Ecclesiastes 7-8

Ecclesiastes 7-8

Chapter 7: Wisdom Goeth Life

In short… enjoy what you have while you can, but realize that adversity and hard times can strike at any moment. Because of this, life is short. Death is inevitable. We shouldn’t ignore it because it makes sense to plan ahead to experience God’s mercy rather than his justice. People who are too righteous and too wise are blind to their own faults. There will always be things that we don’t understand. Thinking that you have attained enough wisdom is a sure sign that you haven’t.

“Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.” (Ecclesiastes 7:3)

                Sorrow can also bring some of the best knowledge, because by experience we learn.

                “For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.” (Ecclesiastes 7:12)

                You can have defence with money, but only with knowledge and wisdom can you have lasting defence from your enemies.

                “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20)

                We all sin. Simple as that, don’t think you are better than others. It is like the phrase; ‘everyone sins differently’ so don’t go judging people.

                “I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness.” (Ecclesiastes 7:25)

                We need to ACTIVELY search to know the truth, don’t think you know everything. Always be open to learn. A wise man of 70 years old can still learn from a toddler, if that man wants to learn.

Chapter 8: None Have Power over Death

True wisdom comes from knowing and trusting God, not merely the way to find him. Knowing God will lead to understanding and then to sharing that knowledge with others. Even in a man could have all of the world’s wisdom, he would still know very little. No one can fully comprehend God.

“There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death; and there is no discharge in that war…” (Ecclesiastes 8:8)

If you ever think you are invincible or special, realize that we are nothing to God. We have no power over death; if it is our time… we will die.

“When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth: (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:) Then I beheld the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; thou a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.” (Ecclesiastes 8:16-17)

                God is always working, day and night! Those who seek to know God’s work will never be able to fully understand His work, and those who claim to know His work are fools.

Ecclesiastes 1-2

Ecclesiastes 1-2

Chapter 1: Increase Knowledge = Increase in Sorrow

Solomon looked back over all the wealth he had, his accomplishments, and his possessions. And to him it all seemed meaningless. Even though he had everything, he was still unfulfilled and dissatisfied. He believed that serving God was the most important option. In this chapter, he separates wisdom into two categories:

  1. Human knowledge, reasoning, or philosophy
  2. The wisdom that can only come from God.

                “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth forever.” (Ecclesiastes 1:4)

                The Earth and the Kingdom of God will always stand! The Earth will go through generations of people and will always stand. This is the cycle of the Earth.

                “There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be a remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.” (Ecclesiastes 1:11)

                This is very interesting and something I believe to be a fairly unique LDS doctrine. We believe in the Plan of Salvation and part of that plan meant we came from a pre-mortal world (pre-earth life). In this preexistence we were taught all of the things of the Gospel and this very Plan was laid out before us and those of us who have been born, or will be born ACCEPTED this plan. However, in order to be successful in this life and truly have agency we had to have our memory of the pre-existence wiped away. This memory is there, but is covered up be a “veil” which at times can be thin. This is the reason we have “psychics”.

                “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” (Ecclesiastes 1:18)

                This has always been a favorite scripture of mine. Partly because I LOVE studying the scriptures, and in this verse it makes it clear… the more knowledge you have the more sorrow you will also have. I know this sound odd, but it makes total sense! If you have no knowledge of anything, you are innocent. You are in a childlike state, perhaps you are mentally handicapped? OR have some other form of disability that limits your mental capacity. Think about this for a moment… have you ever met a mentally handicapped person that was always SAD? Hardly ever, it is extremely rare. Because they don’t have to worry about the things that cause everyone else so much pain, anger or fear. The more knowledge you have the higher probability of being sad for the world and its current state.

                If you never read the scriptures and never know God you can’t be judged for the things you do. But if you have a knowledge of Good and Evil and commit EVIL, knowing that it is wrong, you will be judged for that.

Chapter 2: God Gives Wisdom and Knowledge

                Solomon conducted his search for life’s meaning as an experiment. The first thing he tried to satisfy himself with was pleasure. He bought more slaves, herds, and flocks. He acquired gold, silver and peculiar treasure of kings. He surrounded himself with jesters, singers, and many beautiful women. This still did not satisfy him. He referred to it as “…vanity [excessive pride] and vexation [something that provokes irritability or anxiety] of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 2:11) In other versions of the Bible he describes it as “…a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 2:11 – NIV) We can feel it when it passes but we can’t grasp it or keep hold of it. He believed that we must not base ourselves on the pursuit of happiness, but on the solid foundation of God. He said this because our accomplishments, wealth, and materials mean nothing after death. He explains this:

 “… 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. And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool?” (Ecclesiastes 2:19-19) How much wealth in the world has been earned through hard working parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. Who, when they die, pass it on to their children and the children abuse or misuse the money? I think it happens often and in my personal opinion that is why there is so much entitlement in the world today. People do not know how to work with their hands anymore.

Solomon leaves us with one last piece of advice in this chapter; “… he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour…” (Ecclesiastes 2:24) This should be something we all remember, we must do something that we enjoy. It is like that saying; if you do something you love… you will never work a day in your life. Go find something you enjoy and then have pride in your work!

 

Proverbs 1-2

Proverbs 1-2

Chapter 1: The Fear of the Lord is Knowledge

Proverbs was written mainly by Solomon, the wisest king ever to rule, however some of the later sections are written by Lemuel and Agur. It was written during Solomon’s reign 970-930 B.C. Solomon asked God for wisdom to rule God’s nation and He granted the request. The main purpose of this book is to teach wisdom to God’s people.

The first chapter of this book explains that a foolish man will not listen, while a wise man will.

 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7)

Solomon tells the reader (or his people) “…if sinners entice thee sonsent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us…lurk privily for the innocent without cause… walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path.” (Proverbs 1:10-11, 15) Often times we can have peer pressure or the tempations of Satan. But here we learn a simple truth, DON’T follow in the path of those who want to do evil. WALK AWAY! Those who choose to walk in their own knowledge will not have the safety and protection of the Lord.

Chapter 2: The Lord Gives Wisdom

“My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2:1-6)

                The Lord gives wisdom, knowledge and understanding. It is up to US to accept or reject this gift from God. If we do, we will be blessed for it.

Joshua 15-16

Joshua 15-16

Chapter 15: Judah Gives Inheritance

Judah gives inheritance in Canaan. Jebusites dwell with Judah at Jerusalem. This chapter goes into the detail of the land given to the tribe of Judah, except the land of Hebron which was only given to Caleb.

Joshua 15:13-19 – outlines a story about Caleb when he was conquering the land, he came to Kiriath Sepher and promised his daughter’s (Acsah) hand in marriage to anyone who could attack and capture it. Othniel was able to do it and he received Caleb’s daughter’s hand in marriage. Othniel or Acsah later asked Caleb for more land (an additional field) where they could have additional springs of water, so Caleb gave it to them.

In verse 15:63– tells us that men of the tribe of Judah were unable to remove the Jebusites who lived in Jerusalem.

Chapter 16: Children of Joseph

Children of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh receive their inheritance some Canaanites continue to dwell among Ephraimites.