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“May you and I be thankful for and accept every opportunity God gives us.” <>< Dona (09/10/20)

Please read Ecclesiastes 7 through 12.  If you don’t have a Bible handy just click here -> Biblegateway.com. The Biblegateway website should open for you to use. Type in the chapters you want to read and select the translation you want to read them from. Click search and the chapters should appear. Once you read the suggested chapters close the screen and you should return here.

Ecclesiastes 7 Theme

Struggles lead to wisdom.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, we will never know as much as You (v. 13).

Something to think about

Adversity provides opportunities to learn from God (v. 3-4).  The truly wise cannot be bribed (v. 7). Wisdom is of more help than wealth (v. 11-12). God allows the good and the bad to enter our life (v. 13-14). To be overly righteous is to be more focused on and concerned about what people see than what is actually within the heart (v. 15-16).  Solomon believed that no matter how much he knew there would always be things he wouldn’t understand (v. 23-25).  God created humans to live upright lives (v. 29).

Something to experience

Struggles can teach us to live wisely.  And struggles can refine our character (v. 3-4).  We should not accept bribes because it hurts the honest person and helps the dishonest one (v. 7). We can be saved by wisdom whether we are wealthy or poor (v. 11-12).   We believers can trust God to bring good out of bad situations (v. 13-14). We believers should seek to live out God’s righteousness in a balanced fashion.  That is to seek outward and inward obedience to God (v. 15-16).  Even we believers will always have room for more wisdom (v. 23-25).  As believers we should seek to live upright and do what is right in God’s eyes (v. 29).

Scriptures to hide in your heart

Ecclesiastes 7:3-4 Sorrow is better than laughter; for by the sadness of the face the heart is made good. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. 

Ecclesiastes 7:7 Surely extortion makes the wise man foolish; and a bribe destroys the understanding. Better is the end of a thing than its beginning.

Ecclesiastes 7:11-12 11 Wisdom is as good as an inheritance. Yes, it is more excellent for those who see the sun. 12 For wisdom is a defense, even as money is a defense; but the excellency of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.

Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 13 Consider the work of God, for who can make that straight, which he has made crooked? 14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; yes, God has made the one side by side with the other, to the end that man should not find out anything after him.

Ecclesiastes 7:15-16 15 All this I have seen in my days of vanity: there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who lives long in his evildoing. 16 Don’t be overly righteous, neither make yourself overly wise. Why should you destroy yourself? 

Ecclesiastes 7:23-25 23 All this I have proved in wisdom. I said, “I will be wise;” but it was far from me. 24 That which is, is far off and exceedingly deep. Who can find it out? 25 I turned around, and my heart sought to know and to search out, and to seek wisdom and the scheme of things, and to know that wickedness is stupidity, and that foolishness is madness.

Ecclesiastes 7:29 Behold, I have only found this: that God made man upright; but they search for many schemes.

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Ecclesiastes 8 Theme

Wisdom is valuable.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, Your wisdom can change us (v. 1).

Something to think about

Wisdom illuminates God’s perspective (v. 1). This is a warning to execute speedy punishment when someone is found guilty (v. 11, 13). Solomon recommended joy and contentment to encourage others along their path (v. 15).  Solomon knew he would never know all that God knew (v. 16-17).

Something to experience

When we seek God’s wisdom, He will reveal it to us (v. 1). We as Christians should quickly repent when we realize we have sinned, so as not to repeat the offense (v. 12). May we Christians enjoy and be content with what God gives us in our life (v. 15). We Christians will always have more questions than answers (v. 16-17).

Scriptures to hide in your heart

Ecclesiastes 8:1 Who is like the wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man’s wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his face is changed. 

Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because 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. 

Ecclesiastes 8:12 Though a sinner commits crimes a hundred times, and lives long, yet surely, I know that it will be better with those who fear God, who are reverent before him. 

Ecclesiastes 8:13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he lengthen days like a shadow, because he doesn’t fear God.

Ecclesiastes 8:15 Then I commended mirth, because a man has no better thing under the sun than to eat, to drink, and to be joyful: for that will accompany him in his labor all the days of his life which God has given him under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 8:16-17 16 When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on the earth (even though eyes see no sleep day or night), 17 then I saw all the work of God, that man can’t find out the work that is done under the sun, because however much a man labors to seek it out, yet he won’t find it. Yes even though a wise man thinks he can comprehend it, he won’t be able to find it.

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Ecclesiastes 9 Theme

Same destiny.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, we all have the same opportunity to know You (v. 1).

Something to think about

Solomon believed after earthly death nothing can be changed (v. 5-6). Solomon believed what happened in life wasn’t always fair (v. 11).  Solomon believed wisdom was better than strength (v. 18).

Something to experience

We believers will experience resurrection from physical death on earth to spiritual life in heaven (v. 7-8). We believers are not to let the unfairness of this world keep us from doing God’s work (v. 11).  We believers should listen for wisdom no matter who it comes through (v. 17).

Scriptures to hide in your heart

Ecclesiastes 9:1 For all this I laid to my heart, even to explore all this: that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God; whether it is love or hatred, man doesn’t know it; all is before them. 

Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead don’t know anything, neither do they have any more reward; for their memory is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy has perished long ago; neither do they any longer have a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 9:7-8 Go your way—eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works. Let your garments be always white, and don’t let your head lack oil. 

Ecclesiastes 9:11 I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all. 

Ecclesiastes 9:17 The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the cry of him who rules among fools. 

Ecclesiastes 9:18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroys much good.

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Ecclesiastes 10 Theme

Wise words and wise actions.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, all we need to do to be wise is follow You.

Something to think about

Wisdom and honor in the wrong hands will never produce a sweet fragrance (v. 1). A wise man follows the right path but the fool doesn’t (v. 2-3). Solomon believed wisdom alone couldn’t bring fairness to every situation (v. 5-7). Solomon believed the words of a wise man’s mouth were gracious (v. 12). Solomon believed problems occur when leaders are selfish and lazy (v. 16-18).

Something to experience

If we follow the right path, we will be wise (v. 2-3). If our boss gets angry, perhaps if we work quietly and do our job, he will soon calm down (v. 4). We should sharpen our skills so we can effectively do God’s work (v. 10). We should seek to speak gracious words (v. 12). Lots of money will purchase lots of tangible things (v. 19), but it can never pay for what we all truly need – eternal life with God.

Scriptures to hide in your heart

Ecclesiastes 10:1 Dead flies cause the oil of the perfumer to produce an evil odor; so does a little folly outweigh wisdom and honor.

Ecclesiastes 10:2-3 A wise man’s heart is at his right hand, but a fool’s heart at his left. Yes also when the fool walks by the way, his understanding fails him, and he says to everyone that he is a fool. 

Ecclesiastes 10:4 If the spirit of the ruler rises up against you, don’t leave your place; for gentleness lays great offenses to rest.

Ecclesiastes 10:5-7 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, the sort of error which proceeds from the ruler. Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in a low place. I have seen servants on horses, and princes walking like servants on the earth. 

Ecclesiastes 10:10 If the ax is blunt, and one doesn’t sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but skill brings success.

Ecclesiastes 10:12 The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but a fool is swallowed by his own lips. 

Ecclesiastes 10:16-18 16 Woe to you, land, when your king is a child, and your princes eat in the morning!  17 Happy are you, land, when your king is the son of nobles, and your princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness! 18 By slothfulness the roof sinks in; and through idleness of the hands the house leaks.

Ecclesiastes 10:19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes the life glad; and money is the answer for all things (that are tangible).

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Ecclesiastes 11 Theme

What we do matters.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, in both life’s sorrows and happiness we should rejoice.  

Something to think about

Solomon believed life involved both risk and opportunity (v. 1-5). And that people should rejoice in both (v. 7-10).

Something to experience

As believers we need to trust the Lord as we face life’s risks and opportunities (v. 1-5). We believers should rejoice in times of darkness and in times of light and remember the lessons learned in both (v. 7-8). We believers should seek to walk in the ways that will please God (v. 9-10).

Scriptures to hide in your heart

Ecclesiastes 11:1-5 1 Cast your bread on the waters; for you shall find it after many days.  Give a portion to seven, yes, even to eight; for you don’t know what evil will be on the earth.  If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves on the earth; and if a tree falls toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falls, there shall it be.  He who observes the wind won’t sow; and he who regards the clouds won’t reap.  As you don’t know what is the way of the wind, nor how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child; even so you don’t know the work of God who does all.

Ecclesiastes 11:7-8 Truly the light is sweet, and it is a pleasant thing for the eyes to see the sun.  Yes, if a man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember the days of darkness, for they shall be many.  All that comes is vanity.

Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 Rejoice, young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. 10 Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh; for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.

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Ecclesiastes 12 Theme

Success or failure.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, success is available to each of us when we trust You, our Creator (v. 1).

Something to think about

Life is a precious resource to be used wisely and not squandered (v. 5-8).  The words that the wise speak can encourage others to keep moving toward God (v. 11).

Something to experience

Though reading the opinions of other people isn’t wrong, we should spend more time reading God’s Word (v. 12). Knowing God should be our main purpose in life (v. 13-14). 

Scriptures to hide in your heart

Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw near, when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them;”

Ecclesiastes 12:5-8 yes, they shall be afraid of heights, and terrors will be on the way; and the almond tree shall blossom, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail; because man goes to his everlasting home, and the mourners go about the streets: before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the spring, or the wheel broken at the cistern, and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.  8 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher.  “All is vanity!”

Ecclesiastes 12:11 The words of the wise are like goads; and like nails well fastened are words from the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. 

Ecclesiastes 12:12 Furthermore, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 13 This is the end of the matter. All has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it is good, or whether it is evil.

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Prayer

Lord, I pray we will be grateful always (Ecclesiastes 7:14).  Lord, I pray we will obey Your command (Ecclesiastes 8:5). Lord, I pray all we do will be in Your hands (Ecclesiastes 9:1).  Lord, I pray our heart will incline to the right (Ecclesiastes 10:2).  Lord, I pray whether sorrow or joy we will rejoice in our situation (Ecclesiastes 11:8). Lord, I pray we will fear You and keep Your commandments, for this is the whole duty of man according to Ecclesiastes 12:13.  Lord, I pray we will seek to do good deeds and therefore be judged good by You (Ecclesiastes 12:14).  In Christ Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN.

“May you and I always seek to do good.” <>< Dona