July 30

Read Ecclesiastes 9 -- 12

In Today's Reading:

Struggles of the righteous and the wicked; wisdom better than strength; the wise versus the foolish; the Creator to be remembered

Solomon was famous for his wisdom, but he could be misunderstood when he said: 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 (Ecclesiastes 11:9). Not continuing his message would imply he was encouraging youth to let passion and pleasure go unchecked; but he continued: Know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.

Solomon spent his lifetime searching for pleasure from every worldly source, but he used the word vanity (emptiness) over 30 times in the Book of Ecclesiastes and concluded that ignoring the Word of God was vanity of vanities (12:8). Before finishing his message, Solomon restated the basis for true wisdom: 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. . . . Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear (reverence) God, and keep His Commandments: for this is the whole duty of man (12:1,13). Since all of us are part of the purposes of God, all else in life should be seen as opportunities to advance the Kingdom of God.

Satisfaction in life results from giving one's time, talents, and resources to fulfill the will of God. This is the only true source of happiness, peace of mind, and genuine enjoyment in life, for we were created with purpose We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained (planned) that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).

Therefore, it is foolish to seek riches, security, power, popularity, or fleeting goals in life merely for earthly self-satisfaction. It is also vanity to give way to the lust of the flesh (gratification of the physical nature), and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:16).

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God (I Corinthians 3:18-19).

Christ Revealed:

In the statement: For God shall bring every work into judgment (Ecclesiastes 12:14). Jesus will judge all, for the Father (God) judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son (Jesus) (John 5:22).

Word Studies:

10:4 yielding pacifieth = seek reconciliation; 10:14 is full of words = talks as though he knows everything about which he knows nothing; 10:15 he knoweth not how to go to the city = he is ignorant concerning the most obvious matters; 12:11 goads = rods sharpened at the ends, used in driving oxen (Judges 3:31; I Samuel 13:21); The words of the wise are as goads = The words of wisdom rouse into action to do right.

Prayer Needs:

BP Staff: Jé French · Pray for America's Keswick Ministry and Bill Welte, Executive Director · Country: Malaysia (21 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Malay and English · All Christian witness to Muslims is illegal · 49% Muslim; 39% Hindu, Buddhist, and Chinese religions; 4% Roman Catholic; 4% animism, magic, and some headhunting; 3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Realize that the will of God is often different from our own desires (II Corinthians 12:8-9).

Optional Reading: Hebrews 7

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 3:24