Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Works of God

4 He who observes the wind will not sow,
And he who regards the clouds will not reap.
5 As you do not know what is the way of the wind,
Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child,
So you do not know the works of God who makes everything.
6 In the morning sow your seed,
And in the evening do not withhold your hand;
For you do not know which will prosper,
Either this or that,
Or whether both alike will be good.
(Ecclesiastes 11:4-6, New King James Version)

Works of God

What do we really know about life? What do we know about the future? What do we know about the works of God? How do we approach the work we must do? As Solomon ponders these questions, he helps us to realize the futility of our frustrations and fears.

What of the farmer who says, "It looks too windy today to do the planting, I will wait for a better day," or "It might rain, those clouds look ominous; we will have to wait for another day to harvest the crops."? Yet, how often do we approach the duties we need to do with the same attitudes. I have always been known as a hard worker, but when I am home, I can find plenty of reasons to put off the things that need to be done.

It seems as though we spend a lot of our time worrying about things over which we have no control, and very little time actually praying for help to accomplish our tasks, and then resting in the works of God.

In the end, Solomon advises us to sow the seed, and use what God has given without hording the profits for ourselves. We do not know the works of God, therefore we do not know what will or will not prosper. Let us then, rest in the Lord to care for us, because God is God, and we are not!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cast Your Bread

1 Cast your bread upon the waters,
For you will find it after many days.
2 Give a serving to seven, and also to eight,
For you do not know what evil will be on the earth.
3 If the clouds are full of rain,
They empty themselves upon the earth;
And if a tree falls to the south or the north,
In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie.
(Ecclesiastes 11:1-3, New King James Version)

Cast Your Bread

One of the things I dearly love about the writings of Solomon is the varied illustrations he uses to make a point. Such is the case in these verses from Ecclesiastes 11. Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days.

Why does God give us our abilities and our treasures? Are we to horde these things for our own use? No! We are not an island, but instead live in the midst of a great and needy people. As children of God, we must understand that God gives us these things that we may advance His kingdom by meeting the physical and spiritual needs of others.

As we are able, we should give a serving to seven or even eight, for we do not know the future or the evil that may befall us. Perhaps we will be the one needing the serving in the future. Using an illustration from nature, Solomon reminds us that when the clouds are full, they do not keep the rain to themselves, but spread it throughout the land, on the unjust as well as the just.

Even if we prosper for our entire lives, the time will come when, as the tree, our lives on this earth will be ended. What will be the end result? Our works do not save us, but will we have made a difference in the small part of the world where we have lived. In our own little corners, what will we have done for the Lord?

By the grace of God, cast your bread upon the waters, for in the giving, there is joy and contentment in the Lord our God.

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Bird of the Air

19 A feast is made for laughter,
And wine makes merry;
But money answers everything.
20 Do not curse the king, even in your thought;
Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom;
For a bird of the air may carry your voice,
And a bird in flight may tell the matter.
(Ecclesiastes 10:19-20, New King James Version)

A Bird of the Air

Solomon is certainly expressing a common thought, not only of his day, but ours as well when he said, money answers everything. But, does it? Money is certainly helpful, but it does nothing for our spiritual soul. Yes, money is a helpful tool, but we must be careful that our love of money and the things it can buy does not rule our hearts and lives.

Ecclesiastes 10 ends with some very practical advice.

Do not curse the king, even in your thought;
Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom;
For a bird of the air may carry your voice,
And a bird in flight may tell the matter.

How can we avoid our words spreading to the wrong people? Do not speak curses or ill words against another; words not spoken cannot be spread.

Of course this advice is appropriate in all areas of our lives; things hidden can easily come to the knowledge of all. As Christians, the real answer lies in the motives of our hearts. If, in our heart of hearts, we desire to please the Lord Jesus Christ above all, then we do not need to be concerned about the attitudes of others.

Does it take a bird of the air to tell God what we are thinking or saying? Of course not; God knows the hidden thoughts and intents of our hearts.

Let us pray for the grace of God to live lives with pure thoughts and pure hearts devoted to this wondrous God we serve!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Weary Labor

15 The labor of fools wearies them,
For they do not even know how to go to the city!
16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child,
And your princes feast in the morning!
17 Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles,
And your princes feast at the proper time—
For strength and not for drunkenness!
18 Because of laziness the building decays,
And through idleness of hands the house leaks.
(Ecclesiastes 10:15-18, New King James Version)

Weary Labor

How do we view labor? Our answer to that question reveals much about who we really are. Children often feel that anything that is "work" is to be avoided at all costs. The wise parents are the ones who not only teach their children to work, but also teach them that work can be fun and very rewarding. Work is not just weary labor!

We may expect children to respond to work in this way, but woe to the land whose rulers are still children, not in the literal sense of the word, but in their actions and attitudes toward labor. If the attitude of the ruler is, "Party on, dude!" that country is in trouble.

Of course, this is not a concern just for the rulers of the land. Each of us must learn to fight our natural tendency toward idleness as we are reminded in Ecclesiastes 10, verse 18.

Because of laziness the building decays,
And through idleness of hands the house leaks.

Owning one's own home is a great privilege, but it does not take long to learn that a home is a constant drain on one's time and money. Without continual upkeep and care, the building will decay and the roof will leak.

Do you think these things apply to our spiritual lives as well? Of course they do! How much care do we give to our spiritual nurturing and walk with the Lord? How much time are we willing to devote to Bible reading, Bible study, and prayer? As Christians, we often take our freedom to read the Word and worship God for granted, feeling as though Bible study and prayer is weary labor.

Let us pray that God would help us to keep our spiritual houses strong and free from the decay of sin, so that our roofs will not leak, allowing the cares of this world to pour into our hearts and lives.

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, September 20, 2010

Words! Words! Words!

11 A serpent may bite when it is not charmed;
The babbler is no different.
12 The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious,
But the lips of a fool shall swallow him up;
13 The words of his mouth begin with foolishness,
And the end of his talk is raving madness.
14 A fool also multiplies words.
No man knows what is to be;
Who can tell him what will be after him?
(Ecclesiastes 10:11-14, New King James Version)

Words! Words! Words!

Remember those essay tests in school? Multiple choice was so much easier because at least you could guess if you did not know the answer. However, essay tests were different. If you did not know the answer you could fill up your page with words, words, words, and hope that somewhere in there you included the correct answer. In band, we called it faking; if you could not play a certain passage correctly, just fake it!

Look at the affect of the words of the fool. The babbler (the fool) swallows up the words of the wise, speaks foolishly, and ends up speaking insanity. Because he multiplies his words, no one can anticipate what will come next.

We live in a fun-loving time; sit-coms are filled with uproarious humor, and how we all love a good comedian. The difficulty comes when those types of mannerisms characterize our every day lives. When does the comedy end and the real life begin?

Ephesians 5 warns us,
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
(Ephesians 5:15-16, New King James Version)

What a good reminder. Yes, it is good to have fun, but let us take care that our words, words, words, do not lead us away from our true, God-given purpose. Instead, by His grace, may the love of God shine in our lives (and words) as a testimony to a people caught up in the foolishness and sin of this world.

May we redeem the time, because, indeed, the days are evil!

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wisdom and the Ax!

10 If the ax is dull,
And one does not sharpen the edge,
Then he must use more strength;
But wisdom brings success.
(Ecclesiastes 10:10, New King James Version)

Wisdom and the Ax!

What does wisdom have to do with an ax? How does an ax work?

When I was young, we had a large room with a fireplace right in the middle. When a fire needed to be started, my father would use an ax to split wood for kindling, and also to split larger logs into smaller pieces that would fit in our fireplace.

I quickly gained an appreciation for those who chop wood. No matter how hard I tried I could not chop wood successfully; of course, it may have helped if my ax hit the same spot each time, and it may have helped if the ax was sharper.

The person who is wise is one who takes the time to assess a situation and determine simpler or more proficient ways of accomplishing a task. If the ax is dull, sharpening it will certainly make the job of chopping wood much easier.

How often do we act like the fool? We try again and again to accomplish something without stopping and thinking about what we are doing? Or, we enter into a project without first considering the cost and the method we will use to complete the project. How many unfinished projects do we leave behind because we did not first properly plan ahead?

As Christians we tend to approach our service for the Lord in the same manner. Perhaps a little planning, along with much prayer, will help us to more successfully bear fruit for the kingdom!

As we go about our duties of this day, let us think about wisdom and the ax!

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Vengeance

8 He who digs a pit will fall into it,
And whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a serpent.
9 He who quarries stones may be hurt by them,
And he who splits wood may be endangered by it.
(Ecclesiastes 10:8-9, New King James Version)

Vengeance!

You may have heard the saying, "What goes around comes around." It seems as though Solomon is addressing this very issue in verses 8 and 9 of Ecclesiastes 10.

Could it be that many of our own troubles are the results of our own actions? In each of the four examples given above, the evil that one is intending for another falls upon himself instead.

Why is it that we seem to be more worried about the actions of our neighbors than our own actions? Why is it that we are so quick to take action against someone who has wronged us, or at least our perception is that they have wronged us?

Is this attitude only seen among the people of the world? No! In Christian circles one does not have to look very far to see this same attitude crop up again and again. I wonder what would happen to the Christian movement, worldwide, if this were changed? The Bible tells us that vengeance belongs to God.

I would encourage all of us, this day, to pray for grace from God that He would keep us from criticism, anger, and vengeance against those with whom we interact this day.


Even more, let us pray that God would replace that critical spirit with one of longing that those around us would come to Christ. How amazing would that be?

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Expectations!

4 If the spirit of the ruler rises against you,
Do not leave your post;
For conciliation pacifies great offenses.
5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun,
As an error proceeding from the ruler:
6 Folly is set in great dignity,
While the rich sit in a lowly place.
7 I have seen servants on horses,
While princes walk on the ground like servants.
(Ecclesiastes 10:4-7, New King James Version)

Expectations

What do we expect from a ruler? Are our expectations realistic? These are interesting questions to think about. Often we expect more from our rulers, whether they be political rulers or our bosses at work, than we expect of ourselves.

Solomon gives us some interesting advice in verse 4, which is better explained by understanding verses 5-7. What do we often see in a ruler? Some rulers (and we have all seen them) are filled with folly, raising up the foolish and ignoring the ones who are rich in wisdom. We have even seen circumstances where the servants are riding on horses and the princes are treated as the servants.

Why is this? Sometimes it is due to the foolish ruling of the prince; other times it is due to the jealousy of the servants who rise up and overpower their king. Knowing this to be true, let us look again at Ecclesiastes 10, verse 4.

If the spirit of the ruler rises against you,
Do not leave your post;
For conciliation pacifies great offenses.

I put this in the perspective of the command to try, if at all possible, to live peaceably with all men. The spirit of the ruler may very well rise against us. What is the proper response of the Christian?

Understand the weakness of all mankind because of their sin nature. Therefore, rather than take great offense toward the ruler, saying, "I'll just go some other place," do not leave your post. The better action is to seek conciliation with the ruler, for conciliation pacifies great offenses.

In the end, we must examine our own expectations. Do we expect our rulers to live on a standard different than our own? Even more, do we treat fellow believers like this, too? Do we expect more from them than others (even ourselves)?

Let us, by the grace of God, seek to live peaceably with all men, and be long suffering toward the offenses of our rulers.

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Fool Unveiled

2 A wise man’s heart is at his right hand,
But a fool’s heart at his left.
3 Even when a fool walks along the way,
He lacks wisdom,
And he shows everyone that he is a fool.
(Ecclesiastes 10:2-3, New King James Version)

The Fool Unveiled

Pretense! We are a people of pretense, are we not? We take great care that our outward appearance and actions are acceptable, but that does not always reflect the state of our hearts.

In verse 3 we see the fool unveiled; though the fool may look and sound good on the outside, spending time with him will, in time, unveil his true nature.

What, really, is the difference between the wise man and the fool? In the end, it is a heart matter. The wise man's heart is at his right hand; his strong hand, his hand of action rules his life through the wisdom of his heart. What of the fool? The fool's heart is at his left, weaker hand; his weakness shows through in his actions.

This is interesting to think about; in other words, no matter how we may appear, in the end our true heart nature will be revealed. We know that God sees the heart, so He is never deceived, but in time, even those around us will see the strength or weakness of our hearts. In other words, they will see the fool unveiled.

By God's grace, let us take some time and strengthen our hearts before God. Let us pray that our hearts are at our right hands.

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Little Folly

1 Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment,
And cause it to give off a foul odor;
So does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.
(Ecclesiastes 10:1, New King James Version)

A Little Folly

What is in a name? Solomon says in Proverbs that a good name is better than great riches. How easy is it to keep a good name or a good reputation? It only takes one dead fly to putrefy the perfumer's ointment, and unfortunately, it only takes one misdeed or misjudgment to ruin a person's good name.

Why is that? It seems as though we are a people who, first of all, do not honor a good name as we should, and second, are too quick to believe the worst in others. Evil tidings of another person, whether true or not, spread like a vicious wildfire caught in a strong wind. When the fire is over, all that is left is charred remains of a once beautiful forest. Even though the person may have been completely innocent, the scars will remain forever.

What about the honorable person who did putrefy the ointment through his misdeeds? As Christians, we should think very carefully of this. People of the world watch believers, and are very quick to challenge any misdeed we may do. As a matter of fact, they are looking for excuses to condemn Christianity.

We are not in an easy position; we are people, too, with sin natures that tempt us daily. Therefore, of all people, we should be most patient and understanding of our fellow believers. When a believer gets caught in a snare, do we bring a rope to hang him, or a rope to pull him out of the lake? We must remember, "There, but for God's grace, go I."

So, let us first of all pray that God would keep us from a little folly, and secondly let us pray for love, grace, and forgiveness for our fellow believers in Christ.

God Bless You,
Linda

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Words of the Wise

13 This wisdom I have also seen under the sun, and it seemed great to me: 14 There was a little city with few men in it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great snares around it. 15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that same poor man. 16 Then I said:


“ Wisdom is better than strength.
Nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised,
And his words are not heard.
17 Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard
Rather than the shout of a ruler of fools.
18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war;
But one sinner destroys much good.”
(Ecclesiastes 9:13-18, New King James Version)

Words of the Wise

Who is the wisest man in our world today? If anyone's name came to mind, I would be surprised! Who is the richest man in the world today? Probably, several names registered in your mind. Who is the most powerful ruler in the world today? Again, I imagine several names popped into your mind.

Yet, Solomon states, Wisdom is better than strength; wisdom is better than weapons of war. words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard rather than the shout of a ruler of fools.

It seems as though man has not changed all that much in the last 3000 years. No one remembers the wise man--even the wise man who saved a city from the grasp of a foreign king.

This advice from Solomon is critical in our time. In our country, it seems as though the general attitude is one of apathy. As long as our daily life hums along at a regular pace, we do not get too excited about national or world events.

How should Christians view national and world events? Let us, by God's grace, heed the advice of Solomon and listen to the words of the wise. As we have opportunities to make a difference in the world by which we are surrounded in our day to day activities, let us rise up as people of God, and be busy about God's business.

Our world is changing quickly, and it is evident that the end times are very near. May we use our time and abilities to listen to the words of the wise and build up the kingdom of God in our own little corner of the world.

God Bless You,
Linda

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Time and Chance

11 I returned and saw under the sun that—

The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor bread to the wise,
Nor riches to men of understanding,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time and chance happen to them all.
12 For man also does not know his time:
Like fish taken in a cruel net,
Like birds caught in a snare,
So the sons of men are snared in an evil time,
When it falls suddenly upon them.
(Ecclesiastes 9:11-12, New King James Version)

Time and Chance

We do not have to live very long to understand the truths of Solomon's words in Ecclesiastes 9. The race is not always to the swift, the battle to the strong, bread to the wise, riches to men of understanding, or favor to men of skill. Why not? From the perspective of men, time and chance happen to them all.

We describe it in other ways.

*It's not what you know, but who you know.
*It's all about being at the right place at the right time.

Life would be pretty dismal if truly left to time and chance. Though that may seem true from our perspective, as believers we know that though man makes his choices, God directs his paths. I cannot understand how it is true, but I know that no decisions made by man will ever thwart the plans of God.

Do you think Solomon understood that? We forget that men in the Old Testament did not have a Bible in every room, so to speak. As a matter of fact, it is quite possible that even the Levites did not have a copy of the Scriptures during the reign of Solomon.

We know that Solomon prayed to God, and we know that God answered him, but was that a one-time occurrence or did Solomon spend time in fellowship with the Lord every day? We also know, that during the time of David and Solomon, God spoke to them through his faithful prophets, and not face to face.

How much do we appreciate our ability to spend time with God in fellowship and prayer? How much do we access that sweet time of fellowship with the God of all Gods, King of All Kings, and Lord of all Lords? Do we believe that time and chance happen to all mankind?

These are good questions to ponder, for though we believe one thing we often live as though we believe another. Let us, by the grace of God, access the throne of God, and spend some time in fellowship with our God.

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

In the Grave

5 For the living know that they will die;
But the dead know nothing,
And they have no more reward,
For the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished;
Nevermore will they have a share
In anything done under the sun.
7 Go, eat your bread with joy,
And drink your wine with a merry heart;
For God has already accepted your works.
8 Let your garments always be white,
And let your head lack no oil.
9 Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
(Ecclesiastes 9:5-10, New King James Version)

In the Grave

What does Solomon mean by this statement from Ecclesiastes 9:10?

For there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.

We know that there is life after death. Is Solomon contradicting this? To answer this, we must look at this from the perspective Solomon is using in this passage. Solomon is not speaking of our spirit, but rather our body. In other words, what we do in our body in this life cannot be changed once our body is in the grave.

While we are alive, we know that death is coming, however after death, whatever we have done in this life will soon be forgotten.

Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished;
Nevermore will they have a share
In anything done under the sun.

The question inferred by this statement is, why would we just live for the things of this world? As believers, we understand the truth in these statements. Yet, often we seem to be pursuing the same values as those of the world. This should not be!

Believers should be the happiest people on earth. Living with an eternal perspective and understanding the grace of God should take us beyond the meaningless things of this world. Thus, Solomon instructs us to live joyfully, being content with the things of pleasure God has given to us in this world.

It is a good reminder, is it not? Often, we, as Christians, are so caught up in the world that our lives are miserable, but we are not yet in the grave! Let us, by the grace of God, take some time to think upon the good things that God has granted to us in this life in this beautiful world He has created for us.

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A Dead Lion

1 For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. People know neither love nor hatred by anything they see before them. 2 All things come alike to all:
One event happens to the righteous and the wicked;
To the good, the clean, and the unclean;
To him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice.
As is the good, so is the sinner;
He who takes an oath as he who fears an oath.
3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: that one thing happens to all. Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. 4 But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
(Ecclesiastes 9:1-4, New King James Version)

A Dead Lion

For a living dog is better than a dead lion.

As I read through these verses from Ecclesiastes 9, I was trying to follow the thought process of Solomon. I believe the point he is making in these verses is that all man, whether good or evil, go through the same thing. Therefore the wicked cannot blame the circumstances surrounding them for their unbelief.

We have recently observed the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina which devastated the city of New Orleans and the surrounding parishes. Would it be right for unbelievers to claim Katrina as their reason for not believing in the Lord, saying, "A loving God would not send such destruction."? Were there not believers as well as unbelievers living in the areas devastated by the hurricane?

If this is true, where is the hope for living? The hope for living is in those who are alive; there is no hope for the dead! Even a living dog is better than a dead lion.

I know that it is popular in Christian circles to blame all disasters on the wicked. It is true that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, but do we honestly believe there were no believers - not even 10% - in the area affected by Katrina? We must be very careful as believers that we do not presume upon our own righteousness, or even rightness! God sends the sunshine and rain, the tornadoes, the hurricanes and typhoons, the earthquakes, the floods, etc., on all mankind.

It is a good time for us to ask the question, are we a living dog or a dead lion? Then, if we are a living dog, what are we doing about it? Let us face our own sins instead of railing against the sins of other, and bow before God asking for help to live a life more faithfully dedicated to Him, and a strong desire to reach those dead lions for Christ!

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, September 06, 2010

Work of God

16 When I applied my heart to know wisdom and to see the business that is done on earth, even though one sees no sleep day or night, 17 then I saw all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. For though a man labors to discover it, yet he will not find it; moreover, though a wise man attempts to know it, he will not be able to find it.
(Ecclesiastes 8:16-17, New King James Version)

Work of God

These verses from Ecclesiastes 8 remind me of the words of Paul in Romans 11.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
34 “ For who has known the mind of the LORD?
Or who has become His counselor?”
35 “ Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?”

36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:33-36, New King James Version)

Who can know the the mind of the Lord or the work of God? Though a man spend all of his fortune, and search all of his days, he will never understand the mind of God. No matter what man may do, He will never thwart God's will for this world.

How can that be? It is certainly beyond our comprehension. We live on this earth such a few short years; in ways we cannot even imagine God uses both believers and unbelievers to accomplish his greater plan for this world.

We are creatures of the earth, and creatures of time. We cannot even begin to understand our Father God who works in the realm of eternity, totally unbound by time. Though we know it is wrong, we tend to view everything as though man is in the center. Everything, it seems, flows out from us.

Praise God that this is not true! What kind of world would we have if everything were just tossed into the hands of man to do as he saw fit? But, that is not what we have. As we look around us, we see a world of order and design; not a world of happenstance.

Even as it may seem that evil is flooding the entire earth, man cannot destroy what God has set in place. We know that everything will come to an end, but we also know that the end has already been predetermined by God, both regarding its time and the method of destruction.

What a privilege to serve such an amazing, all-powerful God!

For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

God Bless You,
Linda

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Upside Down

14 There is a vanity which occurs on earth, that there are just men to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.
15 So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.
(Ecclesiastes 8:14-15, New King James Version)

Upside Down

Does it ever seem to you as though everything is upside down? It seems as though that is just how Solomon felt when he penned Ecclesiastes 8:4. We have all had a similar experience; we see the righteous live with trial after trial while the wicked seem to go on with a life of ease. It just does not seem right, does it?

Solomon tells us, then, to eat, drink, and be merry; enjoy the life that God has given to us. This may sound a bit fatalistic, however I think there is more depth of meaning to this than may appear on the surface. As Christians, we must always remember that our life is God-given; it is not left up to chance. If God sends burdens and trials our way, He has more in mind than just our immediate comfort.

However, we are not to live in fear of the things that may come into our lives. When God allows adversity to come into our lives, it is measured. He grants us His grace so that we are never given more than we can bear.

In thinking of this, we can understand a little better why Solomon suggests we eat, drink, and be merry. Yes, difficulties come, but oh how great is the love and mercy of God that allows us to have peace and joy in the middle of our troubles.

Does life seem to be turned upside down? Remember, it is upside down only from our perspective. Life is secure in our faithful Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Forgotten!

10 Then I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of holiness, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done. This also is vanity. 11 Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. 12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. 13 But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God.
(Ecclesiastes 8:10-13, New King James Version)

Forgotten!

Gone, but not forgotten! It is a great sentiment, but is it true? How long are people remembered beyond their death? Though famous or infamous people are known for years or even centuries beyond their death, what do we remember? Do we remember their kindness or lack of it? Do we remember their voice? Do we remember their touch?

No, the only thing remembered is a semblance of statistics passed on through our histories, but we personally do not remember them. How should that affect the way in which we live?

As Christians, we can readily answer that question, however, how much does this affect the lives of most people? What is our true purpose in this life? Is it pleasing to God that we neglect those in our lives who really love and know us so that we may make a lasting name for ourselves?

From a different perspective Solomon asks, "Why are the hearts of the sons of men bent toward evil?" Or, we might ask, "Why do so many neglect or ignore the commandments of God?" The answer to both questions is the same.

Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

We see judgment for evil postponed again and again; we are certainly familiar with that in our legal system in the United States. But, what about the judgment of God? God is truly long suffering and forgiving. Still, it is wrong for Christians or professing Christians to presume upon the grace of God by saying, "It will be a long time before I have to face God. I have plenty of time to get serious about my relationship with God."

How does Solomon conclude this discussion.?

12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. 13 But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God.

There it is! Our days, though they may be long, are but a shadow. In the end, it will be well with those who fear God, but it will not be well with the wicked.

Forgotten? Yes, in the eyes of men we will be forgotten, but in the eyes of God we will be remembered for eternity. So let us live with eternity's values in view!

God Bless You,
Linda