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 15-16

Proverbs 15-16

Chapter 15: Be Wise

“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)

                                When someone is upset, or angry the only way to calm them down would be to speak softly to them. If someone is mad and you respond by raising your voice and do exactly what the person who is angry is doing… you are just inviting more anger to come in. Speak softly and resolve problems with calmness.

                “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3)

                No matter what we do, the Lord always knows what we are doing and we will be judged according to what we do, even in secret.

                “The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge; but the mouth of the fools feedeth on foolishness” (Proverbs 15:14)

                Fools will only burn hotter with lies and stupidity when they are fueled (fooled?) by other fools.

                “A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.” (Proverbs 15:20)

                Make your parents proud.

                “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.” (Proverbs 15:33)

                If we follow the commandments with humility, and fear the Lord we will be better off.

Chapter 16: Wisdom is Better than Gold

“The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:1)

                For Example: If we do our part and put our full heart and mind into studying/preparing for a test or a big interview the Lord will help us with the right answers/words.

“When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7)

                If we do the will of the Lord, then we do not have to fear our enemies.

                “It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.” (Proverbs 16:12)

                Public figures (i.e. presidents, governors, senators, etc.) will be punished more than someone who has not been given that great responsibility.

                “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!” (Proverbs 16:16)

                Knowledge is always more valuable than material things.

                “The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and healeth the bones.” (Proverbs 16:23-24)

                Those who are wise train their mouth with appropriate words. Those who are foolish and unwise will say vain things (swearing).

 

Proverbs 3-4

Proverbs 3-4

Chapter 3: Trust in the Lord… Not your own Wisdom

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Do not be wise in your own eyes. We need to trust the Lord and not our own understanding of things. How much do we really know? Everyone claims to know everything, yet we still fight over questions like the meaning of life. While those who don’t believe or trust in God are fighting over those questions… those who do believe in God and trust in him already have answers to those questions.

“For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” (Proverbs 3:12)

This is like the “Don’t touch the stove, or it’ll burn you” A parent loves their children, unfortunately sometimes the children must learn for themselves… they touch the stove even though they were warned not too… and now they are hurting. God is the same way, he lays out commandments and then when people break them they cry out in pain. For example, God commands that we get married and refrain from pre-marital sex, then people decide not to follow this commandment and we are now left with teen mothers, single mothers, broken families and sexually transmitted diseases.

Chapter 4: Wisdom

“Get wisdom, get understanding; forget it not; neither let it decline…” (Proverbs 4:5)

                “Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7)

As a father would instruct his kids, get as much knowledge as possible! Education is so important, life skills, experiences all these things that cannot be given to us… but they are the only thing that can be taken with us in the next life.

“Take fast hold of instruction… Enter not into the path of the wicked…Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it…the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day… Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:13-23)

                We need to take instruction when needed, listen to advice and respect those who go out of their way to give it to us. Don’t go down the path of the wicked, but follow the path that shines more and more daily. If we keep our heart clean, then we will know what is right and wrong.

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.

Psalms 111-112

Psalms 111-112

Chapter 111: Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom

The Lord is gracious and full of compassion. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” (Psalms 111:10). Honestly if we want to learn and have knowledge given to us from our Heavenly Father, we must fear Him. Not the same fear and being scared of someone, but afar of disappointing Him and knowing of how He would be disappointed in us.

Chapter 112: Blessed are them who fear the Lord

Again, we are reminded that those who fear the Lord are the ones who are blessed. Those who do wickedness, without repenting will be forever remembered by the Lord for what they have done.

Job 28-29

Job 28-29

Chapter 28: Wisdom Can Not be bought

Job gives a  little discourse on Wisdom…. Job asks; “…where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?” (Job 28:12)

Job tells us that Wisdom cannot be purchased with the vein things of the world. He says that; gold, silver, sapphires, gold of Ophir, coral, pearls, and topaz of Ethiopia cannot buy wisdom or knowledge.

He reminds his friends (and the reader) that “God understandeth the way thereof, and knoweth the place thereof” (Job 28:23), with God you can find Wisdom.

“…Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28)

                If we refrain from evil, we will have understanding. If we fear the Lord (by following His commandments) we can find Wisdom.

Chapter 29: Job and His Former Prosperity

Job continues his discourse by telling his friends and the reader about his former days…

“Oh that I were as in months past, as in the ways when God preserved me; When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness” (Job 29:2-3)

It is clear that Job was longing for his old days, the days that were filled with joy instead of pain and suffering. He mentions that he lived a life of prosperity and greatness. Because of his many blessings, he reached out to those who were not so blessed…

“…I delivered the poor that cried…” (Job 29:12)

                “…I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.” (Job 29:13)

                “I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame” (Job 29:15)

Job reached out to his fellow man and helped those who could not help themselves, and lent a hand of help, love and service to those who were overwhelmed or tired.

Job even served justice when needed; “…I break the jaws of the wicked, and pluck the spoil out of his teeth.” (Job 29:17)

This to me says that violence, on occasion is OK. After all we can learn that EVEN Jesus had to cause a little disturbance at times… “And Jesus went into the temple of God… and overthrew the tables of the money-changers…” (Matthew 21:12)

2 Chronicles 1-2

2 Chronicles 1-2

Chapter 1: Solomon Chooses Wisdom

Solomon was strengthened in his kingdom and the Lord magnified him exceedingly. Solomon gathers up all the captains, princes and governors of Israel to go with him to a place at Gibeon, which was a tabernacle of the congregation that Moses had built in the wilderness. The ark of God was brought up to Kirjath-jearim and the brazen altar was brought before the tabernacle, and there Solomon offered a thousand sand burn offerings upon it.

God comes to Solomon and asks him to ask Him for anything. Solomon asks God for wisdom and knowledge so he can better judge and lead the Lord’s people. God was very pleased with Solomon asking for knowledge and wisdom over riches and fame, and tells Solomon that his wish is granted and because he had asked for only knowledge and wisdom, he would also give him riches. So Solomon is given much wisdom, knowledge and riches!

Chapter 2: Solomon Builds a Temple

Solomon begins to organize his labor force to build the temple. He gets men to get stone in the mountain, and men to oversee their work. He also contacts Huram in Tyre to get cedars to build the temple. Huram also supplies him with men to work in gold, silver, brass and iron. In trade, Solomon agrees to provide Hurman with his servants, if he lends some of his servants back.

1 Kings 3-4

1 Kings 3-4

Chapter 3: Solomon’s Judgment

                Solomon takes one of the Pharaoh’s daughters as his wife. We learn that before the time of Solomon there were no standing temples. The Israelites would go to high places to do their sacrifices or in portable tent temples.

                Solomon is visited by the Lord who tells him that he will be blessed if he continues to follow the commandments. Solomon asks for a wise and understanding heart and this pleases the Lord because he did not ask for riches or a long life. So the Lord blesses him with a wise and understanding heart and because he didn’t ask for them he gave him riches as well.

                The rest of the chapter talks about 2 women who come before him and his judgment. Both women were living in the same house and gave birth within days from each other. One night however one of the women rolled over onto her baby, killing the child. So she switched the dead baby for the living baby of the other woman. The next morning the baby who had the living baby finds a dead baby and accuses the other woman for switching out the babies. Solomon decides to cut the baby in half and give them both halves. But the woman who was the real mother of the living baby told Solomon to just give the child to the other woman, whereas the mother of the dead baby tells Solomon that he should cut the baby in half. Well Solomon figures out that the woman who wants to spare the child, must be the actual mother and gives her the child instead.

Chapter 4: Solomon Reigns with Wisdom

  • Solomon was king over all of Israel.
  • There were 3 princes; Azariah, Elihoreph and Ahiah.
  • Scribe; Jehoshaphat.
  • Benaiah was over the host and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests.
  • Azariah was over the officers.
  • Zadub was the principal officer.
  • Ahishar was over the household.
  • Adoniram was over the tribute.

Solomon had 12 officers over each tribe of Israel; the son of Hur, the son of Dekar, the son of Abinadab, the son of Hesed, the son of Ahilud, the son of Geber, the son of Manasseh, the son of Iddo, Ahimaaz, Baanah, Jehoshaphat,Shimei.

               

Solomon reigned over his entire kingdom with peace and prosperity, his wisdom and understanding exceeded that of all men. People came from all nations around to hear the wisdom of King Solomon.