OceanSide church of Christ
Read devotionals for October 2018
November 1, 2018
Ecclesiastes 7:7 – Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.
Thought: This is a couplet that speaks about those in leadership positions and positions of judgment. If a man who has been wise begins to oppress others, he becomes mad. The definition of “mad” is: “one who makes a show” and “one who is foolish.” Rather than displaying his wisdom, he declares his foolishness. Another way a good man is destroyed is by accepting bribes. “A gift destroyeth the heart.” The heart ceases to be honest, discerning, and impartial. Judgment is corrupted. Justice is removed.
November 2, 2018
Ecclesiastes 7:8 – Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
Thought: Most of the time this is true in the physical realm. The end is better than the beginning. At the end, we reap the benefits of hard work. This truth is especially applicable in the spiritual realm. We often cannot see the end. We groan and complain because times are hard. We blame God. We curse God. Then comes the end. The end is phenomenal. We see God’s wisdom. We rejoice. My friend, with this in mind let’s be patient in spirit instead of proud in spirit.
November 3, 2018
Ecclesiastes 7:9 – Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
Thought: All emotions serve a purpose in our lives. Negative emotions, however, have to be kept in close check. This is true of anger. The inspired penman exhorts us, saying: “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry.” Dear reader, anger is something we can control. We do not have to be short tempered. We do not have to fly off the handle. When anger gets out of control, we expose ourselves to be fools. Our words and actions confirm our status as a fool. Watch your anger. Keep it in check.
November 4, 2018
Ecclesiastes 7:10 – Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? For thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this.
Thought: When individuals look back upon the past, they have a tendency to misinterpret it. They forget the hard times and the evil of the former days. They summarize the past as being better than the present. This, however, is not true. Every generation has easy and hard times. Every generation has good and evil within it. Since we are living in the present, we need to labor to make it the best it can be. The past has passed.
November 5, 2018
Ecclesiastes 7:11 – Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.
Thought: As Solomon experiments with life, he sees many things as vanity. Work and wisdom are two of these. But, He is also reasonable. He understands that both have some advantages in this life. A man can enjoy the fruit of his labors. Here, wisdom is good with an inheritance. The man who receives an inheritance is benefited if he has the wisdom to use it wisely. Those that see the sun, that is, the living, profit because of this wisdom. But, if this is all there is to wisdom, there is little profit.
November 6, 2018
Ecclesiastes 7:12 – For wisdom is defense, and money is defense: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.
Thought: Two things in life can help defend a man from error and misfortune. They are wisdom and money. Both put a wall of protection around an individual. Money, however, only protects the outer man. Wisdom involves the inner man. It involves a person’s spiritual life. It gives life to them that have it. Thus, wisdom is the superior of the two. If one had to choose only one, wisdom should be the person’s selection.
November 7, 2018
Ecclesiastes 7:13 – Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?
Thought: Man often wants to “correct” the things of God. Whether in ignorance or in rebellion, man often believes that he knows better than God. Such is not the case. God is in control. Man is not. Man does not have the ability to change with will of God. God alone is sovereign. “Who can make straight, which he hath made crooked?” Sadly, and in vain, man will continue to try, but he cannot thwart the plans of the Almighty.
November 8, 2018
Ecclesiastes 7:14 – In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.
Thought: Every human beings needsto live in the present. If the present involves prosperity, be joyful. If the present brings adversity learn adversity’s lessons. Good days and bad days come and go. They are intermingled in our lives. One comes then goes. We deal with the day at hand because we are not able to see beyond today. What is after today? We cannot know. Enjoy your day!
November 9, 2018
Ecclesiastes 7:15 – All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.
Thought: Solomon’s experiment with life caused him to see many things that were puzzling and distressing. One of them involved length of life. One would think that a righteous man would always live longer than a wicked man. This, however, is not the case. Sometimes the wicked outlive the righteous by many, many years. We ask: “Why?” The answer to this question is not one God has revealed. We can speculate, but it is a matter of fact that must be accepted.
November 10, 2018
Ecclesiastes 7:16 – Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?
Thought: There are two ways individuals can do the things about which Solomon writes in this verse. First, one can falsely believe that he is extremely righteous and abundantly wise when he is not. Second, a person can earnestly try to be extremely righteous and wise. The first person is self-deceived. The second person puts on a show and is often a hypocrite. Either way, both will ultimately face destruction. Their lives are not based on truth. With no foundation, they crumble.
November 11, 2018
Ecclesiastes 7:17 – Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?
Thought: Man is wicked. He yields to the flesh and disobeys God. Even the redeemed are victims of temptation. Here, the writer exhorts his readers not to purposely add to their wickedness. He also exhorts them to not be foolish. Sin is not healthy. Sin is dangerous. Its effects in the hereafter are well known. We, however, forget that sin can impact us in this life. Many people have died before their time because of sinful activities. Drug overdose is just one example.
November 12, 2018
Ecclesiastes 7:18 – It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.
Thought: There are some teachings that we receive in life that are of the utmost importance. When they are laid before us we need to take hold of them. Once in our possession, we should never, never let them go. Solomon presents one of these lessons in this verse. “He that feareth God shall come forth of them all.” Honor and respect for God causes men to lead a God-fearing life. Such a life ultimately brings glory, exaltation, and reward to the individual. He is able to stand in the judgment. Such a man towers before all others.
November 13, 2018
Ecclesiastes 7:19 – Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.
Thought: It is very hard for man to comprehend how powerful the wisdom of God is. Those who possess it have a strength that cannot be matched by the strength of ten mighty men. In ancient days, strong men were highly sought after and honored. They were vital to the well-being of a city. Wisdom, however, towers above physical, human strength. Those who have divine wisdom are empowered by the strength of the Almighty God. Again, such power is hard to us to understand.
November 14, 2018
Ecclesiastes 7:20 – For there is not a just man upon the earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.
Thought: One of the things that makes all men equal is sin. “For all have sinned.” It is interesting that many will admit this, but turn around and believe they are good. In fact, some are so good they do not believe they need God. Good is not equal to sinless. And, as long as a person has sin, he is really not that good. That “good” person stands in need of the cleansing blood of Christ. Man needs to quit believing he is good and realize that he is a sinner. Then, he will turn to Jesus for salvation.
November 15, 2018
Ecclesiastes 7:21 – Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee.
Thought: Every day millions of words are spoken by individuals. Some of the things said are true. Some are ridiculous. Some are completely false. Some are valuable. Some have no value at all. Sadly, some are consumed with hearing words. They are like sponges. They eagerly wait to hear the latest gossip. Solomon advises against this. He says: “Take no heed.” If we do, it could be that we ultimately hear words that have been uttered against us by one close to us. Be careful what you hear.
November 16, 2018
Ecclesiastes 7:22 – For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.
Thought: This verse relates to the previous verse. Those who soak up gossip often hear words spoken against them by those close to them. It is easy to get angry in such cases. We may want to seek revenge. What we need to remember is that we, too, have spoken evil words against others. We should not be so quit to condemn another for what we have also done. Far too often we are hypocritical in our judgments of others. They do what we do. They are wrong. We are not. How?
November 17, 2018
Ecclesiastes 7:23 – All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise: but it was far from me.
Thought: When Solomon began his experiment, he had a desire. He wanted to possess wisdom, that is, to “possess it fully and completely; i.e., not merely to be able to record observations and communicate advices, but to adjust the contradictions of life, to expound the mysteries of time and eternity, and generally to solve the most weighty and important questions which perplex men” (e-sword, Keil and Delitzsch). After much time and money was expended, he had fallen fall short. He said that wisdom “was far from me.” Such wisdom only God possesses.
I Corinthians 1:19-20
November 18, 2018
Ecclesiastes 7:24 – That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?
Thought: Man often likes to boast of his intelligence. There is no doubt that man has gleaned much wisdom and understanding throughout the years. However, there are so many things that man does not know. The reality is that his ignorance runs deeper than his intelligence. He often wonders if he will ever know some things. The answer is: “No.” A wise God created this Universe. He is wiser and greater than man will ever be. It is impossible for finite man to discover all of His intelligence.
November 19, 2018
Ecclesiastes 7:25 – I applied my heart to know and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness
Thought: Solomon was intent about his experiment with life. He searched for “the reason of things.” He desperately wanted “to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness.” He wanted to know what many have wanted to know. Why are we here? What is the purpose of this world? What is the reason for the good things and the bad things in life? How can man be truly happy? Solomon has the answers. We do not have to learn the hard way. Just read Ecclesiastes.