Morning Reading: Wed, 15 Nov – Ecclesiastes 7-8 ~ Wisdom lights up a person’s face.

Morning Reading

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening – (Northumbria Community)

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

Reading in Full – Ecclesiastes 7-8

Wisdom for Life

Ecclesiastes 8:1 (NLT) – How wonderful to be wise, to analyze and interpret things. Wisdom lights up a person’s face, softening its harshness.
_____

Ecclesiastes 7:1-14 (NLT)

  • A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume. And the day you die is better than the day you are born.
  • Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies—so the living should take this to heart.
  • Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us. A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time.
  • Better to be criticized by a wise person than to be praised by a fool. A fool’s laughter is quickly gone, like thorns crackling in a fire. This also is meaningless.
  • Extortion turns wise people into fools, and bribes corrupt the heart.
  • Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride.
  • Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.
  • Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise.
  • Wisdom is even better when you have money. Both are a benefit as you go through life. Wisdom and money can get you almost anything, but only wisdom can save your life.
  • Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked?
  • Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life.

The Limits of Human Wisdom

Ecclesiastes 7:15-29 (NLT) – I have seen everything in this meaningless life, including the death of good young people and the long life of wicked people. So don’t be too good or too wise! Why destroy yourself? On the other hand, don’t be too wicked either. Don’t be a fool! Why die before your time? Pay attention to these instructions, for anyone who fears God will avoid both extremes.

  • One wise person is stronger than ten leading citizens of a town!
  • Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.
  • Don’t eavesdrop on others—you may hear your servant curse you. For you know how often you yourself have cursed others.

I have always tried my best to let wisdom guide my thoughts and actions. I said to myself, “I am determined to be wise.” But it didn’t work. Wisdom is always distant and difficult to find. I searched everywhere, determined to find wisdom and to understand the reason for things. I was determined to prove to myself that wickedness is stupid and that foolishness is madness.

  • I discovered that a seductive woman is a trap more bitter than death. Her passion is a snare, and her soft hands are chains. Those who are pleasing to God will escape her, but sinners will be caught in her snare.

“This is my conclusion,” says the Teacher. “I discovered this after looking at the matter from every possible angle. Though I have searched repeatedly, I have not found what I was looking for. Only one out of a thousand men is virtuous, but not one woman! But I did find this:

  • God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.”

Ecclesiastes 8:1 (NLT) – How wonderful to be wise, to analyze and interpret things. Wisdom lights up a person’s face, softening its harshness.

Obedience to the King

Ecclesiastes 8:2-8 (NLT) – Obey the king since you vowed to God that you would. Don’t try to avoid doing your duty, and don’t stand with those who plot evil, for the king can do whatever he wants. His command is backed by great power. No one can resist or question it. Those who obey him will not be punished. Those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right, for there is a time and a way for everything, even when a person is in trouble.

Indeed, how can people avoid what they don’t know is going to happen? None of us can hold back our spirit from departing. None of us has the power to prevent the day of our death. There is no escaping that obligation, that dark battle. And in the face of death, wickedness will certainly not rescue the wicked.

The Wicked and the Righteous

Ecclesiastes 8:9-17 (NLT) – I have thought deeply about all that goes on here under the sun, where people have the power to hurt each other.

  • I have seen wicked people buried with honor. Yet they were the very ones who frequented the Temple and are now praised in the same city where they committed their crimes! This, too, is meaningless.
  • When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong.

But even though a person sins a hundred times and still lives a long time, I know that those who fear God will be better off. The wicked will not prosper, for they do not fear God. Their days will never grow long like the evening shadows.

  • And this is not all that is meaningless in our world. In this life, good people are often treated as though they were wicked, and wicked people are often treated as though they were good. This is so meaningless!

So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.

In my search for wisdom and in my observation of people’s burdens here on earth, I discovered that there is ceaseless activity, day and night. I realized that no one can discover everything God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people discover everything, no matter what they claim.
__________

“To live is Christ” – Sidewalk Prophets


__________

Blessing – (Northumbrian Community)

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
__________

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!



Categories: Life in Christ

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: