[Linux4christians] Tuesday - Ecclesiastes 4 - 5
dcolburn at bibleseven.com
dcolburn at bibleseven.com
Mon Jun 13 23:11:54 EDT 2011
Ecclesiastes 4 - 5
Evil Oppression on Earth
4:1 So I again considered all the oppression that continually occurs on
This is what I saw:
The oppressed were in tears, but no one was comforting them; no one
delivers them from the power of their oppressors.
4:2 So I considered those who are dead and gone more fortunate than
those who are still alive.
4:3 But better than both is the one who has not been born and has not
seen the evil things that are done on earth.
Labor Motivated by Envy
4:4 Then I considered all the skillful work that is done: Surely it is
nothing more than competition between one person and another. This also
is profitless -- like chasing the wind.
4:5 The fool folds his hands and does no work, so he has nothing to eat
but his own flesh.
4:6 Better is one handful with some rest than two hands full of toil and
chasing the wind.
Labor Motivated by Greed
4:7 So I again considered another futile thing on earth:
4:8 A man who is all alone with no companion, he has no children nor
siblings; yet there is no end to all his toil, and he is never satisfied
with riches. He laments, "For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of
pleasure?" This also is futile and a burdensome task!
Labor is Beneficial When Its Rewards Are Shared
4:9 Two people are better than one, because they can reap more benefit
from their labor.
4:10 For if they fall, one will help his companion up, but pity the
person who falls down and has no one to help him up.
4:11 Furthermore, if two lie down together, they can keep each other
warm, but how can one person keep warm by himself?
4:12 Although an assailant may overpower one person, two can withstand
him. Moreover, a three-stranded cord is not quickly broken.
Labor Motivated by Prestige-Seeking
4:13 A poor but wise youth is better than an old and foolish king who no
longer knows how to receive advice.
4:14 For he came out of prison to become king, even though he had been
born poor in what would become his kingdom.
4:15 I considered all the living who walk on earth, as well as the
successor who would arise in his place.
4:16 There is no end to all the people nor to the past generations, yet
future generations will not rejoice in him. This also is profitless and
like chasing the wind.
5:1 Rash Vows
Be careful what you do when you go to the temple of God; draw near to
listen rather than to offer a sacrifice like fools, for they do not
realize that they are doing wrong.
5:2 Do not be rash with your mouth or hasty in your heart to bring up a
matter before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth! Therefore,
let your words be few.
5:3 Just as dreams come when there are many cares, so the rash vow of a
fool occurs when there are many words.
5:4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay in paying it. For God takes
no pleasure in fools: Pay what you vow!
5:5 It is better for you not to vow than to vow and not pay it.
5:6 Do not let your mouth cause you to sin, and do not tell the priest,
"It was a mistake!" Why make God angry at you so that he would destroy
the work of your hands?"
5:7 Just as there is futility in many dreams, so also in many words.
Therefore, fear God!
5:8 If you see the extortion of the poor, or the perversion of justice
and fairness in the government, do not be astonished by the matter. For
the high official is watched by a higher official, and there are higher
ones over them!
5:9 The produce of the land is seized by all of them, even the king is
served by the fields.
5:10 The one who loves money will never be satisfied with money, he who
loves wealth will never be satisfied with his income. This also is futile.
5:11 When someone's prosperity increases, those who consume it also
increase; so what does its owner gain, except that he gets to see it
with his eyes?
5:12 The sleep of the laborer is pleasant -- whether he eats little or
much -- but the wealth of the rich will not allow him to sleep.
Materialism Thwarts Enjoyment of Life
5:13 Here is a misfortune on earth that I have seen: Wealth hoarded by
its owner to his own misery.
5:14 Then that wealth was lost through bad luck; although he fathered a
son, he has nothing left to give him.
5:15 Just as he came forth from his mother's womb, naked will he return
as he came, and he will take nothing in his hand that he may carry away
from his toil.
5:16 This is another misfortune: Just as he came, so will he go. What
did he gain from toiling for the wind?
5:17 Surely, he ate in darkness every day of his life, and he suffered
greatly with sickness and anger.
Enjoy the Fruit of Your Labor
5:18 I have seen personally what is the only beneficial and appropriate
course of action for people: to eat and drink, and find enjoyment in all
their hard work on earth during the few days of their life which God has
given them, for this is their reward.
5:19 To every man whom God has given wealth, and possessions, he has
also given him the ability to eat from them, to receive his reward and
to find enjoyment in his toil; these things are the gift of God.
5:20 For he does not think much about the fleeting days of his life
because God keeps him preoccupied with the joy he derives from his activity.
Lord, You teach us to be in balance, to enjoy every moment of life as a
gift from You, and to share what we have as Your blessing through us to
others. May I be generous, never envious of others, never coveting
wealth for its own sake, and participate fully in each day -- as
tomorrow in this world is not promised to me.
Solomon decided to " ... again considere(d) all the oppression that
continually occurs on earth." and in his flesh decided that due to the
lack of compassion those who died were better-off than those who
continued to live, and those who had never been born the most-blessed.
He considered the matter of balance in how one engaged in skilled work,
observing that some acted from a heart of pride -- competing against
others -- while others didn't develop their skills at all. He concluded
that a balance was necessary.
He considered a person who worked and lived alone, with no children or
sibling(s), yet worked hard and then wondered to what purpose -- for
lack of someone to bless and to share. He then observed that two were
likely to be more productive working in harmony, could help one-another
when ill or injured, and could defend themselves better than if alone.
He illustrated using the physics of a woven rope where two cords were
stronger than one and three even stronger.
Solomon observed that a old king who had become unteachable, as he still
longed for more-prestige, was less-valuable than a younger king with
He warned that one who rushed into the presence of God to make promises
had best be careful that they are ones he can fulfill, otherwise he may
anger the Lord God.
Solomon people to not be surprised by government corruption as
foolishness and greed would lead them to confiscate the produce of
fields whose produce was already theirs. He further observed that there
may be some accountability found in levels of government.
He warned that when coveted money it would always be spent as it was
earned and keep one awake worrying about the acquisition of more. This
he contrasted with the peace of the one who worked to pay bills but who
was not obsessed with greater and greater wealth.
Solomon observed that one who hoarded money for the sake of amassing
wealth would find himself constantly-troubled by fear of its loss, and
when lost through misfortune, discover an empty life was all that remained.
He concluded that one should enjoy what the Lord God has provided in
each moment as a gift and not worry about the future.
When Solomon said that one should enjoy what the Lord God has provided
in each moment as a gift and not worry about the future, he was not
teaching carelessness and a failure to prepare, but was instead speaking
about enjoying moments that would pass and never return.
Why would Solomon make such a big deal about money?
In each illustration of Solomon is not the heart-condition of the person
the primary determiner of wisdom or foolishness?
When have you experienced or observed an obsession with competing with
others out or envy and pride leading to an empty and troubled life?
Faith in Action
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to me a place where I have made promises
to the Lord God that I have not kept.
Today I will make good on my promise to the Lord God and will be more
careful in the future as to what commitments I make.
Be Specific ______________________________________________________
Wednesday's text will be:
Ecclesiastes 6 -- 7:14
Draw nearer to the Lord and He will bless you,
Have an http://Ultrafidian.com Day!
David M. Colburn, DMin. MaCo
Personal Site: http://bibleseven.com
Bible Resources: http://bible.org
Teacher's Verse: John 7:16
Defend free speech or lose your freedom.
I don't google I SEARCH! Startpage.com
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