From: September 2, 2018
Scripture for today: Ecclesiastes 1:1-3:22; 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; Psalm 46:1-11; Proverbs 22:15
From: September 2, 2017
The apostle Paul quoted Isaiah’s prophecy (Isa. 49:8) concerning the time of salvation that the coming Messiah would bring to both Jew and Gentile alike. Paul declared to the Corinthians that the long awaited for time had come. Paul began both phrases of his application of Isaiah’s prophecy with “behold, now.” The word “behold” demanded that one “look” and “see” with an understanding mind. The word “now” called for a sense of urgency from the one who having understood the gospel, would quickly decide to believe it.
As the Ecclesiates reading for today states, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Eccl. 3:1). So today, we live in the “accepted time” of the gospel, yet let us not “receive the grace of God in vain.” Having heard the gospel, now is the time to accept it. Having accepted the gospel, now is the day to live it out and proclaim it.
From: September 2, 2016
Every time I read this verse, I hear The Byrds singing “Turn, Turn, Turn” in my head. Yet, this passage is more than the inspiration for a 60s song. It is a keen observation on life “under the sun.” As the writer, Solomon, struggled with a search for meaning in life, he observed that everything has a “season” and a “time.” There is an appointed start and finish “time,” and there is a length of time between the beginning and end of a “season.” Just as the sun, moon and earth move through times and seasons set by an unseen hand, so the times and seasons of humanity seem similarly set. Solomon concluded that it is best to just “be joyful and to do good” (Eccl.3:12) in every season, since we have no control over the times. In other words, make the best of things as they are, knowing as the Persian poets have said, “This too shall pass.” Yet, Solomon’s observations were necessarily limited to life “under the sun.” His wisdom did not take into account the larger arc of time that began at creation and will end with the return of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and the judgment. Those who have heard this revelation from “beyond the sun” are able to do more than just make the best of things. They are able to hope for better things to come because of Jesus.
From: September 2, 2015
King Solomon was the writer of Ecclesiastes. He observed the beauty of how God had assigned everything a season and how these things seemed to repeat over time. Yet, he also observed that God had put an eternal longing in man’s heart that wanted to know and experience more than just what his season on earth allowed. This “eternity” that God put in humanity’s heart makes us unique in creation. We long for that which will last. We long for ultimate meaning and purpose. We long for God. Solomon found that everything “under the sun” was “vanity” (empty, meaningless). Why? Because we long for that which is beyond the sun. We long for the Eternal One. As Pascal said, “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”
From: September 2, 2014
The key to understanding Ecclesiates is the repetitive phrase “under the sun.” Unless there is more to life than what we experience “under the sun,” then life is meaningless. Our only hope for meaning is that there is life “beyond the sun.” Written by King Solomon, the book’s Hebrew title is “Qoheleth” (“Teacher” or “Preacher”). The Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) translated the title as “Ekklesiastes” (“the one calling out”). The Teacher is calling out to his hearers explaining that everything “under the sun” is “meaningless” (or “vanity” as in the KJV). This is why believers are to set their sights on the realities of heaven where Christ their Treasure and ultimate meaning dwells (Col. 3:1-4).
From: September 2, 2012
Sin and foolishness are synonyms in Proverbs. Wise parents recognize their God-given responsibility to discipline their children to obey. This is hard work. Yet, God has given us this holy stewardship. A parent’s discipline becomes the child’s self-discipline later in life. Better to root out the seed of foolishness in your 3-year old, than to wait and deal with the tree of rebellion in your 13-year old. Parents, do your job!
From: September 2, 2011
In Proverbs, wisdom and righteousness go hand in hand, as do folly and sin. Parents are God’s instruments, called to shepherd their child’s hearts to Him. Your child’s folly is not cute. It is deadly. If you really love them, you will discipline them.
From: September 2, 2009
So, we begin reading Ecclesiates today. Written by King Solomon, the book’s Hebrew title is “Qoheleth” (the preacher or teacher or speaker)
The Greek translation (the Septuagint) translated the title as “ekklesiastes” (which might be translated “the one calling out”). In the New Testament, the word came to be the name for the church (ekklesia – the called out ones). The Preacher is calling out to his hearers explaining that everything “under the sun” is “vanity” (or “meaningless” as in the NIV). The key to understanding Ecclesiates seems to be in this repetitive phrase “under the sun.” Unless there is more to life than what we experience “under the sun,” then life is meaningless. But what if there is life “beyond the sun?”