Thursday, September 5, 2013

Eccl. 9:7-18

v. 7-18 "Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do.  Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil.  Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun-all your meaningless days.  For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.  Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

I have seen something else under the sun:

The race is not to the swift
or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
or wealth to the brilliant
or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.

Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come:

As fish are caught in a cruel net,
or birds are taken in a snare,
so men are trapped by evil times
that fall unexpectedly upon them.

I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom that greatly impressed me: There was once a small city with only a few people in it.  And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siegeworks against it.  Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom.  But nobody remembered that poor man.  So I said, 'Wisdom is better than strength.'  But the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.

The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded
than the shouts of a ruler of fools.

Wisdom is better than weapons of war,
but one sinner destroys much good."

When you are clothed in white, you are set apart, holy.  We are not to go through life as if we were covered in fifthly rags, utterly destitute in spirit.  During the grieving process the Jewish people would tear their clothes and put ash on their forehead.  After a time of mourning they cleaned themselves up.  Putting oil on was a sign that mourning has ended.  When we become born again we are clothed in His beauty and we are new creatures.  Wearing white and having oil on your head are signs of being joyful and being able to celebrate life. 

Since the divorce rate is so high it would be fair to say many people are not heeding this advice to enjoy their spouse.  Do not depend on your spouse to make you happy.  Their job is to be a partner in life, not to be put in God's place.  God comes first, then family.  The time we have here on earth is short so we should focus on the gifts and tasks God has given us.  We could make such an impact if we quit letting our personal problems get in our way or worrying about what others think. 

If we are caught by evil times then we have a choice to get out of them.  There are too many temptations all around.  We should listen to the wise people around us.  Many elderly people are forgotten about, yet they have valuable wisdom that could help us on our journey.  We also disregard wisdom if we don't think the person appears to be valuable in God's kingdom.  Do not let the outer appearance of someone get in your way of receiving God's wisdom.

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