TODAY’S READING: ECCLESIASTES 7-12

 

OVERVIEW:

The vanity of wisdom apart from God (chapter 7); the vanity of hoping in government (chapter 8); the vanity of life’s unfairness (chapter 9); the vanity of foolish living (chapter 10); the vanity of selfish living (chapter 11); the vanity of forgetting God (chapter 12); and Solomon’s conclusion of the whole matter.          

 

HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:

While we are commanded by God to incline our ears unto wisdom (Prov. 2:2), we will be without fulfillment if it is done apart from God.  You can’t pursue wisdom (Eccl. 7:23).  You have to pursue God, and by pursuing God you get wisdom!

 

Chapter 8 deals with the vanity of hoping in government or politics to make everlasting change.  As believers, if we are going to change the world, it will be done by changing one heart at a time with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The laws of government or the policies of politicians can only change behavior.  God is into changing hearts and lives forever.  Read Psalm 19 to remind you of the power of God and His Word.  No law on earth is perfect, but God’s Law is just that…perfect (Psalm 19:7).  No judgment on earth is true and righteous altogether, but God’s judgments are (Psalm 19:9).  Place your hope in God and the gospel, not the government!

 

Some interesting observations from chapter 8:

 

1.  Verse 4 states that “Where the word of a king is, there is

    power.”  Is it mere coincidence that God’s Word for English

    speaking people is preserved for us in what is commonly called

    the KING James version?  It is one powerful Book!

 

2.  Verse 11 states that “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”.  This verse is a perfect

    explanation as to why the death penalty here in America is not

    the effective deterrent to crime that it should be (the average

    wait on death row is over 10 years!).  The more practical

    application to this verse though for a believer would have to do

    with training our children.  Have you found yourself as a father

    or mother telling your kids to do or not to do something more

    than once before the command is obeyed?  The Bible is clear as to

    what we as parents should be doing to train our children before

    we get to the point of frustration and anger because of their

    disobedience.  Parents to need to be consistent and biblical in

    their discipline of their children so that their hearts are

    not “fully set in them to do evil”. 

 

      Chapter 12 is a description of old age and the dying process:

            Verse 1 – old age is a burden

            Verse 2 – one health crisis after another

            Verse 3a – you start to shake

            Verse 3b – the bowing of the back

            Verse 3c – your teeth are few

            Verse 3d – eyesight is dimmed

            Verse 4a – hearing is fading

            Verse 4b – anything wakes you up

            Verse 4c – voice is weakened

            Verse 5a – difficult walking up steps

            Verse 5b – everything causes fear

            Verse 5c – no drive for life/sex

            Verse 7 – then you die and your spirit returns to God

                          who gave it.

 

In light of all he experienced under the sun, Solomon concludes that it all comes down to this…”fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

 

CHRIST IS REVEALED:

As THE POOR WISE MAN – Eccl. 9:14-16; II Corinthians 8:9 tells us that Jesus Christ became poor to be able to deliver us.

 

As THE CREATOR – Eccl. 12:1; see John 1:1-3,14.