Hebr.6-7 Live in Hope

LIVE IN HOPE
Hebrews 6:13-7:28  October 15 2006

A new priesthood was a necessity. The Old
Testament method did not produce holiness. The
priesthood of Jesus was an entirely new order,
coming not from the tribe of Levi but from the
tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5). the genealogies of
Matthew and Luke support this fact as well. The
new priesthood was superior to all other
because of its permanence and Christ’s
character.

1. Hope: Anchored (Heb. 6:18b-20)

Hebr. 6:18b  we who have fled to take hold of the hope
offered to us may be greatly encouraged. 6:19   We have
this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It
enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 6:20
where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our
behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the
order of Melchizedek.

Two things are obvious about this hope. First, it
is based on the absolute trustworthiness of God’s
Word. If god said it, He will do it! Second, we find
this hope by our own action, our own tenacity. Here
hope is an objective reality to be seized and a
subjective reality to be experienced.

2. Hope: Guaranteed (Heb. 7:15-22)

Hebr. 7:15   And what we have said is even more clear if
another priest like Melchizedek appears, 7:16   one who
has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as
to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an
indestructible life. 7:17   For it is declared:     “You are a
priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” 7:18   The
former regulation is set aside because it was weak and
useless 7:19   (for the law made nothing perfect), and a
better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
7:20   And it was not without an oath! Others became
priests without any oath, 7:21   but he became a priest
with an oath when God said to him:     “The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind: You are a priest forever.’ ”
7:22   Because of this oath, Jesus has become the
guarantee of a better covenant.

Once again the quote from Psalm 110:4 is repeated
(Heb 5:6). Jesus used this very psalm to indicate that
it spoke of Him (Matt. 22:41-46). The reason for the
repeat of the quote is found in the words a priest
forever.
The theme of verse 15 is resumed after the brief
interlude (Heb 17:16-17). Verse 18 shows the
weakness of the law; verse 19 describes the new
hope Christ’s priesthood provides.

3. Hope: Secure (Heb. 7:23-28)

Hebr. 7:23   Now there have been many of those priests,
since death prevented them from continuing in office; 7:24
but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent
priesthood. 7:25   Therefore he is able to save completely
those who come to God through him, because he always lives
to intercede for them. 7:26   Such a high priest meets our
need —one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from
sinners, exalted above the heavens. 7:27   Unlike the other
high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after
day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people.
He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered
himself. 7:28   For the law appoints as high priests men who
are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed
the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

There is no need for Jesus to offer sacrifices everyday
– first for Himself and then for the people. He was sinless
and His sacrifice was once for all (Heb. 10:10 as well).
A summary of these last two verses reveals a contrast
between law and sin. The law appointed men who were
weak. By the oath of God after the order of Melchizedek,
we have as High priest the Son, who has been perfected
forever. All of this assures us that we may approach
Him with confidence, knowing that our hope is secure.

Summary:

In Heb.7:1-14 the writer developed the theme of
Christ’s priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. He
previously introduced us to this puzzling person in
Heb. 5:6,10 and 6:20. He focused on the greatness of
Melchizedek, who was superior to Abraham. In the
historical documentation found in Genesis 14:18-20,
nothing was said of Melchizedik’s parentage, ancestry ,
children , birth, or death. He seems to have reigned and
carried on his priestly functions without beginning or
end. The purpose of all this was to lay the foundation or
set the stage for Christ’s superior priesthood later in
the Chapter.

Hebr.4-5 Seek Forgiveness

SEEK FORGIVENESS
Hebrews 4:14-5:10  October 1 2006

The autor presented Jesus’ Priesthood as the
basis of our hope. He had already shown that
Jesus is superior to angels and leaders; here he
showed Jesus as superior to Aaron and the
Levitical priesthood. The law of Moses made
provision for a high priest to mediate between God
and man. The author explained why and how Jesus
is the perfect High Priest.
Our previous lesson gave the context for the author’s
saying there is nothing hidden “from Him to whom
we must give an account” (4:13). Thus he affirmed
that God knows about our sins . Because He knows,
we need to confess them in order to be forgiven. The
question is, “Where do we confess?”

1. Where We confess (Heb. 4:14-16)

Hebr. 4:14   Therefore, since we have a great high priest
who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God,
let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 4:15   For we
do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize
with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been
tempted in every way, just as we are —yet was without
sin. 4:16   Let us then approach the throne of grace with
confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace
to help us in our time of need.

Three statements about Christ, our High Priest, are
made in these verse. First , He is great, not only in
character but in His work. This delineates Him from
all other priests. No doubt some claimed Christianity
had no priest like Aaron.
Second, out Lord has passed through the heavens.
Third, our High Priest is name Jesus the Son of God.

2. Why We Confess (Heb. 5:1-6)

Hebr. 5:1   Every high priest is selected from among men
and is appointed to represent them in matters related to
God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 5:2   He is able
to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going
astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 5:3   This
is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well
as for the sins of the people.  5:4   No one takes this honor
upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was.
5:5   So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of
becoming a high priest. But God said to him,     “You are my
Son; today I have become your Father. ”  5:6   And he says
in another place,     “You are a priest forever, in the order
of Melchizedek.”

All of this means that Jesus Christ, like Jewish high
priests, was called by God and is a High Priest in
Melchizedek’s order. Unlike them, Jesus was sinless.
Thus , Jesus had no need to offer sacrifices for His
sins. However, we must confess our sins because, like
the Jewish high priests and all other human being ,
we sin.

What is the order of Melchizedek ? Look at
Gen.14:18-20 , Psalm 110:4 and Heb. 7:4-10.

3. Why We Can Confess (Heb. 5:7-10)

Hebr. 5:7   During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he
offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears
to the one who could save him from death, and he was
heard because of his reverent submission. 5:8   Although
he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered
5:9   and, once made perfect, he became the source of
eternal salvation for all who obey him 5:10   and was
designated by God to be high priest in the order of
Melchizedek.

This closes with the announcement that God has
declared Jesus a High priest in a new order , “the
order of Melchizedek.”
Jesus was not one among other priests; He is the
final Priest. Jesus was not one among many sacrifices;
He is the final Sacrifice. Jesus was not self-appointed;
He is God-appointed.

Summary:

The subject of the priesthood is not just ancient
history or dry doctrine. We need a priest who made
sacrifice for our sins and who stands at the right hand of
the Father to intercede for us . We need a priest who
knows our weaknesses and forgives in mercy and grace
when we confess our sins. Jesus is the only One so
empowered.

Hebr. 3-4 Be Obedient

BE OBEDIENT
Hebrews 3:16-4-13 September 24 2005

This lesson teaches us the high price of
disobedience. The real tragedy, however, is the
missed blessing and missed opportunities. Make
a vow right now to be obedient, as much as is
humanly possible, to God’s direction in your life.
God has promised to bless you for it!

1. Obedience Or Rebellion (Heb. 3:16-19)

Hebr. 3:16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were
they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 3:17 And with
whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those
who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 3:18 And to
whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest
if not to those who disobeyed ? 3:19 So we see that they
were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

God was “provoked for forty years.” The result of this
sin was that the bodies of these rebellious people fell
in the desert. Here the problem is clearly nailed down
because it was those that sinned who died. The root
cause of the rebellion and provocation was sin in the
people’s lives.
We must understand that failing to enter God’s rest is
directly related to disobedience on our part. Conversely,
we must be very careful to obey God’s Word and will if
we expect to receive His blessings.

2. Obedience and Urgency (Heb. 4:1-7)

Hebr. 4:1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest
still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to
have fallen short of it. 4:2 For we also have had the gospel
preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard
was of no value to them, because those who heard did not
combine it with faith. 4:3 Now we who have believed enter
that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in
my anger, They shall never enter my rest.’ ” And yet his work
has been finished since the creation of the world. 4:4 For
somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these
words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.”
4:5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall
never enter my rest.” 4:6 It still remains that some will
enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel
preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience.
4:7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today,
when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said
before: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your
hearts.”

We dare not harden our hearts and miss the opportunity
to experience this rest. the honest realization that fear
of failure and / or deliberate disobedience is a
possibility for us as well as the ancient Hebrew people
should point us toward an obedient lifestyle. Recognizing
that the blessing of rest can be ours today is an incentive
for us to claim this promise as we obey God’s leadership.

3. Obedience and Diligence (Heb. 4:9-13)

Hebr. 4:9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the
people of God; 4:10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also
rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 4:11
Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so
that no one will fall by following their example of
disobedience. 4:12 For the word of God is living and active.
Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to
dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the
thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 4:13 Nothing in all
creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered
and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give
account.

Let us them make every effort is a renewed exhortation.
Why so many? The author knew (he included himself in
term us) that we are inclined to lapse into disobedience.
Why? Doing so requires little effort. We must work at
obedience; it demands persistent effort. We dare not be
guilty of the same pattern of disobedience the early
Israelites displayed.
The statement no creature is hidden from Him tells us
that hiding from God is futile. No one can hide his face
from the eyes of God. We will face God in our time of
accountability.

Summary:

We can too easily speak of others who are not
obedient to God and ignore our own wrongdoings. Jesus
cautioned us about this when He asked :”why do you look
at the speck in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the
log in your own eye?”(Matt. 7:3. How many of us are
obeying the revelation God has given us?

Hebr.3 Remain True

REMAIN TRUE

Hebrews 3:1-15 September 17 2006

Hebrews 3 contains both a comparison and a
contrast of Jesus and Moses. This would be of
great interest to Jewish Christians who held
Moses in very high esteem. In spite of his great
accomplishments, Moses never achieved what
Jesus accomplished.

1. Remember (Heb. 3:1-6)

Hebr. 3:1   Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the
heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the
apostle and high priest whom we confess. 3:2   He was
faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses
was faithful in all God’s house. 3:3   Jesus has been
found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the
builder of a house has greater honor than the house
itself. 3:4   For every house is built by someone, but
God is the builder of everything. 3:5   Moses was
faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to
what would be said in the future. 3:6   But Christ is
faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house,
if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we
boast.

This introduces God as the One who built everything.
Everything may refer to material creation as well as
the church. God’s role is exalted to lift up the
greatness of the glory of Jesus.

Another argument to show the superiority of Jesus
over Moses involved a son and a servant. Moses was
faithful as a servant, but Christ was faithful as a Son.
The total argument magnifies the greatness of Jesus
without belittling Moses.

Following is a simple chart that will help compare
Moses and Jesus related to author’s discussion of the
“house”:

MOSES                JESUS

Anticipated the house        Architect of the house
Knew God personally        Was God permanently
Servant in the house        Son over the house

2. Reject (Heb. 3:7-11)

Hebr. 3:7   So, as the Holy Spirit says:     “Today, if you
hear his voice, 3:8   do not harden your hearts as you did
in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert,
3:9   where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty
years saw what I did. 3:10   That is why I was angry with
that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going
astray, and they have not known my ways.’ 3:11   So I
declared on oath in my anger, They shall never enter my
rest.’ ”

Here is a stern note of warning . Do not harden  your
hearts is a description of Israel’s disobedience and a
reminder against any fixed attitude of disobedience
against god. As in the rebellion occurs only here and
in verse 15  in the new testament. This rebellion began
in the wilderness wandering – on the day of testing in
the desert. Such incidents are recorded in
(Exodus 15:22-25;17:1-7).

Ignorance of God’s ways always leads to straying away
from them. We harden ourselves to God’s voice and , in a
somewhat sinister way, become impervious to His ways,
not because we do not know what god is saying but
because we refuse to hear and heed what He says.

Following this account of the Israelites’ failure, the
writer turned to encouragement and appeals to the
Hebrew Christians to serve God faithfully, to persevere,
and to be open God’s leadership.

3. Rededicate (Heb. 3:12-15)

Hebr. 3:12   See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful,
unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 3:13
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today,
so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
3:14   We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till
the end the confidence we had at first.  3:15   As has just
been said:     “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your
hearts as you did in the rebellion.”

Watch out , brothers, is an exhortation to be continually
alert that you do not fall into the same trap the Israelites
did. The writer tempered the warning a bit with the word
brothers, indicating they were still in the same family. An
evil , unbelieving heart sums up the state of mind of the
ancient Israelites. This condition leads people to depart
from the living God.

(Departs from means to “stand off from”.)

Summary:

Once again – the writer never suggested that Christians
can lose their salvation. what he did say is that continuance
in the faith is proof that the faith is real. The bleached bones
of some of the Israelites were ignoble monuments to hardened
hearts. Before you say , “This will never happen to me,” You
need to hear again, “Today, if you hear His voice , do not harden
your hearts as in the rebellion.”

Hebr.2 Have Faith

HAVE FAITH
Hebrews 2:5-18  September 10 2006

Up to this point, the author of Hebrews had
declared the Son’s superiority over angels.
Now he proceeded to show us how the Son
identified Himself with human beings.
Essentially all , the Son of God became human
so that through our faith in Him , we might
become the children of God.

1. Where We Are (Heb. 2:5-8)

Hebr. 2:5   It is not to angels that he has subjected
the world to come, about which we are speaking.
2:6   But there is a place where someone has
testified:     “What is man that you are mindful of
him, the son of man that you care for him?  2:7
You made him a little lower than the angels; you
crowned him with glory and honor2:8   and put
everything under his feet.” In putting everything
under him, God left nothing that is not subject to
him. Yet at present we do not see everything
subject to him.

But one has somewhere testified may indicate
the writer has forgotten the reference, but it
probably implies that the precise reference is
unimportant. What is clear is that the writer
placed great importance to the words
of Scripture. The use of (Psalm 8:4-6) is
interesting . This same Psalm is cited by Jesus
(Matt.21:16) and Paul (1 Cor. 15:27). both in ways
that point to Jesus Himself.
In lofty words the writer proceeded to present
hope for the human race due to God’s intervention
in the person of Jesus Christ. What we could not
achieve through ourselves, we can achieve
through Christ. In order for this to take place ,
we must repent of our sins and believe in the
Lord Jesus.

2. Who Can Help? (Heb. 2:9-13)

Hebr. 2:9   But we see Jesus, who was made a little
lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and
honor because he suffered death, so that by the
grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
2:10   In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting
that God, for whom and through whom everything
exists, should make the author of their salvation
perfect through suffering. 2:11   Both the one who
makes men holy and those who are made holy are of
the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call
them brothers. 2:12   He says,     “I will declare your
name to my brothers; in the presence of the
congregation I will sing your praises.” 2:13   And
again,     “I will put my trust in him.” And again he
says,     “Here am I, and the children God has given
me.”

Our Lord is not ashamed to acknowledge us as
family. We are brothers and sisters in Christ.
Paul used a similar idea in pointing out that
believers were joint-heirs with Christ (Rom.
8:29). Jesus said He would be ashamed of those
who were ashamed of him (Mark 8:38). Here is
the contrast between the destiny of believers
and nonbelievers.  Shame and glory are mutually
exclusive! Our Lord will help us grow in
holiness. The writer of Hebrews admonished
Christians to grow in Holiness and to be about
the Fathers’ business.

3. What We Need (Heb. 2:14-18)

Hebr. 2:14   Since the children have flesh and blood,
he too shared in their humanity so that by his death
he might destroy him who holds the power of death —
that is, the devil —  2:15   and free those who all their
lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 2:16
For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s
descendants. 2:17   For this reason he had to be made
like his brothers in every way, in order that he might
become a merciful and faithful high priest in service
to God, and that he might make atonement for the
sins of the people. 2:18   Because he himself suffered
when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are
being tempted.

In the terminology of Hebrews, salvation is more
than release from the power of sin; itis also
deliverance from the bondage of Satan. As Paul
said, Christ removed the sting of death
(1 Cor.15:45-57). Beyond physical death lies the
assurance of eternal life for all who believe in
Jesus Christ as Savior.

Summary:

We need to be free from the power of Satan
and our sins. Jesus made this freedom possible.
However, only those who know this and accept
what He did on their behalf can benefit from it.
God wants everyone to place their faith in Christ,
to receive this salvation and forgiveness.
If you are a Christian, you should be telling
other how to go about placing their faith in Christ
so they, too, can know this forgiveness.

Hebr.1-2 Pay Attention

PAY ATTENTION
Hebrews 1:1-2:4   September 3 2006

What God said Through the prophets was
extremely important; however, what God
said through His Son was climatic, definitive,
superlative, and final. The Sonship of Christ,
His role, and His authority all combine to show
that He is superior to the angels.

1. Listen Up! (Heb. 1:1-3)

Hebr. 1:1   In the past God spoke to our forefathers
through the prophets at many times and in various
ways, 1:2   but in these last days he has spoken to
us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things,
and through whom he made the universe. 1:3   The
Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact
representation of his being, sustaining all things by
his powerful word. After he had provided purification
for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty
in heaven.

The first two statements are found at the end of
verse 2. Christ is the One whom God appointed heir
of all things and the One through whom He made
the universe. Appointed is a timeless form of the
verb “to place,” meaning there was never a time our
Lord was not heir of everything. He is the rightful
owner of all thing (Ps.2:8).
He is the One through whom the entire universe of
time and space was created. Literally, every single
thing in this universe came into being through Him
(John1:1-3;Col.1:15-18). From the minute atom to
the vast sweep of the solar system, He created it.

2. Look Up! (Heb. 1:4-8,14)

Hebr. 1:4   So he became as much superior to the angels
as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. 1:5
For to which of the angels did God ever say,     “You are
my Son; today I have become your Father ” ? Or again,
“I will be his Father, and he will be my Son” ? 1:6
And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world,
he says,     “Let all God’s angels worship him.” 1:7   In
speaking of the angels he says,     “He makes his angels
winds, his servants flames of fire.” 1:8   But about the
Son he says,     “Your throne, O God, will last for ever
and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your
kingdom. 1:14   Are not all angels ministering spirits
sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

The writer next used a series of Old Testament texts
to further prove that the Lord is superior to angels.
Jesus is superior to angels and to us in relationship to
the Father: You are My Son; today I have become your
Father. Literally, this verse’s meaning is “today I have
begotten you,” a quote from  Ps. 2:7 – a messianic
psalm quoted at Jesus baptism (Matt. 3:17; Mark 1:11;
Luke 3:22).

3. Look Out ! (Heb. 2:1-4)

Hebr. 2:1   We must pay more careful attention, therefore,
to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2:2
For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and
every violation and disobedience received its just
punishment, 2:3   how shall we escape if we ignore such
a great salvation? This salvation, which was first
announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who
heard him. 2:4   God also testified to it by signs, wonders
and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit
distributed according to his will.

Those who deliberately disobey God’s law face death
(Lev. 15:30). Note that those who are guilty are not
cut off from god, but are cut off from their own people
by death. They are not lost from God but are cut off
from the “rest” promised them.
Christians today cannot lose their salvation; however,
they can and will lose earthly blessings and heavenly
rewards by letting opportunities for growth drift away.

Summary:

In the first verses of Hebrew , the author showed
Jesus to be superior to all of God’s human messengers.
Here he depicted Jesus as above God’s spiritual
messengers, the angels.
Today many think of angels only in a decorative
sense-part of nativity scenes, Christmas motifs, or
figurines in a glass case. Other, even some Christians,
seem to worship angels. These verses remind us to
pay supreme allegiance to the Son, for He is superior
to angels in name, rank, and relationship.

Eccl. 11-12 Bottom Line

WHAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE?
Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:4    August 20 2006

Solomon advised people to enjoy every minute if
being young. Young people should live their lives
within the boundaries of God’s revealed will
because they will one day give an account to God
for everything they have done.
Regardless of our age, we should continuously seek to learn and to apply the truths of God’s Word. Solomon concluded Ecclesiastes with sober advice – “fear god and keep His commands” and live each day with the knowledge that God “will bring every act to judgment.”

1. Recognize God-Given Boundaries (Eccl. 11:9-10)

Eccl. 11:9   Rejoice, young man, while you are young, and
let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Follow
the inclination of your heart and the desire of your eyes,
but know that for all these things God will bring you into
judgment. 11:10   Banish anxiety from your mind, and put
away pain from your body; for youth and the dawn of life
are vanity.

2. Remember God Every Day (Eccl. 12:1-5)

Eccl. 12:1   Remember your creator in the days of your
youth, before the days of trouble come, and the years
draw near when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”;
12:2   before the sun and the light and the moon and the
stars are darkened and the clouds return with the rain; 12:3
in the day when the guards of the house tremble, and the
strong men are bent, and the women who grind cease working
because they are few, and those who look through the
windows see dimly; 12:4   when the doors on the street are
shut, and the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up
at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are
brought low; 12:5   when one is afraid of heights, and terrors
are in the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper
drags itself along and desire fails; because all must go to
their eternal home, and the mourners will go about the
streets;

3. Revere and Obey God (Eccl. 12:13-14)

Eccl. 12:13   The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear
God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty
of everyone. 12:14   For God will bring every deed into
judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Summary:

Eccl.9-11 Uncertainties

HOW CAN I HANDLE LIFE’S UNCERTAINTIES?
Ecclesiastes 9:1-11:6          August 13 2006

Death is inevitable for the righteous and the wicked .
How ever, the reality of death should not overshadow
the enjoyments of life. God wants us to enjoy feasts,
family , and our work . and in doing this, we should
allow God’s wisdom to guide us in living each day
for His glory.
Life is not fair and is often unpredictable. At times
there seems to be no relation between what we
deserve and what we actually receive. Nevertheless,
we should look to God for the wisdom to live each
day for His glory.

1. Fulfill Your Obligations (Eccl. 9:7-10)

Eccl. 9:7   Go, eat your bread with enjoyment, and drink
your wine with a merry heart; for God has long ago
approved what you do. 9:8   Let your garments always be
white; do not let oil be lacking on your head.  9:9   Enjoy
life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your
vain life that are given you under the sun, because that
is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil
under the sun.  9:10   Whatever your hand finds to do, do
with your might; for there is no work or thought or
knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

Solomon encouraged hard , honest labor and making
the most of every opportunity to work while on this
side of the grave . By no means, however , was he
advocating work a holism. Workaholics seldom enjoy
the kind of happy marriages Solomon described in the
previous verse. Instead, he believed that we should
enjoy our work and always do our best.

2. Persist In Spite Of Reverses (Eccl. 9:11-12)

Eccl. 9:11   Again I saw that under the sun the race is not
to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the
wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the skillful;
but time and chance happen to them all.  9:12   For no one
can anticipate the time of disaster. Like fish taken in a
cruel net, and like birds caught in a snare, so mortals are
snared at a time of calamity, when it suddenly falls upon
them.

No one is immune from experiencing disappointing or disastrous reverses in this life. Regardless of what
measures we take to build hedges around our lives,
We cannot keep all difficulties at bay.
Regardless of our work, we may experience defeat, deprivation, or disfavor. However, although at times
we may act responsibly and experience disappointing
or disastrous reverses, we are to continue living
responsibly before God.

3. Always Give Your Best Effort (Eccl. 11:1-2,4-6)

Eccl. 11:1   Send out your bread upon the waters, for after
many days you will get it back. 11:2   Divide your means
seven ways, or even eight, for you do not know what disaster
may happen on earth. 11:3   When clouds are full, they empty
rain on the earth; whether a tree falls to the south or to the
north, in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie. 11:4
Whoever observes the wind will not sow; and whoever regards
the clouds will not reap. 11:5   Just as you do not know how the
breath comes to the bones in the mother’s womb, so you do not
know the work of God, who makes everything. 11:6   In the
morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hands be
idle; for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or
whether both alike will be good.

Solomon said that we should not allow the uncertainties
of life to immobilize us or keep us from doing what we
need to do. A farmer, for example, cannot wait until circumstances are ideal to sow or to reap. A farmer cannot spend all his time watching the wind and looking at the
clouds until conditions are absolutely favorable. In the
same way, we should not put thing off lest it become too
later to do them at all. Unless we make a commitment to
act, many opportunities will pass us by and never return.

Summary :

Solomon counseled that it is best to diversify investment work hard , and take calculated risks. The one
who sits and waits for every condition to be perfect
before acting will miss valuable opportunities in life.

Eccl.7-8 Stay on Course

HOW CAN I STAY ON COURSE?
Ecclesiastes 7:1-8:17      August 6 2006

Life is filled with sorts of injustices and
Inequities with which we must deal . Among
these are bad leaders and the fact that
people may not get what they deserve on
earth. Solomon concluded that while wisdom
cannot explain every mystery under the sum,
we need wisdom to get the most out of life.

1. Remember Life’s Brevity (Eccl. 7:1-4)

Eccl. 7:1   A good name is better than precious
ointment, and the day of death, than the day of
birth. 7:2   It is better to go to the house of
mourning than to go to the house of feasting;
for this is the end of everyone, and the living
will lay it to heart. 7:3   Sorrow is better than
laughter, for by sadness of countenance the heart
is made glad. 7:4   The heart of the wise is in the
house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the
house of mirth.

When a face is sad, Solomon said, a heart may
be glad. In other words, grief or sorrow is
good because it can sharpen our understanding
about life and teach us things we might not
otherwise learn . the wise reflect on what
they learn in the house of mourning, while the
foolish are only concerned with spending more
time in the house of pleasure.

2. Heed Criticism and Resist Anger (Eccl. 7:5-9)

Eccl. 7:5   It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise
than to hear the song of fools.  7:6   For like the
crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of
fools; this also is vanity. 7:7   Surely oppression
makes the wise foolish, and a bribe corrupts the heart.
7:8   Better is the end of a thing than its beginning;
the patient in spirit are better than the proud in spirit.
7:9   Do not be quick to anger, for anger lodges in the
bosom of fools.

There is something in each of us that is susceptible
to flattery. Regardless of who we are, most of us would
rather listen to the joyful lyrics of praise than the
somber rhetoric of rebuke. However, Solomon cautioned
against listening to fools who sing our praises. Fools
are people pleasers who do not want to upset others.
They tell other what they want to hear rather than
what they need to hear.
That is why Solomon said it is far better to listen to
wise person’s rebuke. although rebuke is often hard
to swallow and may even wound us, itis much better
for us than the soothing flattery and kisses of a fool
(Prov. 27:5-6).

3. Live In The Present and Focus on God (Eccl. 7:
10-14)

Eccl. 7:10   Do not say, “Why were the former days better
than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
7:11   Wisdom is as good as an inheritance, an advantage
to those who see the sun. 7:12   For the protection of
wisdom is like the protection of money, and the advantage
of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to the one who
possesses it. 7:13   Consider the work of God; who can make
straight what he has made crooked?  7:14   In the day of
prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider;
God has made the one as well as the other, so that mortals
may not find out anything that will come after them.

Dwelling on the past can paralyze us and keep us from
facing the challenges and opportunities we have in the
present .While the past is a nice place for an occasional
visit, do not live there (Phil.3:13). Do not let your
memories of days long gone outweigh your dreams for
and about the days yet to come. Dare to seize and to live
each day in away that honors God. Allow His wisdom to
keep you on course by leading you to apply yourself to
today’s task rather than longing for days gone by.

4. Allow for Human Frailty (Eccl. 7:21-22)

Eccl. 7:21   Do not give heed to everything that people say,
or you may hear your servant cursing you; 7:22   your heart
knows that many times you have yourself cursed others.

People will gossip about us, whether we like it or not .
Their words will inflict a measure of pain and exact a
certain amount of damage. However, we must keep in
mind that we too are guilty of having spoken unkindly
about others. We too have gossiped about or been
critical of others. Wise people ignore those who
complain about them, realizing that they themselves
have done their share of complaining . God’s wisdom
keeps us on course by instructing us to make
allowances for those who speak unkindly of us.

Summary:

There are lessons about life we can only learn in grief
and sadness. Attending a funeral has a way of reminding
us of how fragile life is and that we cannot escape our
mortality. The foolish view death as an incentive to ” eat,
drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” However, the
wise view death as an incentive to turn from folly and to
purposefully live each day (Ps.90:12). so the next time you
go to a funeral, remember Solomon’s words–that is the end
of all mankind ,and the living should take it to heart.

Eccl.4-6 what's Wrong with Money

WHAT’S WRONG WITH WANTING WEALTH?
Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12            July 30 2006

Solomon stated that wealth cannot satisfy
People’s deepest longing or the problems of
the poor, and excess creates longings or the
problems of the poor, and excess creates
problems for the rich as well. Solomon noted
that some who have great wealth are not able
to enjoy it. Some die with so little that their
families are not even able to provide them
with a decent burial. Both the wise and the
poor give themselves to the futile pursuit of
wealth and never seem to get enough.

1. Results From Envy (Eccl.4:4)

Eccl. 4:4   Then I saw that all toil and all skill in
work come from one person’s envy of another. This
also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

The drive to keep up with the Joneses is as old
as the Book of Ecclesiastes. Many people work
hard only because they want to have more , bigger,
and better thing than their neighbors. Proverbs
27:20 warns that “people’s eyes are never
satisfied.” We must guard against allowing the
desire for the material trapping of success to
drive us to unreasonable and even self-destructive
efforts to get ahead.

2. Leads To Corruption (Eccl. 5:8-9)

Eccl. 4:8   the case of solitary individuals, without
sons or brothers; yet there is no end to all their toil,
and their eyes are never satisfied with riches. “For
whom am I toiling,” they ask, “and depriving myself
of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy
business. 4:9   Two are better than one, because they
have a good reward for their toil.

The general idea of the verse’s seems to be that
while corruption inevitably grows in the dark
recesses of government bureaucracy, government
is still necessary . It is better to have government,
even with its imperfections , than to have anarchy.
A few may profit from corrupt practices , but
people are best served by a king or organized
authority. A good king can address and stem the
tide of corruption. He can help bring stability to
the land (Prov. 29:4,14 ) and insure that the profit
from the land benefits all–both ruler and people.

3. Breed Dissatisfaction (Eccl. 5;10-13,17,19-20)

Eccl. 5:10   The lover of money will not be satisfied
with money; nor the lover of wealth, with gain. This
also is vanity.  5:11   When goods increase, those who
eat them increase; and what gain has their owner but
to see them with his eyes? 5:12   Sweet is the sleep
of laborers, whether they eat little or much; but the
surfeit of the rich will not let them sleep. 5:13   There
is a grievous ill that I have seen under the sun: riches
were kept by their owners to their hurt, 5:17   Besides,
all their days they eat in darkness, in much vexation
and sickness and resentment. 5:19   Likewise all to
whom God gives wealth and possessions and whom he
enables to enjoy them, and to accept their lot and find
enjoyment in their toil —this is the gift of God. 5:20
For they will scarcely brood over the days of their lives,
because God keeps them occupied with the joy of their
hearts.

Wealth does not satisfy. whoever loves wealth,
Solomon said, is never satisfied with his income or
with the things money can buy (Prov.27:20). The
reason things cannot ultimately satisfy the deepest
hungers of the human heart (Eccl. 3:11). Jesus said
that “one’s life is not in the abundance of his
possessions”(Luke 12:15). The one who dies with
the most toys does not win , but only leaves more
stuff behind.

4. Deprives of Enjoyment (Eccl. 6:1-2)

Eccl. 6:1   There is an evil that I have seen under the sun,
and it lies heavy upon humankind: 6:2   those to whom
God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that they
lack nothing of all that they desire, yet God does not
enable them to enjoy these things, but a stranger enjoys
them. This is vanity; it is a grievous ill.

To make matters even more troubling, Solomon said
that a stranger would enjoy this man’s wealth, a
condition meaning that he either had no heir (Ps.49:10)
or had suffered the loss of his fortune to a thief. This
man’s situation cautions us against spending our lives
seeking popular acclaim and material Possessions
because these do not guarantee life’s ultimate
enjoyment.

Summary:

Ultimately it is our relationship with God–not
things–that brings joy. those who accept their lot
in life and enjoy God’s blessings are less likely to
be preoccupied with their mortality or depressed
by the fact that like is brief. Rather , they look to God
for the wisdom to enjoy and make the most of every
day (Ps. 90:12).

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