Ecclesiastes – Chapter 12

ecclesiastes-chapter-12

Verse 1 – Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them”:

When we are young, we are less aware of one day being accountable for our actions. But as we get older when we look back, we will either see a life that we enjoyed and lived to the fullest, always looking forward to an eternity with Christ or, some when they look back and feel it was all for nothing because they lived only for themselves.

Verse 2 – While the sun and the light, the moon and the stars, are not darkened, and the clouds do not return after the rain;

Verse 3 – In the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men bow down; when the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look through the windows grow dim;

Verse 4 – When the doors are shut in the streets, and the sound of grinding is low; when one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of music are brought low;

Verse 5 – Also when they are afraid of height, and of terrors in the way; when the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper is a burden, and desire fails. For man goes to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets.

Sometimes when reading these verse that Solomon wrote, I think, “That’s way too deep for me. What did he just say?” But, if you go back and read these verses again, you will see he is talking about growing old and feeble; fear of falling down; locking the house up in fear of someone breaking in, and then a funeral at the end.

Verse 6 – Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well.

Verse 7 – Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.

Verse 8 – “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “All is vanity.” “Fear God and keep His commandments.”

Stripped of God’s Spirit, our bodies return to the dust. Stripped of God’s purpose, our work is in vain, knowing all life is wasted unless God is in it, we seek after Him first.

Verse 9 – And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out and set in order many proverbs.

Verse 10 – The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; and what was written was upright – words of truth.

Verse 11 – The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd.

A goad was a sharp metal tip attached to a handle used to keep oxen or cattle moving. Like a goad, a wise word of truth may not always be pleasant to hear, but it will keep us moving forward towards the things of God.

Verse 12 – And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.

There’s nothing wrong with reading and studying books on philosophies, but to gain true wisdom and truth, there is no better book written than the Bible, the true Word of God.

Verse 13 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

Verse 14 – For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil.

Whether good or evil done in this life, all will give an account one day. When God says, “He looks on the heart”, He sees every motive and attitude behind everything we do. This book of Ecclesiastes shows us, yes, we should enjoy life, but this does not exempt us from obeying God. Our lives should have purpose and meaning, so others will see whom you follow.

Ecclesiastes – Chapter 11

ecclesiastes-chapter-11

Verse 1 – Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.

I love this verse, because it says many things in just one sentence. I’ll try not to write a book about it.

If you’ve never read the parable of the sower and the seed, please do so. You can find it in Luke chapter 8 or Matthew chapter 13. But this verse concerns two precepts. One being in business adventures; how to avoid poverty by prudent and wise in decisions; taking a risk. We all need a certain amount of prosperity to have a good life and help those in need. The old saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” is to not put all your money in one adventure to get a return.

The verse says to cast our bread upon the waters – plural. Bread can be the bread of life – God’s Word. When the Word, which is the seed,  is sown, we don’t just plant one little seed and expect a great harvest. We keep sowing; keep speaking; and keep sharing. Some will listen and take it to heart, some will listen for a time, but we cast it on many people in many places, and soon after, we will see the harvest.

Verse 2 – Give a serving to seven, and also to eight, for you do not know what evil will be on the earth. This verse refers to investment not charity.

Verse 3 – If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth, and if a tree falls to the south or the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie.

Verse 4 – He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

Always waiting for the perfect condition means, more than likely to do nothing.

Verse 5 – As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes all things.

Just as we don’t know which way the wind will go, neither do we know how God joined the soul and the spirit to the body in the womb. His mighty works are a mystery to us.

Verse 6 – In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good.

The Bible tells us to not grow weary in doing good (Galatians 6:9). Be ready at all times to sow mercy and continue till evening. Work hard in the hope that at lest one or a few will take root, whether in word or deed.

Verse 7 – Truly the light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun;

Verse 8 – But if a man lives many years and rejoices in them all, yet let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. All that is coming is vanity.

In the Bible, light is often associated with life and darkness with death. So saying light is sweet it’s saying, “It’s good to be alive.” In contrast to darkness: Life is short, but death is much longer. Make sure you make the right choice while living.

Verse 9 – Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know for all these God will bring you into judgement.

Verse 10 – Therefore, remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh, for childhood and youth are vanity.

We are to beware of the choices we make in our youth, because the wrong choice can bring misery for a lifetime – when we are old. On the other hand, choosing to live for Christ when young, will bring blessing throughout life and joy when we are old.

Ecclesiastes – Chapter 10

ecclesiastes-chapter-10

Verse 1 – Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, and cause it to give off a foul odor; so does a little folly to one respect for wisdom and honor.

Verse 2 – A wise man’s heart is at his right hand, but a fool’s heart at his left.

Verse 3 – Even when a fool walks along the way, he lacks wisdom, and he shows everyone that he is a fool.

Verse 4 – If the spirit of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your post; for conciliation pacifies great offenses.

Verse 4,  is simply saying to watch your reaction when someone above you in authority is angry.

Verse 5 – There is an evil I have seen under the sin, as an error proceeding from the ruler:

Verse 6 – Folly is set in great dignity, while the rich sit in a lowly place.

Verse 7 – I have seen servants on horses, while princes walk on the ground like servants.

Have you ever seen someone with less skill and less intelligence be promoted to a higher position, while someone who is more qualified get looked over or passed by?

Verse 8 – He who digs a pit will fall into it, and whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a serpent.

Digging a pit is plotting to do evil against another. Breaking through a wall is breaking into a house or a place you don’t belong. When someone does either of these they will most likely end up injured or arrested.

Verse 9 – He who quarries stones may be hurt by them, and he who splits wood may be endangered by it.

Verse 10 – If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength;

Let’s take these two verse spiritually. If we don’t take the gifts God gives each one of us, and put them to good use, they will become dull and lay dormant.

Verse 11 – A serpent may bite when it is not charmed; the babblers is no different.

A serpent biting is no different from someone blabbering their mouth about someone else – both will hurt.

Verse 12 – The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but the lips of a fool shall swallow him up;

Verse 13 – The words of his mouth begin with foolishness, and the end of his talk is raving madness.

Verse 14 – A fool also multiplies words. No man knows what is to be; who can tell him what will be after him?

Everything that proceeds from a wise person’s mouth is gracious and kind. It’s also creditable to themselves and others. However, a fool will boast, lie, and speak hurtful words about others.

Verse 15 – The labor of fools wearies them, for they do not even know how to go to the city.

Verse 16 – Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning!

Verse 17 – Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, and your princes feast at the proper time building’s decays, and through idleness of hands the house leaks.

When a nation; a business; a home, doesn’t have wise leadership, it will start to decay. Selfishness and laziness will sit by while “Rome burns!”

Verse 19 – A fest is made for laughter, and wine makes merry; but money answers everything.

Some would like to think that money can clear every problem, but just like wine, the thrill is only temporary. Yes, money is necessary to survive in this world, but we are warned against the love of money in Matthew 6:24. The  love of money is dangerous, because we learn to trust it more than God.

Verse 20 – Do not curse the king, even in your thought; do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; for a bird of the air may carry your voice, and bird in flight may tell the matter.

We should take care not to envy the wealthy. Don’t despise your rich neighbor. Depend on the Lord for everything pertaining to life with expectancy.

Ecclesiastes – Chapter 9

ecclesiastes-chapter-9

Verse 1 – For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: That the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. People know neither love nor hatred by anything that is before them.

Verse 2 – Everything occurs alike to all: One event happens to the righteous and the wicked; to the good, the clean, and the unclean; to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice.  As is the good, so is the sinner; and he who takes an oath as he who fears an oath.

While all things, good or bad, happen to both the righteous and the sinner, God makes a difference in the believer’s life. Many, including me, have witnessed God’s divine intervention.

Verse 3 – This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: That one thing happens to all. Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

Verse 4 – But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

Verse 5 – For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.

Solomon is describing what he sees, not what he believes. There is no reference of the soul after death, which is a matter of faith. He’s simply saying, the dead have no more gratification after their death.

Verse 6 – Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun.

Verse 7 – Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works.

Verse 8 – Let your garments always be white, and let your head lack no oil.

The Jews wore white garments on festival occasions. The oil is a sign of anointing and blessing.

Verse 9 – Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun.

Verse 10 – Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.

Life after death was only a vague concept in the Old Testament. It was only made clear after Jesus rose from the dead.

Verse 11 – I returned and saw under the sun that – The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.

Verse 12 – For man also does not know his time; like fish taken in a cruel net, like birds caught in a snare, so the sons of men are snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them.

The moment of death is not ours to control. Solomon does not deny the sovereignty of God over human affairs, he’s simply stating life is not always fair.

Verse 13 – The wisdom I have also seen under the sun, and it seemed great to me:

Verse 14 – There was a little city with few men in it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great snares around it.

Verse 15 – Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that same poor man.

Verse 16 – Then I said, “Wisdom is better than strength. Nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

Verse 17 – Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard rather than the shout of a ruler of fools.

Verse 18 – Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroys much good.”

The society we live in honors wealth, attractiveness, and success above wisdom. Wisdom from one is not often recognized. Power in the hand of the ignorant will destroy the good that wisdom provides through God. But we know who is greater!

Ecclesiastes – Chapter 8

ecclesiastes-chapter-8

Verse 1 – Who is like a wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? And man’s wisdom makes his face shine, and the sternness of his face is changed.

When you make a right decision using God’s wisdom, are you not happy? Yes, and it will change your countenance. You will show it on your face.

Verse 2 – I counsel you, “Keep the king’s commandment for the sake of your oath to God.”

Verse 3 – “Do not be hasty to go from his presence, do not take your stand for an evil thing, for he does whatever pleased him.”

God has given commandments that we are to keep. When you go away from the commandments you promised to keep and start following the opposite, take heed, it won’t turn out good.

Verse 4 – Where the word of a king is, there is power; and who may say to him, “What are you doing?”

When someone has the nerve to ask a king, “What are you doing”, it’s like asking God,”Are You sure? What do you think you are doing?” As if He doesn’t  know the end result.

Verse 5 – He who keeps his command will experience nothing harmful; and a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment.

Even though Solomon was talking about a subject who is under his authority, we can translate it to: Do you trust God’s judgement and timing of when He will bring a thing to pass?

Verse 6 – Because for every matter there is a time and judgment, though the misery of a man increases greatly.

Verse 7 – For he does not know what will happen; so who can tell him when it will occur?

This is why we wait on God to complete a thing. Waiting doesn’t mean inactivity, we still prepare for what God is about to make happen.

Verse 8 – No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit, and no one has power in the day of death. There is no discharge in that war and wickedness will not deliver those who are given to it.

Verse 9 – All this I have seen, and applied under the sun: There is a time in which one man rules over another to his own hurt.

These verses are focusing on God’s governance of the world; it struggles with the question of why evil sometimes seems to triumph. Example: Cruel people rising to power; wicked people being honored in public; evil people avoiding punishment; and good people suffering.

Verse 10 – Then I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of holiness, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done. This also is vanity.

This is quickly forgetting how evil a person was after they die. This is usually done by people who say they were really, “a good person” when you know good and well they weren’t. Evil, manipulative, and deceiving people do not become saints after they die, just because you loved them!

Verse 11 – Because the 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.

It’s easy to keep sinning when one doesn’t feel the consequences immediately.

Verse 12 – Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him.

Verse 13 – But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God.

Verse 14 – There is a vanity which occurs on earth, that there are just men to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked; again there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.

Verse 15 – So I commanded enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor for the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.

Enjoy every day that the good Lord gives you because “He’s got this!”

Verse 16 – When I applied my heart to know wisdom and to see the business that is done on earth, even though one sees no sleep day or night,

Verse 17 – Then I saw all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. For though a man labors to discover it, yet he will not find it; moreover, though a wise man attempts to know it, he will not be able to find it.

Man will never fully comprehend all the works of God, it’s impossible. There is always more questions than answers. Don’t let what you don’t know about your future destroy the joy God gives you today. Learn to trust Him.

Ecclesiastes – Chapter 7

ecclesiastes-chapter-7

Verse 1 – A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.

Verse 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 take it to heart.

Verse 3 – Sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad countenance the heart is made better.

Verse 4 – The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of the foot is in the house of mirth.

And I don’t agree with Solomon on any of these verses. I think laughter is like medicine to the body. It sounds like Solomon got very cynical about living, because he had too much. He had too many wives, too many houses, and too much riches. He may have been the wisest man that ever lived but he sure wasn’t happy. No one likes to be sad or depressed and if you focus on the sorrow long enough, it will make you miserable.

Verse 5 – It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for man to hear the song of fools.

Verse 6 – For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool. This also is vanity.

Verse 7 – Surely oppression destroys a wise man’s reason, and a bribe debases the heart.

Those who are truly wise will not take a bribe. Bribes are given to hurt those who tell the truth and help those who oppose it.

Verse 8 – The end of a thing is better than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Whatever we set as goals or projects, we must see it through. You don’t start a ministry and then quit halfway through. On the other side, a hardship or crises, when it has run its course, we are glad. When things are complete, it is better than when it started. Patience will help us complete a thing.

Verse 9 – Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.

Verse 10 – Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?” For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.

We are not to grieve or wish for the former things. If you are a Christian, God brought you out of that old life to take you into the new. You are exactly where you are supposed to be and have what you have, because God is directing your path.

Verse 11 – Wisdom is good with an inheritance, and profitable to those who see the sun.

Verse 12 – For wisdom is a defense as money is a defense, but the excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it.

Wisdom will choose Christ and that choice of following Christ will be as money is to your survival. But keep in mind; money cannot buy wisdom, nor can it buy salvation. Money is not what we seek. Only Christ can satisfy the soul.

Verse 13 – Consider the work of God; for who can make straight what He has made crooked?

Verse 14 – In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other, so that man can find nothing that will happen after him.

God allows both good times and bad times in each of our lives. We tend to take credit for the good times, but put blame on another or even God when the bad times come. Sometimes, the bad times are a way for you to return back to Him, if you have drifted. Just remember this: God can turn anything in your life around that was meant for evil back around for your good. He’s a good God!

Verse 15 – I have seen all things in my days of vanity: There is a just man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness.

Verse 16 – Do not be overly righteous, nor be overly wise: Why should you destroy yourself?

Verse 17 – Do not be overly wicked, nor be foolish: Whey should you die before your time?

Verse 18 – It is good that you grasp this, and also not remove your hand from the other; for he who fears God will escape them all.

These verses are not saying a little sinning is OK or a little wickedness is alright. This passage is about extreme zeal for religious duties that make life unbearably harsh; like fasting to the brink of death or doing damage to your body. It’s simply referring to being unreasonably demanding on yourself about moral or religious duties. Being overly rigid or narrow in your own view about things will also make you critical of others – legalism comes to mind.

Verse 19 – Wisdom strengthens the wise more than ten rulers of the city.

Verse 20 – For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.

Verse 21 – Also do not take to heart everything people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you.

Verse 22 – For many times, also, your own heart has known that even you have cursed others.

We do the same thing we accuse others of doing.

Verse 23 – All this I have proved by wisdom. I said, “I will be wise”; but it was far from me.

Verse 24 – As for that which is far off and exceedingly deep, who can find it?

Verse 25 – I applied my heart to know, to search and seek out wisdom and the reason of things, to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness.

Even though Solomon was the wisest man in the world, he knew there were still mysteries that he would never understand.

Verse 26 – And I find more better than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are fetters, he who pleases God shall escape from her, but the sinner shall be taken by her.

Verse 27 – “Here is what I have found,” says the Preacher, “Adding one thing to the other to find out the reason,

Verse 28 – Which my soul still seeks but I cannot find: One man among a thousand I have found, but a woman among all these I have not found.

Solomon is not saying that women are unwise, but that hardly anyone, man or women, are upright before the Lord. Solomon found that goodness and wisdom were scarce. In other words: He only found one in a thousand people who were wise before God.

Verse 29 – Truly, this only have I found; that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.”

God made man to be upright before Him, but chose to follow his own path and his own desires.

 

 

Ecclesiastes – Chapter 6

ecclesiastes-chapter-6

Verse 1 – There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men;

Verse 2 – a man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction.

A person can have all the wealth in the world and not enjoy it. God has the power to give enjoyment as much as the power to give blessings.

Verse 3 – If a man begets a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with goodness, or indeed he has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better than he –

Verse 4 – for it comes in vanity and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness.

Verse 5 – Though it has not seen the sun or known anything, this has more rest than that man,

Verse 6 – even if he lives a thousand years twice over – but has not seen goodness. Do not all go to one place?

Solomon was saying it was futile to work hard all your life and not enjoy the goodness of God. People will work hours to accumulate wealth or keep their bodies in good physical shape, but how much time is spent on the spirit? The body ends up in the same place – the grave, but the spirit lives on.

Verse 7 – All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the soul is not satisfied.

Verse 8 – For what more has the wise man than the fool? What does the poor man have, who knows how to walk before the living?

Verse 9 – Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering desire. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.

Both the rich and the poor labor for the necessities of life. One may work harder than the other but both have desires they don’t have, yet.

Verse 10 – Whatever one is, he has been named already, for it is known that he is man; and he cannot contend with Him who is mightier than he.

Our understanding of life and God is limited. Therefore, the truly wise will give attention to the fact of where they are going to spend eternity. People may not believe in either heaven or hell, but that doesn’t make it not so. Life may not be all sunshine and lollipops, but it’s better with Christ than without.

Verse 11 – Since there are many things that increase vanity, how is man the better?

Verse 12 – For who knows what is good for man in life all the days of his vain life which he passes like a shadow? Who can tell a man what will happen after him under the sun?

Solomon says that we cannot know the future, only in one area can we know for sure, where we go after our bodies die. Our destiny is designed by God All Mighty, because He says in Jeremiah 29:11, that He gives us a future and hope. His thoughts toward us are of peace not of evil.

The only hope we have to make it through this life and into the next, is in and through Jesus Christ.

Please don’t ever think that because your circumstances are extreme that God doesn’t love you, because He does. He may take the thing that hurt you the most and use it to bless you the biggest. If you love Him, He will turn it around all for your good!

Ecclesiastes – Chapter 5

ecclesiastes-chapter-5

Verse 1 – Walk prudently when you go to the house of God, and draw near to hear rather than to give sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.

Verse 2 – Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few.

We check our attitude before entering the house of God. Are we willing to listen rather than interrupt? Do we give offerings out of trying to impress God? Watch when making a vow because you might not be able to keep your end of what was promised.

Verse 3 – For a dream comes through much activity, and a fool’s voice is known by his many words.

Verse 4 – When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed.

Verse 5 – It is better not to vow than to vow and not pay.

Solomon warns against making vows (promises) to God. Have you ever said to God, “If you get me out of this I will never do …again?” Then after a while you forget what you have promised. How about promises that you’ve made to others, do you keep that promise? If you can’t then don’t make it.

Verse 6 – Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?

Verse 7 – For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God.

Verse 8 – If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them.

Verse 9 – Moreover the profit of the land is for all; the king himself is served from the field.

Again, these verses are political. Solomon tells us to not be surprised at corruption in government. So should we abandon the idea of government? No, God is the highest authority and watches over all.

Verse 10 – He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity.

Verse 11 – When goods increase, they increase who eat them; so what profit have the owners except to see them with their eyes?

Isn’t it funny that we always want more than what we have? Solomon observed that those who had an obsession for money, it never brought them true happiness. If we try to create happiness by accumulating wealth, you will never have enough. Wealth from God has to have an assignment.

Verse 12 – The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep.

Verse 13 – There is severe evil which I have seen under the sun; riches kept for their owner to his hurt.

Verse 14 – But those riches perish through misfortune; when he begets a son, there is nothing in his hand.

Verse 15 – As he came from his mother’s womb, naked shall he return, to go as he came; and he shall take nothing from his labor which he may carry away in his hand.

Verse 16 – And this also is a severe evil, that just exactly as he came, so shall he go. And what profit has he who has labored for the wind?

Solomon makes it sound like working hard in life to have a house over our head or have any accumulation of wealth is all for nothing. No, we do not take anything out of this world when we leave, but the point of living is to whom did you do it all for? Did you acquire wealth to help others, or did you close a blind eye to those around you?

Verse 17 – All his days he also eats in darkness, and he has much sorrow and sickness and danger.

Verse 18 – Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage.

Verse 19 – As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor – this is the gift of God.

Verse 20 – For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.

Are you satisfied with what you have? Whether it is little or much, we should look at it with the right perspective. Our possessions are not the source of our joy. I’ve seen people lose everything they owned through floods and fires, but when they speak, they say they are thankful for their lives. Everything we have, we have because God gave it to us. When we keep a humble heart before God, it will be His good pleasure to give us all good things that pertains to life. He knows what you have need of before you ask, but Jesus said, “You have not, because you do not ask” (James 4:2). There’s a caution in that verse though: Ask yourself why you ask for it – motive.

Ecclesiastes – Chapter 4

ecclesiastes-chapter-4

Verse 1 – Then I returned and considered all the oppression that is done under the sun: And look! The tears of the oppressed, but they have no comforter – on the side of the their oppressors there was power, but they had no comforter.

This is political corruption because it does not allow common people to enjoy their days “under the sun.” Some people live in oppressed areas and have for decades, but yet they continue to vote the same politicians into office year after year. Change who you place in charge to someone who has a heart after God and watch things change.

Verse 2 – Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead, more than the living who are still alive.

Verse 3 – Yet, better than both is he who has never existed, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.

Solomon was simply saying that the ones who were never born, will never see all the sorrows that come with life.

Verse 4 – Again, I saw that for all toil and every skillful work a man is envied by his neighbor. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.

Verse 5 – The fool folds his hands and consumes his own flesh.

Verse 6 – Better is a handful with quietness than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind.

It is better to have little with peace in your life than to be a workaholic who never enjoys what God has so freely given.

Verse 7 – Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun:

Verse 8 – There is one alone, without companion: He has neither son nor brother. Yet there is no end to all his labors, nor is his eye satisfied with riches. But he never asks, “For whom do I toil and deprive myself of good?”

Verse 9 – Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.

Verse 10 – For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.

Verse 11 – Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone?

Verse 12 – Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Friendship is the theme of these verses. Some have maybe only one true friend, but Jesus had 3. There’s always advantages to having a close friend. Sometimes close friends are hard to find, but when you do, you will cherish that relationship. In verse 11, it is talking about two friends keeping warm while traveling.

Verse 13 – Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more.

Verse 14 – For he comes out of prison to be king, although he was born poor in his kingdom.

Verse 15 – I saw all the living who walk under the sun; they were with the second youth who stands in his place.

Verse 16 – There was no end of all the people over whom he was made king; yet those who come afterward will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and grasping for the wind.

There are two people in these verses. The first person is an old king who in his youth was poor, but rose to power through skill and perseverance. The king is now old and foolish. He has been in power so long he has lost touch with political changes. The second person is a youth who possessing the political skills the king once had, is ready to take his place. But even though the youth is successful for a time and pleases the crowd, he will eventually get old, lose touch, and be abandoned. Political power and popularity are by nature fleeting.

Ecclesiastes – Chapter 3

ecclesiastes-chapter-3

Verse 1 – To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:

These verses must be read in the context that; we are mortals; we all die; and that our work dies when we do, with the exception of the things that are eternal. We live in time, and each season of life will pass and a new season will begin.

Verse 2 – A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what was planted;

Verse 3 – A time to kill, a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

Verse 4 – A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Verse 5 – A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

Verse 6 – A time to gain, a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;

Verse 7 – A time to tear, a time to sew; a time to keep silent , and a time to speak;

Verse 8 – A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war and a time of peace.

What things are we as Christians allowed to hate? We hate sin but we don’t hate the person. (I hate snakes!)

Verse 9 – What profit has the worker from that in which he labors?

Verse 10 – I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied.

Verse 11 – He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

God placed that yearning for eternity in our hearts. He has given us a glimpse of heaven through His Word.

Verse 12 – I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives,

God wants us to enjoy what He has given us. Our joy will be determined by our perspective on life. Those who put their trust in Christ can know that every good thing comes from Him.

Verse 13 – And also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of his labor-it is the gift of God.

Verse 14 – I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him.

Life has no meaning unless God is in your life. To fear Him is to worship Him. Why? Because He is worthy. He is the creator of all the earth, including you and I. When we put Him first in our lives, our purpose will become clear.

Verse 15 – That which is has already been, and what is to be has already been and God requires an account of what is past.

There is a connection of events –  past, present, and future-and that this connection exists in the justice of God All Mighty who controls it all.

Verse 16 – Moreover I saw under the sun: In the place of judgment, wickedness was there; and in the place of righteousness, iniquity was there.

Verse 17 – I said in my heart, “God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, for there shall be a time there for every purpose and for every work.”

There will come a time when the believers works will be tested with fire – that which is for the kingdom will remain; that which was done for selfish motives, will be burned up. However, the works of the un-saved, were all done in vain.

Verse 18 – I said in my heart, “Concerning the estate of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are like beasts.”

Verse 19 – For what happens to the sons of men also happens to beasts; one thing falls them; as one dies, so dies the other. Surely they all have one breath; man has no advantage over beasts, for all is vanity.

Verse 20 – All go to one place; all are from the dust, and all return to dust.

Verse 21 – Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the beasts, which goes down to the earth?

Verse 22 – So I perceived that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?

Our physical bodies can’t live forever, so we return to the dust as the animals do. But God has given people the hope of eternity. Because man has eternity set in his heart, we all have a unique purpose in God’s overall plan. Yet we cannot discover God’s purpose for our lives through our own efforts, only through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

When you become born-again, the Holy Spirit will come upon you and lead you into all truth!