June 19: Ecclesiastes 1-6
9 What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.
14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. 15 That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.
16 Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness. 17 I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. 18 I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts.
1 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. 2 Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. 3 For a dream comes with much business, and a fool's voice with many words.
Eternity in Your Heart
I have always been greatly fascinated and challenged by the book of Ecclesiastes; I consider it a "must read" for all Christians. Solomon did not lack the means or the opportunity to try everything, and that is exactly what he did. In his quest for wisdom and knowledge he sought to know the meaning of life.
Yet, what he saw was that no matter what he did, it all proved to be vanity, or emptiness. He amassed wealth and labored hard to produce beautiful things, but in the end it all produced emptiness. Solomon's gardens were one of the seven wonders of the world, and yet the building of them only produced emptiness in his heart.
So, what did he discover really mattered?
12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them [man] than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.
14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.
Is this still true today? Reread the verses shown above; ponder the thought that God's gift to man is to give him enjoyment in his labor, and to take pleasure in his toil. But, none of our toil will last! After we are gone, we are soon forgotten! We may build great things, but what will happen to those things after we are gone?
What does endure forever? Only the things that God does endure forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. Where will you find fulfillment? Only by fearing God and doing the works for Him that will last for eternity, will you find vanity and emptiness replaced by fulfillment and joy.
What is your purpose? What are the things that are driving you--the things that you simply must accomplish? When you have achieved your goal, what will you gain?
These are important questions to consider and to answer. Take the time and read the first six chapters of Ecclesiastes today, and then come back tomorrow and read Solomon's conclusion of the whole matter!
God Bless You,
All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.