[Linux4christians] Saturday - Ecclesiastes 11 - 12
dcolburn at bibleseven.com
dcolburn at bibleseven.com
Sat Jun 18 00:17:41 EDT 2011
Ecclesiastes 11 - 12
Ignorance of the Future Demands Diligence in the Present
11:1 Send your grain overseas, for after many days you will get a return.
11:2 Divide your merchandise among seven or even eight investments, for
you do not know what calamity may happen on earth.
11:3 If the clouds are full of rain, they will empty themselves on the
earth, and whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, the tree
will lie wherever it falls.
11:4 He who watches the wind will not sow, and he who observes the
clouds will not reap.
11:5 Just as you do not know the path of the wind, or how the bones form
in the womb of a pregnant woman, so you do not know the work of God who
11:6 Sow your seed in the morning, and do not stop working until the
evening; for you do not know which activity will succeed -- whether this
one or that one, or whether both will prosper equally.
Life Should Be Enjoyed Because Death is Inevitable
11:7 Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for a person to see the sun.
11:8 So, if a man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all, but let
him remember that the days of darkness will be many -- all that is about
to come is obscure.
Enjoy Life to the Fullest under the Fear of God
11:9 Rejoice, young man, while you are young, and let your heart cheer
you in the days of your youth.
Follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes, but know
that God will judge your motives and actions.
11:10 Banish emotional stress from your mind. and put away pain from
your body; for youth and the prime of life are fleeting.
Fear God Now Because Old Age and Death Come Quickly
12:1 So remember your Creator in the days of your youth -- before the
difficult days come, and the years draw near when you will say, "I have
no pleasure in them";
12:2 before the sun and the light of the moon and the stars grow dark,
and the clouds disappear after the rain;
12:3 when those who keep watch over the house begin to tremble, and the
virile men begin to stoop over, and the grinders begin to cease because
they grow few, and those who look through the windows grow dim,
12:4 and the doors along the street are shut; when the sound of the
grinding mill grows low, and one is awakened by the sound of a bird, and
all their songs grow faint,
12:5 and they are afraid of heights and the dangers in the street; the
almond blossoms grow white, and the grasshopper drags itself along, and
the caper berry shrivels up -- because man goes to his eternal home, and
the mourners go about in the streets --
12:6 before the silver cord is removed, or the golden bowl is broken, or
the pitcher is shattered at the well, or the water wheel is broken at
the cistern --
12:7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the life's breath
returns to God who gave it.
Concluding Refrain: Qoheleth Restates His Thesis
12:8 "Absolutely futile!" laments the Teacher, "All of these things are
Concluding Epilogue: Qoheleth's Advice is Wise
12:9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also taught knowledge to the
people; he carefully evaluated and arranged many proverbs.
12:10 The Teacher sought to find delightful words, and to write
accurately truthful sayings.
12:11 The words of the sages are like prods, and the collected sayings
are like firmly fixed nails; they are given by one shepherd.
Concluding Exhortation: Fear God and Obey His Commands!
12:12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. There is no
end to the making of many books, and much study is exhausting to the body.
12:13 Having heard everything, I have reached this conclusion: Fear God
and keep his commandments, because this is the whole duty of man.
12:14 For God will evaluate every deed, including every secret thing,
whether good or evil.
Lord, You desire that we enjoy the gifts You give us in this life, but
in the context of what is honoring to You -- and you want us to know
that You see everything. May I be constantly aware of Your presence, so
that when I enjoy Your gifts, I do not lose perspective and dishonor You
in my flesh.
Solomon shared his learning that one must invest in diverse enterprises
as one cannot be certain that any single investment will prosper, he
further shared that one should start work early on a good weather day
and continue throughout as one could not know what tomorrow might bring.
He advised "Follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your
eyes, but know that God will judge your motives and actions." because
life is short, and also to avoid emotional stress and physical pain
[presumably via the application of wisdom].
Solomon counseled "So remember your Creator in the days of your youth --
before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you will
say, "I have no pleasure in them" ... and the dust [from which you came]
returns to the earth as it was, and the life's breath returns to God who
There is some scholarly debate as to the meaning of the phrase
"Qoheleth's Advice is Wise", especially as to the identity of Qoheleth.
The most-common thought is that it referred to Solomon but the
phraseology that follows implies more than one person is intended as the
source of the wisdom writings. "Not only was the Teacher wise, but he
also taught knowledge to the people; he carefully evaluated and arranged
many proverbs. The Teacher sought to find delightful words, and to write
accurately truthful sayings. The words of the sages are like prods, and
the collected sayings are like firmly fixed nails; they are given by one
shepherd." [Clearly the "one shepherd" is the Lord God.]
He concluded with the stern advice to not accept anything external to
the wisdom teaching as equivalent because such would cause endless "...
study" which would be "... exhausting to the body." He also advised
"Fear God and keep his commandments, because this is the whole duty of
man. For God will evaluate every deed, including every secret thing,
whether good or evil."
Diversification of investments has become a modern practice but Solomon
recommended it many hundreds of years ago.
Does it not seem an unheeded warning from Solomon to avoid adding to the
wisdom teaching as the additions would be come burdensome -- which is
precisely what the Pharisees and Sadducee's did?
The balance between following "... the impulses of your heart and the
desires of your eyes" while remaining constantly aware (and therefore
guided by the knowledge) that "... God will judge your motives and
actions." remains a challenging one.
When have you struggled with the balance between following "... the
impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes" and living
righteously before the Lord God?
Faith in Action
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a place where you have become out
of balance in your walk; following "... the impulses of your heart and
the desires of your eyes" too far from the path of righteousness.
Today I will confess and repent, seek forgiveness and accept it from the
Lord God, and adjust my walk in the direction of righteousness and away
from the things of the flesh.
Be Specific ______________________________________________________
Sunday's text will be: Song of Solomon 1
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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