What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.
These verses summarize what I have written in two of my previous posts. Those posts covered King Solomon and his quest for understanding man. In Ecclesiastes 1:13-14 Solomon writes about setting his heart to seek the understanding of man’s actions. As a result of this quest he realizes how hollow man can be.
In Ecclesiastes 1:2-11 Solomon writes about the forces of life, God, the universe, and the vanity of man. He tells me, for man to think that these forces don’t exist, or that man can change them, well that is truly vanity.
So now in Ecclesiastes 2:22-23, Solomon tells us the results of toiling and striving after worldly things under the sun. The constant toil for worldly items brings sorrow and vexation. It is vanity, it is pointless. Continue reading
I thought today, since I am writing about the book of Ecclesiastes, I would start from the beginning. The very first verse tells us in a sort of cryptic way about the author of this book. They refer to themselves as the Preacher. Most people believe that person to be King Solomon.
The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
If you take this verse at it’s face value, the son of David and King in Jerusalem was Solomon. Some say that “son” may refer to the lineage of King David, but I’ll keep it simple and stick with Solomon as the Preacher. Who wrote the book isn’t as important as the lessons being taught in this book. King Solomon starts teaching from the first verses. Continue reading
Truly God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
This post is really about the entire 73rd Psalm but I thought its essence was captured in the first three verses. As I read through the Book of Psalms, which is preceded by the Book of Job, I begin to realize how the lessons of Job were learned and written about by King David. Continue reading
Genesis 3 deals with what is simply known as “The Fall”.
I am sure most everyone knows this story. The story of how God gave man the Garden of Eden. A paradise which contained everything man would need to fulfill his spiritual and physical needs.
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
God had given man all that he needed, just as Solomon realized thousands of years later, God had given man everything from the moment of creation. In the Garden of Eden man had all he needed to eat and drink and be happy in his toil.
But vanity took its toll on Eve as the serpent enticed her with covetousness, enticed her to seek and want that which she did not have, that which she did not need. Continue reading
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Unless the Lord builds the house.
What is the house that King David is talking about? It is you, your body, my body, and our community as human beings. To go through life, building a life and a community without God in your heart is vanity or as David’s son would say, vanity and a striving after wind. Continue reading
For the Lord your God will bless you, as he promised you, and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow, and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you.
“…but you shall not borrow…”
I believe God is advising Israel on how to stay wealthy and self-sufficient, as a nation and a people. I believe God is advising us, on a personal level, on how to stay in control of your life.
I’m not going to get into the amount of debt we have as a country, nor the amount that other countries owe our country. I guess I just wanted to write about another example of advice and wisdom that has transcended through the ages. Continue reading
I read this verse from the Bible and even though it was written thousands of years ago one place from today immediately came to mind.
Read it and see if you think the same as I do.
Isaiah Chapter 1 Verses 21 through 23: Continue reading