Monday, March 9, 2015

Ecclesiastes, chapter 11, comments: Solomon's advice to the young

1 ¶  Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. 2  Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. 3  If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. 4  He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. 5  As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. 6  In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.

Solomon here says to disperse your bounty generously and give to those in need. You don’t know what the future will hold any more than you are aware of how a particular unborn child is developing. Whatever happens, happens. It is what it is. You may be the one who is hungry when all is said and done. The person who worries unduly about the outcome, who spends too much time observing the wind or regarding the clouds, will neither sow nor reap. Don’t over think life. Work hard and generously help others.

Ephesians 4:28  Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

1Thessalonians 4:11  And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; 12  That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

    7 ¶  Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun: 8  But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity. 9  Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. 10  Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.

Life is good and we must appreciate it but the pleasures of youth are soon over. All of the things you expect and hope for in the way of material possessions, success, and status are emptiness. Enjoy the strength of youth and the pleasures of a young, strong body but always keep in mind that God will bring everything into judgment. Do right. Do not be sorrowful and put away iniquity from yourself remembering that all of these things will pass away and one day you, if you live, will become old.

Solomon said in another place;

Proverbs 16:31  The hoary [gray or white hair symbolizing age as in Leviticus 19:32] head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

A young man has from about 15 years old to about 35 years old to be in his prime and then he begins to slip. They put amateur athletes in the “Masters” division of many sports at 35 because they lack the full powers of youth. That twenty years is a short time. A young woman bears the blossom of youthful beauty but in her upper 30’s and into her 40’s the blush is often off the rose and things change drastically for her. Our bodies stop being so forgiving. We are a very short time in our prime of life. Enjoy it but don’t sin against God. You will have a lot longer to deal with the consequences of your behavior than you will have to enjoy the benefits of a youthful body. The person you will be at 50 or 60 years should not have to resent and be disgusted or ashamed by the memory of the person you were at 20 or 30.

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