Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Ecc. 1:12-6:12


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Ecclesiastes Chapter One

(Outline continues from yesterday)

  1. Chapter One concludes with Solomon’s testimonial concerning his human viewpoint efforts, and where it took him—providing the theme for the remainder of the Book (Eccl. 1:12-18).
    1. Rather than guarding his heart (Prov. 4:23), Solomon set his heart to the “exploration” by means of philosophy (Eccl. 1:13a).
    2. Philosophy proves just as ineffective as science, as it grapples with the concept of evil (Eccl. 1:13b), fails to identify any purpose in life (v.14), proves ineffective for human criminal rehabilitation (v.15a), & makes no real provision for the physical needs of man (v.15b).
    3. Solomon’s efforts to find happiness in life apart from God found no solutions in either secular education (Eccl. 1:16), or psychology (Eccl. 1:17).

Ecclesiastes Chapter Two

  1. Solomon’s next effort to find meaning in life apart from God was an experiment in hedonism (Eccl. 2:1-11).
    1. Entertainment cannot replace reality (v.2).
    2. Chemical stimulation cannot replace reality (v.3).
    3. The domestic pursuits of architecture (v.4a), viticulture (v.4b), horticulture (v.5), aquaculture (v.6a), & forestry (v.6b) provided no spiritual meaning (vv.4 6).
    4. The accumulation of wealth provided no happiness (vv.7,8a), and neither did engagement in sexual extravagance (v.8b).
    5. The only reward hedonism offered was the immediate gratification it provided: the passing pleasures of sin (Eccl. 2:9-11 cf. Heb. 11:25).
  2. Solomon even considered that wisdom was better than folly in the short-term, but both were equal in the long-term, so why bother with wisdom? (Eccl. 2:12-17).
  3. Solomon’s conclusion that life was empty produced anger and despair, that his legacy would be left to one who had not labored as he had done (Eccl. 2:18-23).
  4. After these forays into carnality, Solomon came to appreciate the simplicity of the Christian Way of Life (Eccl. 2:24-26).
    1. The Christian Way of Life is a simple life of satisfaction with the Lord’s provision (vv.24-25).
    2. The Lord takes uses the achievements of the wicked to meet the needs of the righteous (v.26; Job 27:16-17; Prov. 13:22).

Ecclesiastes Chapter Three

  1. Divine viewpoint recognizes the Father’s purpose and timing for every activity in God’s plan (Eccl. 3:1-8).
  2. Divine viewpoint recognizes that man’s profit is an eternal profit (Eccl. 3:9-11), and such thinking provides for a spiritual walk in time (Eccl. 3:12-15).
  3. Human viewpoint rejects the eternal judgment, and chooses to view man on a plane with the animals (Eccl. 3:16-22).

Ecclesiastes Chapter Four

  1. Human viewpoint sees the world as a cruel, violent place (Eccl. 4:1-3).
  2. Human viewpoint sees the world as a competitive, ambitious place (Eccl. 4:4-6).
  3. Human viewpoint sees the world as a selfish place (Eccl. 4:7-8).
  4. Human viewpoint sees cooperation only as a means of mutual self-benefit (Eccl. 4:9-12).
  5. Human viewpoint sees value in people, only so long as they remain useful (Eccl. 4:13-16).

Ecclesiastes Chapter Five

  1. Human viewpoint is often quite opinionated when it comes to religion (Eccl. 5:1-7).
    1. Human viewpoint doesn’t guard the heart (Prov. 4:23)—it guards the steps (Eccl. 5:1).
    2. “Draw near to listen” and “let your words be few” (Eccl. 5:1-2) have the appearance of wisdom (Jas. 1:19), but are actually a human viewpoint warning against getting too religious.
      1. Listening is o.k., because you may learn something profitable.
      2. Sacrificing is foolish because you’re wasting your wealth.
    3. God is in heaven, and you’re on earth, so don’t worry about it (Eccl. 5:2b).
    4. Prayers are “answered” as you work hard for your wealth, and frequent prayer is only for the foolish (Eccl. 5:3).
    5. Since you’re accountable for spoken vows, don’t make any vows, and avoid all accountability (Eccl. 5:4-6).
    6. Human viewpoint sees organized religion as empty, and personal “spirituality” as the solution (Eccl. 5:7).
  2. Human viewpoint sees corruption at all levels of human government (Eccl. 5:8), and is willing to tolerate that corruption so long as the nation is advantaged (Eccl. 5:9).
  3. Solomon’s human viewpoint perspective on riches is then detailed (Eccl. 5:10-20).

Ecclesiastes Chapter Six

  1. Human viewpoint resents the application of Divine sovereignty for human happiness (Eccl. 6:1-6).
    1. Happiness in career success (v.2).
    2. Happiness in family blessings (v.3).
    3. Happiness in lifespan (v.6).
  2. Human viewpoint resents the eternal perspective of God (Eccl. 6:7-9).
  3. Human viewpoint resents God’s eternal Sovereignty (Eccl. 6:10-12).