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Bible Pathways - July 30, 2008


July 30

Ecclesiastes 9

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Our relationship to our Creator is stressed in today's reading. We continue studying man's problems. Despite wisdom, death is certain. Beware of a little folly. Now we find the conclusion of the matter. Good advice for the natural man is in the concluding verses: Hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His Commandments. . . . . For God shall bring every work into judgment (12:13-14).

We have a choice of how we spend each day of our lives, but we cannot relive our lives. We can waste it on pleasures of this life, as we are so prone to do. 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: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment (11:9).

How much better it is to 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 (12:1).

God is our Creator and the Source of all true pleasure and satisfaction. The writer speaks from experience when he tells the world that only God can satisfy. He would urge all to worship and serve the Lord. To do the will of God is to choose the best in life.

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 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 earth's fleeting goals in life merely for temporary self-satisfaction. It is also self-destructive 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).

God deserves to be glorified in all His Creation: The heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1) in obedience to His eternal laws of the universe. We can only glorify God by being submissive to His will as revealed in His Word. The Christian's transformed nature will express the Divine nature of God, reflecting His Truth, His Love, His Righteousness.

Unlike Solomon who had many regrets — he confessed: I hated life (Ecclesiastes 2:17) — in striking contrast David, the one who remembered his Creator from the days of his youth, was able, in his old age, to say with satisfaction: In Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Psalm 16:11).

Thought for Today:

We cannot change the wrongs of our past but in yielding to Christ we obtain forgiveness and a new future.

Christ Revealed:

In the statement: 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:

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

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Mary Kay Wagner • Government Official: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA) • Country: Austria (8.1 million) in central Europe • Major language: German • Religious freedom • 78% Catholic; 6% Protestant; 3% Other Christian; 2% Muslim; .1% Jewish; 1.9% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray in faith that God will bless your family (Genesis 17:18-20).

Optional Reading: Hebrews 7

Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:11

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