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Bible Pathways 07/30/04

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 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). Not continuing his message would imply he was encouraging youth to let passion and pleasure go unchecked; but he continued: But know you, that for all these things God will bring you 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 the vanity of vanities (12:8). Before finishing his message, Solomon restated the basis for true wisdom: Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, while the evil days come not, nor 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: for this is the whole duty of man (12:1,13). Since all of us were created for the purposes of God, all else in life should be seen as opportunities to advance the Kingdom of God by fulfilling those purposes.

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. We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained (planned) that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

Therefore, it is foolish to seek riches, security, power, popularity, or fleeting goals in life merely for earth's fleeting 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 seems 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: God shall bring every work into judgment (Ecclesiastes 12:14). Jesus will judge all, for the Father (God) judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son (Jesus) (John 5:22). True and righteous are His judgments (Revelation 19:2).

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:

Pray for BP Staff: Pam Pendergrast · Country: Liechtenstein (32,000) in western Europe · Major languages: German and Alemannic dialect · Religious freedom · 87% Roman Catholic; 12% Protestant 

Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice that the Lord protects you and provides your needs (Philippians 4:4).

Optional Reading: Hebrews 7

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 3:23

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