.  It seems as if reaping due rewards for our labors and excellence is under the control of chance… “being in the right place at the right time’.

However, as Christians, we understand that the Lord is in control of all, including the rewarding of those who excel.  Eventually all will be made right by the Lord.  This is much like fishes and birds who freely live without care, eventually, suddenly are taken into a net or snare. Likewise all men who seem to not feel the results and rewards of their actions will suddenly be brought to justice by the Lord.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

When a man does not use the opportunity of physical life to come to Christ, life on earth is vain and without lasting value.  All is wasted effort with no lasting, eternal rewards.  For those who use their physical life to prepare for eternity by trusting in Christ, they can find great joy and satisfaction as they live a life sharing Christ with others.

Keep in mind, although there are no guaranteed earthly rewards for our labors, the Lord is in control.  In eternity, we are promised for justice to be done and rewards to be given for our faithfulness.  We are to do all we can, to the best of our abilities to show Christ to others, as we live our daily lives on earth.  We can know by faith, that our efforts will be rewarded and the Lord will sovereignly, by His grace, use our testimony to save others around 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
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

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 9 Verses 1-3

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 27)

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spiritual 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 9:1-3 

For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them.  (2)  All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.  (3)  This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead. 

  

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God:

Solomon set his desires to publically declare that those who are righteous, possessing Godly wisdom, and all that they do are protected and led by the hand of God.  God is actively intervening in the lives of His people.  He is leading them and watching over them as they seek to serve the Lord as they live their lives on earth.

 

no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them.  All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath. 

The full spectrum of life events is experienced by both the righteous and the wicked.  Many times we cannot see the love and care of God coming upon His people. His people, just like the wicked, still face trials, hardships, and sorrows in this life.

Because of this we cannot perceive whom God loves or hates through the events that take place on earth.  In spite of this, we can be certain that God’s love and care remains upon His people.

 

This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead. 

There is one destructive characteristic that is shared by all mankind and there is one event that touches the lives of everyone.

All men share in possessing the character of a fallen sinful creature.  Their desires are full of wickedness and obsessive pride rules in the heart of all.  Because of their fallen, sinful nature all mankind faces removal from this earth through physical death.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, as God’s people, we should rest assured that God loves us, protects us, and leads us on a daily basis.  Although we realize that all of life’s events are shared by both lost and saved, it is no reason for us to doubt the Lord’s personal intervention and enablement of His people.

As we look about us we are constantly reminded of the great need of shining as lights in the midst of a sin darkened world.  All men are touched by sin, condemned to physical death, and in desperate need of Christ in their lives.

May we all seek to show Christ to others through our words, actions and lifestyles, exercising confidence that He is with us protecting us and leading us every step of the way.

 

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 The 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 The 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 The recognition that men cannot fully understand the work of God on earth
23. 9:1-3 The Recognition That Righteous and Wicked Share Common 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

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 8 Verses 16-17

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 26)

 

 

 

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 8:16-17 – When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth: (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:)  Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it. 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth: (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:) 

Solomon looked for wisdom to understand the purpose behind the events that take place in   this world.  He did so because he saw that there were men that had many sleepless nights pursing the answer to this question.

We all have a great desire to understand the “why?” behind the events that we see taking place around us.  Why does the good man suffer?  Why does the wicked man seem to go untouched in this world?  Why are there wars?  Why do tragedies of nature (hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc) take place?  The list is endless.

 

 Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it. 

Solomon then looked to the Lord for the answers to the “why?” questions of life.  He found that man cannot begin to come to an answer to all the whys.  The workings of God are far higher than that which is under the sun.  Even the wisest of Godly men can never come to a complete understanding of God’s works.  It will only be with the glorification of the saints’ bodies that we will be able to understand the works of God in their fullness.

Psa 77:19 – “Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.”

Rom 11:33 – “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”

Job 11:7 – “Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?”

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, although all of us have “Why?” questions concerning the events that take place in the world around us, none of us will be able to find a complete answer to our questions this side of heaven.

Our Lord is so great, He controls all that is around us (Daniel 4:35).  By faith, we can know with certainty, that every event that takes place, both the good and the bad events, take place for His glory and the good of His people (James 1:3-4, Romans 8:28).

May we all learn to trust Him more during every one of life’s events, knowing that, although we can never understand all the details of His workings, He is always with us working for our good…. and let that be enough.

 

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 The 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 The 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 The recognition that men cannot fully understand the work of God on earth

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 8 Verses 6-15

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 25)

 

 

 

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 8:6-15 –

(6)  Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.  (7)  For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be?  (8)  There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.  (9)  All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt.  (10)  And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity.  (11)  Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.  (12)  Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:  (13)  But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.  (14)  There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity.  (15)  Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Eccl 8:6-15 –

Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.  For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be? 

To fulfill every purpose of the Lord under the sun, there must be a time (an opportunity open for us to serve) and a judgement (answering to the Lord for our level of faithfulness in that opportunity).  These can be seen through the exercise of Godly wisdom.  Those who are wise can see beyond this physical world.  They can understand the need to be faithful in the opportunities opened to us, they understand that eternity holds a time of reckoning between God and every man on earth.

Lost mankind, due to their inability to please the Lord in any area of opportunity, finds themselves in a miserable condition.  Apart from God’s gracious intervention in their lives, they are condemned to living lives of disobedience with God’s hand of judgment awaiting them…

Job 14:1-5  Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.  He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.  And dost thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee?  Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.  Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;

 

 

There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it. 

Not only does man lack the ability to serve the Lord, but he also lacks the ability to avoid death, or delay its coming.   Physical death is like a war against man that he always loses.  There is no escaping that war, all men eventually face physical death.

Even Satan himself, and all the powers of wickedness in this world, cannot deliver men from death.

 

All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt.  And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity. 

Solomon saw that wicked men abused those who are under their authority.  He saw them live their lives selfishly, only considering their own lustful desires.  Not only did Solomon see these things, but he also desired to come to understand why these things are so.

Even though the wicked cruelly ruled over those under their authority, Solomon saw that death took them from this world.  Although they lived selfishly, doing all they could to escape death’s grasp, it was all to no avail.

Solomon saw that living selfish lives misusing others only holds short-term gain and, when all is said and done, holds no eternal gain.

 

Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.  Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:  But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God. 

Solomon saw that fallen mankind loved for immediate gratification without considering the long term results of their actions.

One reason for this is because, many times, the human governments of this world do not faithfully uphold their God-given responsibility to swiftly punish the wicked acts of man.  This allows men to commit many transgressions without receiving any punishment for those sins.

Also please keep in mind, although the Lord promises to always punish the sin of the lost, due to His longsuffering and mercy, He withholds His eternal judgment until the death of the transgressor.  He does this to give lost men an opportunity to repent of their sins and trust Him as Lord and Savior.

Because of man’s judgment being delayed, lost men can sin freely and seem to live long happy lives with no retribution for their actions.  In spite of all of this, Solomon knew that eventually lost men would stand before the Lord and feel the results of their sins.  The Lord would not bless them with extended life nor happiness, at their appointed time He would take them and place them in eternal judgment.

In contrast, those who serve the Lord (which proves they have experienced genuine salvation work in their hearts), will most certainly be blessed of God eternally.

There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity. 

Solomon also noted that many of the same events of life under the sun happen to both the wicked and the righteous.  Based upon Solomon’s observations of our physical world, he sees that there is no reason to serve the Lord and live righteous lives.

Because of this Solomon comes to the conclusion that, if we limit our investigation to this physical world,….

 

Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. 

Men should simply enjoy their physical life on earth and “party it up” because there is no benefit to service to the Lord.

However, we must keep in mind that, Solomon tells us all of this to emphasize the importance of Godly wisdom for our lives.  When we possess Godly wisdom, our sight is not limited to the things found in the world “under the sun”.  With Godly wisdom, we have the ability to understand that the benefits of serving the Lord are found in eternity and not necessarily in the world in which we live.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all have reaffirmed in our hearts the importance of having Godly wisdom in a world that is not under our control nor rewards faithful servants of the Lord.   For it is with this Godly wisdom that we can see the true benefits to faithful service 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
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 The 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 The recognition man needs Godly wisdom because he cannot control his own life nor see the eternal benefits of service to the Lord.

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 8 Verses 1-5

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 24)

 

 

 

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 8:1-5  – Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? a man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed.  I counsel thee to keep the king’s commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God.  Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him.  Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?  Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment. 

 

  

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

 

Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing?

True Godly wisdom is a rare thing.  Many have a worldy type of wisdom, but few have a wisdom that can understand and explain the workings of the Lord and the application of His truths to our lives.

 

a man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed. 

With the receipt of Godly wisdom comes joy, and kindness of heart as the wise man applies God’s Word to his own life and learns the importance of treating others with a Godly love and grace.

 

I counsel thee to keep the king’s commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God.    

Solomon gives us the advice to obey the higher authorities of this world as long as they do not contradict the promises of obedience we have given to the Lord.  We are to remain loyal servants of the king, standing in his presence awaiting his commands.  If we find ourselves disobeying his commands we are to not remain in disobedience but turn back to him with a repentant heart.

 

Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him. Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?  Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment. 

Why must we take great care in obeying higher authorities?  It is because they possess great authority. When they are set against us, they can do great harm to us and those around us.  The king’s authority allows him to simply speak and have his words come to pass.  No one can question his doings.

This is why we all need to obey the higher powers.  Then the king will not turn against us.  When a man is truly wise he will know when it is proper to obey the king and what judgment he will face if he disobeys.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Possessing Godly wisdom will change our lives.  It will give us the ability to see things as they actually are, through the lens of the will of God for our lives.  It will open up to us the ability to apply God’s Word to our lives and treat others in a kind, Godly manner.  Finally, it will lead us to submit to higher authorities under the umbrella of the highest authority, the Lord Himself.

May we all seek the gracious gift of Godly wisdom that flows from  our Lord through His Word.

 

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 The 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

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 7 Verses 24-29

SIH TOTT ICON What Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 23)

 

 

 

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 7:24-29

That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?  I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness: And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.  Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account:  Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.  Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

 

That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?  I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:

 Solomon was the first to admit that he could never perfectly come to an understanding of all the counsels of God and how He worked upon the earth.  Although he greatly desired to understand the role of Godly wisdom, earthly wisdom and foolishness in the world around him, he could only use his limited spiritual and human abilities to come to any conclusion on the subject.  He was freely admitting that his understanding of all these things was limited by his carnal, fallen, human nature.

 

And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her. 

Through Solomon’s investigation, he recognizes that a seductive woman who seeks to ensnare men and hold them in carnal sins, produces worse pain, sorrow, and loss than death itself.  Of course, this woman can be speaking of any source of temptation that confronts men and can derail them and hold them captive, as they seek to serve the Lord.

He is clearly stating that it is far better for a Christian to be taken from this world than to become ensnared in sin and rendered useless for the cause of Christ.

Solomon observes that although the seduction of sin can be very powerful, it is possible for men to escape it through the intervention of the Lord.  In comparison the lost, seeking to escape from her grasp, realizes they cannot escape her grasp because they do not have the Lord in their lives.

 

Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account:  Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.  Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. 

Solomon, the teacher (after a very systematic, detailed examination) has not found one man in a thousand, who could overcome the seduction of sin by their own merit.  In other words, there are no man, or woman, that could be found on the earth who perfectly rules over their flesh and lives a life of absolute sinlessness.

(Keep in mind the word “thousand” represents “all or every” as in Psa 50:10 where we are told the Lord owns “all the cattle on a thousand hills” ie…. He owns cattle on all the hills.   When Solomon says he cannot find a man among a thousand, he is saying he could find no man among them all.  Likewise he could find no perfect woman among all women.)

Although God has made man to be perfect and sinless, however, in a fallen man’s heart they always follow their own sinful desires due to the fallen nature that indwells us all.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Solomon came to understand the inability for any of us to come to a full understanding of the need for Godly wisdom and strength in the fallen world around us.  Apart from the Lord’s intervention in our life, we have no chance of ever coming to an understanding of our great need of Him and His enabling to overcome sin.

May we all remember that resisting temptation only comes through the gracious enabling of the Lord.  As such, may we all honor and praise Him exclusively when we find ourselves victorious over the sins that lie in our path as we walk life upon the 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.
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 The recognition of the value of Godly wisdom
19. 7:24-29 The pursuit of Godly enabling

 

 

 

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Ecclesiastes: Chapter 7 Verses 11-23

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 22)

 

 

 

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 7:11-23  – Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.  For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.  Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?  In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.  All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.   Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?  Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?  It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.  Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.  For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.  Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:  For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.  All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me. 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.  For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

Although there is no value to accruing wealth and leaving an inheritance to the fool; for those who possess Godly wisdom, an inheritance is a very beneficial thing.  There are many beneficial uses for an inheritance which is controlled by a Godly man.

Both Godly wisdom, and wealth possessed by the wise can be used as a great protection  against poverty and abuse of the wise or those around him.

The highest type of knowledge reveals that Godly wisdom gives spiritual, eternal life to those who possess it.  This is because Godly wisdom leads a man to see his sinful condition; identify his Savior, Jesus Christ; and persuade him of the need to turn to Him for deliverance from his sin.

 

Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?  In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider:

Solomon now reminds us that the events of this life are under the absolute sovereign control of the Lord.  No man can change that which the Lord has decreed.  No man can make straight what He has made crooked.

In the pleasant days, be joyful and thankful to the Lord realizing He is the One that has brought it to pass.  In the days of affliction, stop and think…  the Lord is also in control of this and is allowing it to take place for a purpose.

 

God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him. 

The Lord does all of these things to be a constant reminder of our total, absolute reliance upon Him.  He does this by constantly bringing new events into our lives, doing things in our lives we cannot change, and not allowing us to see what tomorrow holds for us.

 

All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.   Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?  Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time? 

Before Solomon came to an understanding of the true meaning to life and the importance of Godly wisdom, he observed that a man who lived a lawful life died at a young age while a man who lived wickedly lived a long life.

This seemed to indicate that it is useless to pursue living a moral, lawful life because it only ends up hurting us.  Likewise, we should not go to the opposite extreme because excessive lawlessness can result in living lives of imprisonment, sickness, suffering and also, at times, early death.

 

It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all. 

Based upon these examples, Solomon now reveals the true principle that we should cling to and never forget… The man that fears with Lord with a Godly type of wisdom will excel over both the earthly wise and earthly foolish man.  This is because the God fearing man will use this physical life to prepare for the eternal life that is to come.  He will do this by recognizing his sinful condition, recognize Christ as the only Savior, and turn from their sins to Christ in faith.

  

Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.   For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. 

Godly wisdom will lead the leaders of a city to reign in righteousness and lead others to follow the Lord.  This is a greater protection to the city than ten mighty warriors who fight in their own power and are not empowered by the Lord.

The greatest reason why Godly wisdom is so important for all mankind is because all men have sinned and are separated from the Lord due to their sins.  All men are in need of a Savior

 

Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:  For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others. 

Another important principle that is known by the wise is to not listen to those who speak against us.  When we hear them, due to our sin nature, we will turn against the speaker and seek vengeance against him.  This will lead to possible mistreatment of the speaker.

If we stop and consider, we will realize that we are guilty of speaking against others and have no place to judge others who speak against us.

 

All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far

from me. 

These are all lessons Solomon has proven to be true as he gained Godly wisdom from the Lord.  This, in turn, helped him to understand the great need for wisdom in his life.  However, he also came to understand that true, Godly wisdom, cannot be gained through our good works nor our desire for them.  True Godly wisdom is a gift that is given by God, sovereignly, to those whom He chooses to receive it.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, throughout this lesson, we have seen the need for Godly wisdom emphasized again and again by Solomon.  As Christians, may we all come to understand the great need for Godly wisdom in our lives and the need to humbly come before the Lord and seek that wisdom which cannot be gained through human merit, education, nor desire.

Likewise may those who do not know Christ, come to an understanding of their great need for Godly wisdom as well.  May they see that the first step to gaining Godly wisdom is through possessing a personal relationship with Christ through repentance from sin and belief in Christ as Lord and Savior.

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 The recognition of the value of Godly wisdom

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 7 Verses 1-10

SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 21)

 

 

 

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 7:1-10 

A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.  (2)  It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.  (3)  Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.  (4)  The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.  (5)  It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.  (6)  For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.  (7)  Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.  (8)  Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.  (9)  Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.  (10)  Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Solomon now describes for us many different areas of our lives that can lead us to prideful living.  He attempts to answer the question.. “Does living a life of pride and arrogance lead to a fulfilling life on earth?”

 

A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth. 

Living a life of humility that results in possessing an honorable, respected name among mankind is far better than accumulating the most valuable of ointments.  Prideful living would choose the wealth of this world over the good testimony of a man humbled before the Lord.

 

It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.  Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.  The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. 

It is far better to face difficulties, sorrows, and loss in this life than to enjoy the pleasures of this world without any heartaches or trials.  This is because a man who is faced with many trials, can more easily see his frail, fallen condition and need of the enabling graces of the Lord in His life.  True Godly wisdom, humility and dependence upon God, many times, is rooted in the hardships of life.  In opposition to this, many times, living a life of pleasure and joy without heartaches can lead to a man to a prideful spirit, as he feels immune from trials and superior to others who are suffering abound him.

 

It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.  For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity. 

Possessing a humble spirit always willing to hear words of correction from a wise man is far better than for a man to selfishly, pridefully seek counsel from fools. A wise man knows the importance of recognizing our weaknesses and great spiritual needs, while the prideful fool does not recognize his need, but only thinks upon receiving pleasure and enjoyment in the here and now.

A fool’s counsel and merriment is much like burning wood under a pot, it makes much meaningless noise that lasts for only a moment and disappears into smoke.

 

Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart. 

A wise man recognizes abuse and mistreatment of others and becomes angry over it.  But a gift that is received from the abuser (as a bride) will pervert the wise man’s judgment and turn his eyes and hatred from the abuse.

 

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.  Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. 

Solomon now tells us it is far better to finish a task than to simply plan to do it with no work being done to bring it to completion.  A wise man recognizes it takes a humble, patient spirit to finish the task at hand.  Impatience leads to frustration and anger which is a sign of a prideful, foolish man.

 

Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this. 

It is foolish and prideful are not to ask why the days of old were better than present times.  We must humbly recognize the Lord controls both our past and present days. We should accept our current circumstances of life humbly and wisely knowing that all things are working for our good and His glory.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks living a life of pride and arrogance will only develop in us a self-reliant attitude that does not recognize our great spiritual needs. This type of lifestyle results in living a wasted life and an unpreparedness to enter eternity.  May we all seek to lead a life of humility and submission, understanding the great need of Christ in our life as our Lord and Savior.

 

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

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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Ecclesiastes: Chapter 6 Verses 11-12

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 6:11-12

Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better?  For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun? 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better? 

In this study, so far, we have seen many many things that Solomon has identified as “vain”.

Ranging from pleasing our carnal desires to accumulating physical possessions to possessing worldly wisdom, Solomon came to understand that ANYTHING that exists “under the sun” (i.e. in this physical world in which we live) is short-lived and of no lasting value…

Ecc 1:2 – “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”

 

If we understand that all found under the sun is vain, then we can also come to understand that these things do not benefit man in any lasting ways.  Man is no better after accumulating and partaking of the things of this world, as he was when he was first born into this world.

 

For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun? 

From an earthly standpoint, with no concern given to God and His Word, who in this fallen world can know what will profit man in this earthy existence on a fallen, sinful world?  The implied answer is “no one” because none of this world’s offerings benefit man.

Man’s life on earth is like a shadow, constantly changing and lasting for only a brief period of time.  (Psa 144:4)

Man’s life on earth is fluctuating, always shifting… because of this, no man can tell us what lies on the morrow.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Solomon reminds us that everything we find “under the sun” is of no value to us in the eternal things of God. May we continue to seek out the Lord’s will for our lives, seeing the importance of seeking the eternal things of God compared to the temporal things that this world has to offer 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
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.

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

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Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com