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Tuesday, February 5 2013

Ecclesiastes: A Time For Everything

In his youth, King Solomon (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Solomon) was one of the wisest people that ever existed. His wisdom did not come naturally ("I know not how to go out or come in"), but was given to him by the LORD because Solomon had prayed for it (see also How To Pray).

"3:7 And now, O LORD my God [see The Kingdom Of The LORD God], thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. 3:8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. 3:9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

3:10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 3:11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; 3:12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee." (1 Kings 3:7-12 KJV)

Solomon's wisdom became famous throughout the world. It wasn't merely a matter of great knowledge, but the wisdom of discernment to look at the same facts as everyone else and judge what was truly right or wrong. The incident of the two mothers who were disputing the identity of their children demonstrates his wisdom. Solomon had discovered the ability to see through what his eyes could see.

King Solomon

"3:16 Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him. 3:17 And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house. 3:18 And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house.

3:19 And this woman's child died in the night; because she overlaid it. 3:20 And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. 3:21 And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear.

3:22 And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son. And this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son. Thus they spake before the king.

3:23 Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living.

3:24 And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king. 3:25 And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.

3:26 Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it.

3:27 Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.

3:28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment." (1 Kings 3:16-28 KJV)

Wisdom, even God-given wisdom, can be lost - by negligence. By the time of his later life, Solomon had squandered the wisdom that the LORD had given to him. He became a lusting old idol worshiper.

Solomon Sacrificing To Idols

"11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; 11:2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. 11:5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 11:6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.

11:7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. 11:8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods." (1 Kings 11:1-8 KJV)

The Book of Ecclesiastes was written by Solomon in that latter part of his life when he was wallowing in the misery that his liberalism had delivered unto him. Through it all, Solomon expressed himself as a despondent man who was drowning in his "fun."

"1:1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 1:2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity." (Ecclesiastes 1:1-2 KJV)

"2:1 I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. 2:2 I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it? 2:3 I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.

2:4 I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: 2:5 I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: 2:6 I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: 2:7 I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: 2:8 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. 2:9 So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.

2:10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. 2:11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 KJV)

Only at the very end of the book did Solomon make a wise statement of being faithful and obedient to the LORD above all else. Was it a pledge of repentance, before it was too late for him? Or was he pleading a warning to all who would read it - Don't throw your life away like I did.

"12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 KJV)

Studies For The Book Of Ecclesiastes

The Harvest Prophecies

A Journey Without A Destination

Did Judas Iscariot Repent?

Will Jesus Christ Obey Your Christian Religion?

Who Lights Your Walk?

Repent, For The Kingdom Of Heaven Is At Hand

Christ Died For Repentant Sinners

How Did Adam And Eve Sin Differently?

The Children Of The Two Kingdoms

Christian Wisdom

Fact Finder: Did The LORD divide Israel into "Israel" and "Judah" because of the decay of Solomon's faithfulness to the LORD?
See 1 Kings: From Empire To Divided Kingdom


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This Day In History, February 5

45 BC: Cato, Roman philosopher, committed suicide.

1428: King Alfonso V ordered Sicily's Jews to attend "Christian" (i.e. Church of Rome) sermons so that they would become "converted" (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1555: The Diet (from the Latin word dieta meaning a day; the word diary has the same origin) of The Holy Roman Empire opened at Augsburg. Proclaimed by Charles V, it dealt with numerous religious matters. Among the decisions reached: that no member of the empire would go to war with another on religious grounds, and both Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism were to be allowed (see also The Holy Roman Empire).

1556: Henry II of France and Philip of Spain signed the truce of Vaucelles.

1631: Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, arrived from England in the English-created colony of Boston (prior to the coming of the English, the site of Boston was nothing more than swamp and wilderness).

1679: The Treaty of Nijmegen was signed by Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I and King Louis XIV of France.

1783: Sweden recognized the independence of the New England colonies.

1811: After King George III became incapacitated by old age and illness, the Prince of Wales became Prince Regent of England, later to be George IV.

1841: The union of Upper and Lower Canada became effective. "Upper" and "Lower" Canada were terms based simply on the flow of the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River toward the Atlantic Ocean; "Upper Canada" was present-day southern Ontario, "Lower Canada" was southern Quebec.

1881: Thomas Carlyle, English author and historian, died at age 85.

1924: The Royal Greenwich Observatory began broadcasting the hourly time signals known as the Greenwich Time Signal.

1941: Andrew Barton Paterson, Australian poet, died. He is widely credited as the author of Waltzing Matilda.

1954: The most northerly group of islands in Canada was named the Queen Elizabeth Islands. William Baffin was credited with the 1616 discovery of the islands.

1958: A hydrogen bomb was lost by the US Air Force off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, It was never recovered.

1973: Construction began on the CN Tower in Toronto.

1983: Klaus Barbie, wanted Nazi war criminal, was imprisoned in Lyons, France, after extradition from Bolivia.

1997: Switzerland's three largest banks, facing international pressure, announced that they had created a 100 million Swiss franc Holocaust memorial fund as a gesture of good will toward their critics.

1997: Fire swept through the library of Pulkovo Observatory, Russia's most famous astronomical institution. The fire and the water used to fight it destroyed or damaged nearly 5,000 rare old books. Arson was the suspected cause - the "Russian Mafia" was believed to be responsible because they wanted the observatory's extensive grounds, near St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad), made available for hotel construction.



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