A different angle, part five

The Ecclesiastes train finally rolls into the station today with a look at several final verses. The first verse I want to look at is similar to one we touched upon last week.

Ecclesiastes 9:1  But all this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God. Whether it is love or hate, man does not know; both are before him. 

As I studied this verse the only thing I wrote in my notebook was “come what may”. This is a fascinating concept that I don’t think gets taught on often enough, just this idea that even for those who are with God it’s still a tossup between if we’re going to be walking into good or bad each day. Both are before him, the verse says. So often we just think that when we’re walking with God it means we’re going to be showered with love and favor and money everywhere we go. I think reminders like this one are so important, reminders that often those who walk the path of Jesus walk it straight into condemnation, straight into trouble, straight into danger, straight into tough situations. We need to toughen up and also learn to recognize that trouble doesn’t equal the loss of God’s favor, maybe it’s the confirmation of His favor. Instead of praying “Lord, I’m sorry for whatever I did to get myself into such a tough situation” maybe we need to pray “Lord, thank you for trusting in me enough to bring me into a tough situation, please show me where I’m needed in this place.”

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I’m gonna swap to the Amplified Bible translation for this next verse.

Ecclesiastes 10:4 If the temper of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your post [showing resistance], because composure and calmness prevent great offenses.

Don’t you just love wisdom? There’s something about good, true, deep, Godly wisdom that just shines in a unique way. Composure and calmness prevent great offenses. Simple, yet so absolutely true. If you think back to some of the worst fights and arguments you’ve ever witnessed or been a part of I bet you can count on zero fingers how many people involved in those confrontations kept their composure and remained calm. The fact is, when someone can stay calm and composed in these situations, they rarely actually escalate. But when someone comes at you in anger, an angry response is practically automatic. It feels like instinct. This is one of those verses that I think is worth really meditating on and praying about. God, please instill this ability to remain composed and calm in all of us!

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As I close out this look at the book of Ecclesiastes there’s one last section of verses that I wanted to look at. It’s probably my favorite thing I read in the entire book. We’re back in the ESV translation here.

Ecclesiastes 11:4-6 He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. 5 As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. 6 In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.

Man, I just love this book of the Bible. This section starts out with a great observation. Those who spend all of their time waiting on the exact perfect conditions are never going to end up sowing any seeds for the kingdom of God. That’s just my life right there on the page. When I started forcing the issue a little bit, when I started just putting myself out there for God, amazing stuff started happening. I stopped waiting for the perfect conditions and just got to work, and I’ve had the amazing blessing of getting to see God do some really incredible stuff because of that.

Then comes the next piece of just incredible wisdom here. Sow seed in the morning AND in the evening, for you do not know which will prosper. Do I work for God on a part time basis? Are my “servant of God” hours only from 7 am to 9 am? Well, who’s to say that God might not need me at 11 pm that same day? This verse really acts as a great encouragement to stay active and to approach every day in the knowledge that we are to be doing God’s work continuously.

PRAYER AND CLOSING

Father God, thank you so much for this book of the Bible.  I was incredibly blessed by this unique part of your word.  I ask right now that you just seal this wisdom that we’ve been studying in our hearts and in our minds.  Please don’t let this be something good we read one day and forgot the next, help us hold onto this wisdom and put it to work in our lives.  Thank you for loving us so much, Lord, and thank you for all that you’re doing in our lives.  In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Gotta run so not much time to sign off today.  I love you guys, and I love studying the Bible on this blog.  I really hope that reading along with me as I dig into the word of God helps you and means something to you, I know it sure helps me and means a ton to me.  I find that any time you spend reading, studying, or talking about the Bible is time well spent.

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