4:1-2 Again, I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless. So I concluded that the dead are better off than the living. If the oppressed have the fate we once thought, how would they be better off dead?
4:5-6 Foolish people refuse to work and almost starve. They feel it is better to be lazy and barely survive than to work hard, especially when in the long run everything is so futile. I like this NLT Classic version. Have we not all felt some days that it would be easier to quit the job and live off the land? Foolish fantasy, but some days the rat race (like email!) is more than one can bear! Laziness or irresponsibility is tempting. See the effect Ecc. can have on a person if one isn't careful?
5:10-11 Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness! The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what is the advantage of wealth-except perhaps to watch it run through your fingers! It's that old mystery (like socks disappearing in the washer) of the more you make, the more you spend, and you never seem to get ahead! It's good to be content with less. I am learning this and life is so much less complicated!
6:3-6 A man might have a hundred children and live to be very old. But if he finds no satisfaction in life and in the end does not even get a decent burial, I say he would have been better off born dead. I realize that his birth would have been meaningless and ended in darkness. He wouldn't even have had a name, and he would never have seen the sun or known of its existence. Yet he would have had more peace than he has in growing up to be an unhappy man. He might live a thousand years twice over but not find contentment. And since he must die like everyone else-well, what's the use? Without naming names, I know a person exactly like this—except for the 100 kids part! As long as I've known this person, I have found myself asking this exact question: "What's the point?"
6:9 Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don't have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless; it is like chasing the wind. What is it you are striving for? Saving for? Longing for? Do you ever stop and marvel at what you already have, which is more than probably 75% of the world (at least)? Bask in God's provision today.
6:10 Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So there's no use arguing with God about your destiny. For Pete's sake...why has this verse never really sunk in before?
6:16 For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. I always love reading about God making us into His temple and dwelling in and among us!
6:17-18 Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord. AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty. This is an act of spirit (circumcision of the heart), not of physically separating ourselves from unbelievers. In other words, we must still be among them to minister, but we are not to imitate them or adopt their "uncleanness" such as idolatry and gratifying the flesh.
Today is another beautiful MK prophecy! Here are some favs:
47:7-9 For God is the King over all the earth. Praise him with a psalm! God reigns above the nations, sitting on his holy throne. The rulers of the world have gathered together with the people of the God of Abraham. For all the kings of the earth belong to God. He is highly honored everywhere.