July 30

Read Ecclesiastes 9 -- 12

Solomon, who was famous for being the wisest man of his generation, said: I gave my heart to seek and search out wisdom concerning all things that are done under Heaven (Ecclesiastes 1:13), and: I applied my heart to know (human) wisdom (8:16). (This word translated means "skill in an art.")

I considered in my heart . . . that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God. . . . There is one event (to the righteous and to the wicked). . . . They shall die (9:1,3,5). Human wisdom cannot determine how soon an evil man will die and be brought into judgment nor the righteous man rewarded. But we do know it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).

Solomon could be misunderstood when later in life he said: Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes (Ecclesiastes 11:9). To go no further in his message would imply he was encouraging youth to let passion and pleasure have its way as he had lived. But he continued: Know . . . that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

Solomon spent his lifetime searching for pleasure from every possible worldly source. He made it clear that this world cannot provide lasting fulfillment. He used the word vanity more than 30 times in the Book of Ecclesiastes, finally realizing that ignoring the Word of God was vanity of vanities (12:8). Before finishing his message, Solomon restated the basic principle of true wisdom: Remember now your Creator (since you are His property) in the days of your youth, before the evil days come or the years draw near, when you shall say, I have no pleasure in them. . . . Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments (the only true Guide to Life): 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, all other goals, should be seen as opportunities to advance the Kingdom of God.

God will judge the motives behind all our actions. Peace of mind and spiritual maturity only come as we fear God (honor Him), and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment . . . whether it be good, or whether it be evil (12:13-14). 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.

Therefore, it is vain and foolish to seek riches, security, power, popularity, or fleeting goals in life merely for self-satisfaction. It is also vanity to give way to the lust of the flesh (craving for sensual gratification), and the lust of the eyes (greed for more), and the pride of life (one's own achievements and material goals) (I John 2:16).

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seem to be wise in this world (in what the world calls wisdom), let him become (recognize that as such he is) a fool, that he may be wise (by turning to the source of true wisdom). 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). For the Father (God) judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son (Jesus) (John 5:22). True and righteous are His judgments (Rev. 19:2).

Word Studies: 10:4 yielding pacifieth means seek reconciliation; 10:14 is full of words means talks as though he knows everything about which he knows nothing; 10:15 he knoweth not how to go to the city means he is ignorant concerning the most obvious matters; 12:11 goads means rods sharpened at the ends, used in driving oxen (Judges 3:31; I Sam. 13:21; Acts 9:5); The words of the wise are as goads means words of wisdom rouse into action to do right.

Prayer:

BPM Staff: Rita Guerra · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on KMXO-AM, Merkel, TX · Country: Singapore (4 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Chinese and Malay · Religious freedom · 54% Chinese religions; 17% Muslim; 5% Protestant; 4% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for a spirit of humility and submission before the Lord (John 3:30-31).

Optional Reading: Hebrews 7

Memory Verse for the Week: I Corinthians 3:17