Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ecclesiastes; The Wisdom Found Under Heaven

The book that speaks about vanity, the futile emptiness of trying to be happy apart from Elohim.

In this book, Solomon looks at life "under the sun" (on this earth) and he declares it all to be empty (but determines that even in the vanity of  of our toils, certain things are right).  According to Talmud, the point of Ecclesiastes is to state that all is futile under the Sun, so, for that reason, One should therefore put all one's efforts towards that which is above the Sun (or from Elohim)

Power, popularity, prestige, pleasure--NOTHING can fill  the void in a man's life who lives apart from Elohim.   Solomon explains that life takes on meaning after understanding the purpose we are created for.  He discusses the matter of giving his heart to search and understand "all things that are done under heaven" so that he might understand by wisdom, "this grievous task of life the sons of man had been given by Elohim to be exercised with."  Ecc. 1:13  
Don't we all come to this, at least at some point in our lives when we ask ourselves, "What is the purpose of this life?"  " What am I supposed to be doing in this one life I've been given?"  "What things really matter and what things are lasting?"    Solomon must of thought these same thoughts and he sought to know the answers.  The man who was given more wisdom than any man had ever been given and more wisdom than any man will receive again wanted to understand this "task of life" that we are tried with and in the end, will prove us all.

In a Nutshell 
When I came to this chapter the other day to search, I had to ponder many of the things that Solomon must of encountered in his search for understanding.  He was a man rich beyond measure so time and money were no road block to him in his search for understanding.  He was able to consider, at length, the consequences and benefits of all matters.    He says, "I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, while acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.  Ecc. 2:3
He seeks both wisdom and folly so that he might know what men should put their hearts to do all the days of their lives and here's what I think he says in a nutshell:

He says, "I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards...I got me servants and maidens...I had great possessions...I gathered me also silver and gold...Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness. ...and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all (death, see ch. 9:3).  ...then I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.  ...yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion."  He is explaining how he comes to his final conclusion and he goes on to say, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven...I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. 
  He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. 
  I know that there is no good, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. 
  And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. 
  I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. 
  That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past (He will judge all that has been done). 
There is nothing new under the sun.  Man has two choices, either he will choose to do what is right is the eyes of Elohim or evil.  What has been will occur again in the end of days and at the end of it all, Elohim will judge all the works that have been done "under the sun."

Ecc 4:6  Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit. 
Be content with your portion for today.  (Mark 15:15, Luk 3:14, Phil 4:11, 1 Tim 6:8, Heb. 13:5)

Ecc 5:2  Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. 
Consider your words and use them wisely.  Abba hears and and will judge every idle word.  (Matt 12:36)

Ecc 5:4-5  When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.  
  Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.  
Don't make promises you can't or won't keep.  (Deut. 23:21)

Ecc 5:12  The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep. 

Ecc 5:15  As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand. 

Ecc 5:18  Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. 

Ecc 7:19  Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city. 

Ecc 8:2-6  I counsel thee to keep the king's commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God. 
  Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him. 
  Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou? 
  Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment. 
  Because to every purpose there is time and judgment...

Ecc 9:1  For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God (He shall judge)...9:4 but to him that is joined to all the living there is hope...
Ecc 9:5  For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 
Ecc 9:6  Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. 

The conclusion of the matter
Ecc 9:7-12 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. 
  Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment. 
  Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun. 
  Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. 
  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 favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. 
  For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them. 

Ecc 12:1  Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not...

Ecc 12:13-14  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. 
Ecc 5:18  Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.

Isn't this amazing to consider?  We can rest and be thankful in what has been given, it is a gift from Elohim and where we are is where our work is to be done today.  Do not vex yourself in what is not in your hand to do or attain, give thanks for what you have been given.  This is a real lesson to ponder for me.  I pray I find real peace in this wisdom and I pray all of Elohim's people do the same.

Praise Yah, HalleluYah!!


Moira said...

Traci~ I am sorry it took so long for me to get here to read this. I have been busy busy! End of year testing with my kids!

Great post!!!!This(Ecc 12:13-14)is ONE of my favorite verses~
Shalom shalom,

Moira said...

I love this post and Ecc 12:13-14 is one of my very favorite verses! If only people understood the simplicity of this. I pray all is well with you and your family, have a blessed Sabbath rest!
Shabbat Shalom,

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