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ginnyrose
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Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7497
Mississippi

 Inspiration from Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes ranks among my favorite books because it deals with practical issues that are common to man - one that reaches across many millenia. Other then Proverbs, the other OT books deal with history and the call to repentance.

Ecclesiastes teaches one about values in life and what is important. We live in an age in which there is much that works to distract us from our walk with the LORD. The writer tried everything and his conclusions are simple "vanity, all is vanity." But it is fascinating to read why this is the case. Want to join me in this journey of looking at Eccles.? If you want to post on a different chapter, I suggest you do it from the lead post and type in the chapter number in the subject box.

One thing I would like to draw attention to are the questions Solomon asks, his conclusions and the reasons.
*********************************************************
Ecclesiastes 1:1-8 NASB:
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,
“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”

3 What advantage does man have in all his work
Which he does under the sun?

4 A generation goes and a generation comes,
But the earth remains forever.

5 Also, the sun rises and the sun sets;
And hastening to its place it rises there again.

6 Blowing toward the south,
Then turning toward the north,
The wind continues swirling along;
And on its circular courses the wind returns.

7 All the rivers flow into the sea,
Yet the sea is not full.
To the place where the rivers flow,
There they flow again.

8 All things are wearisome;
Man is not able to tell it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
Nor is the ear filled with hearing.

COMMENT:

The question: What advantage does man have in all his work
Which he does under the sun? v.3

Yes, why work? Why do I exist? What am I to accomplish?

One looks around and hears the wind? It keeps on coming and it goes and returns - continuously.

Or, look at the rivers - they run into the sea but the sea never gets full! Ever see the Mississippi pour its waters into the Gulf? But the ocean water stays at the same level.

And we love to look at nature: the mountains, the flowers, the animals, the scenery (man has been able to capitalize on this wonder by promoting tourism to see the beauties of nature). But we never tire of it. Neither do we tire of beautiful sounds: the song of the birds, the waterfalls, the rustling of the leaves, the sound of a newborn baby, the voice of a loved one and on and on...we never tire of it do we?

Why? How can this be? I feel overwhelmed with the largeness of it all. My imagination has a problem wrapping itself around this phenomena. I am little, I am me existing in the rural part of Mississippi...Nature, when studied, demonstrates a intelligence far beyond my imagination, does it not?

Why do I exist?


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Sandra Miller

 2011/4/11 10:34Profile
Christinyou
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Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3707
Ca.

 Re: Inspiration from Ecclesiastes

"""Why do I exist?"""

Because it pleases God.

Ephesians 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

I love you too, which pleases me

In Christ: Phillip


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Phillip

 2011/4/11 20:31Profile
ginnyrose
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Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7497
Mississippi

 Re:

Quote:
Because it pleases God.



How well do we understand this principle?


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Sandra Miller

 2011/4/12 8:42Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7497
Mississippi

 Re: Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 NASB

Ecclesiastes 1: 9-11 NASB

9 That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun.

10 Is there anything of which one might say,
“See this, it is new”?
Already it has existed for ages
Which were before us.

11 There is no remembrance of earlier things;
And also of the later things which will occur,
There will be for them no remembrance
Among those who will come later still.

COMMENT:

The original question: "What advantage does man have in all his work..?" burns within the human heart.

Why do I do what I do?

What motivates me to do what I do?

What motivates me to think like I do?

Solomon informs us that:

1. That which has been is what will be.
2. There is nothing new under the sun.
3. People forget what has been done in the past.
4. People will forget in the future what will be done today.

So, what advantage does man have in all his work? why work so hard? or work at all? You can't do anything new and what you do will be forgotten in time to come....

Why?


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Sandra Miller

 2011/4/12 8:55Profile
ginnyrose
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Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7497
Mississippi

 Re: Ecclesiastes 1:12-18 NASB

Ecclesiastes 1:12-18 NASB

12 I, the Preacher, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem.

13 And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven. It is a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with.

14 I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind.

15 What is crooked cannot be straightened and what is lacking cannot be counted.

16 I said to myself, “Behold, I have magnified and increased wisdom more than all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has observed a wealth of wisdom and knowledge.”

17 And I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I realized that this also is striving after wind.

18 Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.

COMMENT:

Solomon is in pursuit of answers to the question, "what advantage does man have in all his work?" v.3

Solomon was king over Israel and while doing so set his mind to learn by wisdom all that has been done under the sun. This pursuit was divinely energized. 1Kings 3:12.

(Wisdom - is doing the right thing based on knowledge. Or, knowledge applied.)

In his pursuit of wisdom he said he saw all the works that had been done under the sun. He noticed that what is crooked cannot be straightened and there is an overwhelming amount of things that need fixing. In the process he became very wise, much wiser then anyone before him. And his conclusion? Wisdom brings much grief, and increasing knowledge brigs pain!

So what good can one accomplish by pursuing knowledge and wisdom if it brings grief and pain?


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Sandra Miller

 2011/4/13 11:36Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7497
Mississippi

 Re: Ecclesiastes 1: 12, 18 NASB

Ecclesiastes 1: 12, 18 NASB

12 And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven. It is a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with.

18 Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.

COMMENT:

"It is a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with." Why is this quest to seek knowledge and wisdom a grievous task? It is God given...Why? Solomon says it is grievous...

Then in v. 18 he says that wisdom brings grief and increasing knowledge results in pain... Why?

Look about you and we see much that needs fixing and we know beyond a shadow of a doubt what should be done. But we are helpless to initiate any fixing. No one wants our assistance and their refusal pains us because we know the outcome of the grief they will be inflicting upon themselves. It pains us...Since this is the case what can a person do other then pray? God seems to be so painfully slow because he is dealing with stubborn minds who refuse to bend their stubborn wills, among other things.

And there are other things that need fixing but resist it...doesn't do a whole lot for our emotional comfort...

But why did God inflict this task upon mankind?



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Sandra Miller

 2011/4/13 11:53Profile
Christinyou
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Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3707
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 Re:

Ecclesiastes 1:1-2 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

This is why God never intended man to live by his own wisdom and why Christ was slain before the foundation. God never intended man to live without a God nature, which is Christ in the believer. Adam chose a devil nature, "Your father the devil".

God wanted us to have the Person of Christ in us that our nature would be of our Father God. That is why we must be born again.

Revelation 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Revelation 5:12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Just for Gods elect; Ephesians 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

This is why God created man, He wanted children in His house, He wanted to be a Father, there is only One begotten and He is begotten in every son that believes.

Now we are the children of God and wisdom is for all eternity.

1 Corinthians 1:30-31 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Not in mans wisdom but God's wisdom in Christ.

In Christ: Phillip


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Phillip

 2011/4/13 20:55Profile
ginnyrose
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Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7497
Mississippi

 Re:

Amen, Phillip!


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Sandra Miller

 2011/4/13 21:21Profile
ginnyrose
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Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7497
Mississippi

 Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 NASB

Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 NASB

1 I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility.

2 I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?”

3 I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives.

4 I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself;

5 I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees;

6 I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees.

7 I bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem.

8 Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men—many concubines.

9 Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me.

10 All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor.

11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.

COMMENT:

Solomon decided it would test life with pleasure. His rule was that it would please the eye, provide pleasure for the heart and brings satisfaction. What were these things that he did?

1. Laughter. (Comedy?)
2. Wine -to stimulate the body and mind.
3. Built houses.
4. Planted vineyards.
5. Planted gardens and parks.
6. Planted all kinds of fruit trees.
7. Dug irrigation ponds.(large enough to irrigate a forest of trees!!!
8. Had slaves, homeborn slaves.
9. Flocks and herds - larger then any who preceded him.
10. Collected silver and gold.
11. Acquired the treasure of kings (he had a throne overlaid with ivory).
12. Music.
13. Women - many wives and concubines.
14. Wisdom - so great that he even knew he was the greatest.
15. Self-satisfaction in his accomplishments.

In face of all this, he says it is vanity and striving after wind....

OBSERVATION:
To be able to accomplish all this would require a skilled staff of persons to manage it and bring it all to fruition. He must have had a wonderful, capable staff, one willing to work.

Have you ever noticed how so many times people who are so skilled, and accomplished are unhappy? Modern education is promoted to assure its students that if you get this degree or another you will be able to make a lot of money. Once people get more all it does is increases their appetite for more and it is never satisfied so more is acquired and more...thanks to credit cards!

Where do I find my satisfaction? Am I obsessed with the acquisition of things? Do they satisfy in the long run? Solomon says "no."

If works, accomplishments, women, music do not do this, where do I find satisfaction? This is a question one has to deal with daily...


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Sandra Miller

 2011/4/15 11:45Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7497
Mississippi

 "For Myself"

This expression "For myself" occurs six times in these verses. When I noticed it this bothered me..after thinking about it a while I knew why.

The fellowed lived only for himself. What brought him pleasure and delight he got, nothing was denied him. Even in the acquisition of it all his wisdom stayed with him - he always did things rightly and correctly - sounds like a perfectionist.

But.

But he says all is vanity and striving after wind. OOOhhh...But is this not the way life is: when one lives only for his own pleasure, satisfaction with no regard for the welfare of others in the end it leaves one feeling so empty? Unless you have been bribing your friends with gifts, it will distance you from people although in Solomon's case this may not have been the case. (Scripture says God granted him peace with his neighboring kingdoms.)

This scripture reminds me of a motto many displayed on their walls when I was a child: "Only one life 'twill soon be past. Only what is done for Jesus will last."


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Sandra Miller

 2011/4/16 10:29Profile





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