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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Ecclesiastes 2 and 3: Vanity vs. God's Plan


It is said that King Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived. In Ecclesiastes 2, Solomon reflects on all the many ways he had tried to accomplish fulfillment as a person - physical pleasures, drink, personal achievements, gaining great wealth and fame, aesthetic and artistic pleasures - all centered around himself. For being such a 'wise man', Solomon certainly seemed to be a hedonistic, vain fool early on. Like so many people today he sought fulfillment in all the wrong places and for all the wrong motivations. There are 63 first person references in this chapter including , I, me, myself and my, proving that Solomon was sure hung up on himself. If this sounds familiar it should. Today we live in a global society that is vainly "I" centered. It's all about me!

After making some incredibly deep observations about man ("Wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness", verse 13) Solomon comes to realize that everything he had accomplished and experienced yielded no lasting fulfillment at all and, finally in verse 24 states part of his solution - "There is nothing better for a man that to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen is from the hand of God. For who can eat and have enjoyment without Him?" In verse 26, Solomon states that this revelatory wisdom is only granted to those whom God finds 'good in His sight.'

In chapter three, after recruiting the Byrds to explain that everything has it's appointed time and purpose - "For everything, there is a season" -  Solomon makes a most profound statement starting in in verse 11, "He has made everything beautiful in HIS time. He has set eternity in their hearts, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginnings to the end", saying that we need to exercise patience for God to complete His work in us; that in all our scholarship, intelligence and wisdom we will never know exactly what is going on behind the curtain, no matter how much we may think we do. Then in verse 12 reiterates his final conclusion, "I know that there is nothing better for them than to be glad and to get and do good as long as they live; And also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God!"

So, live your life, be happy with everything you have and have accomplished, praising God for it all, knowing that it all is in God's hands, in His time and according to His plan. If you do, God will make something beautiful of you.

"All things work together for good to them that LOVE God (obey His laws, follow His plan, give Him the Glory in everything, etc), to them who are the called ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE (His timing, His terms, etc)." 

Be blessed...

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