TODAY’S READING: ECCLESIASTES 7-12
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.