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Saturday, May 30 2015
Ecclesiastes 1: Solomon's Ballad To Losers
"The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity"
During the time that King Solomon's wisdom was guided by the Light of the LORD, Solomon was a winner. He recognized and celebrated the Creation that he knew was the Work of the Creator - the LORD God (see The LORD God Our Saviour).
"4:29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore.
But Solomon, in his later years, lost sight of what he had known better than anyone. He become a lecherous old idol worshipper. The looser he became, the more of a loser he became.
"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.
While many blame his hundreds of "wives" for his fall, the immoral attitude that created the situation obviously existed before their presence. When the rebuke came, the LORD didn't blame or punish the women - He laid it all upon Solomon's failure of wisdom.
"11:9 And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, 11:10 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. 11:11 Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant." (1 Kings 11:9-11 KJV)Solomon's attitude descended along with his faith in the sure knowledge of the LORD. He went from being a man who recognized the Creator and His Creation to a despondent liberal whiner who preached ("The words of the Preacher," verse 1 below) that everything is wrong and worthless - "everything," except the wrong and worthless behavior that poisoned him to think that way.
Ecclesiastes is a stark testimony of what happens to those who turn from the LORD and wallow in the state of mind that produces, and is produced by, dead-end carnality. It's a ballad ("A narrative song with a recurrent refrain") to those who choose to be losers (see also It's Getting Much Easier To Be A Winner).
"1:1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
Fact Finder: What is going to happen to those who either refuse to stop denying the LORD, or who fall back into denying the LORD?
This Day In History, May 30
70: As prophesied by the Messiah about 40 years earlier (see A History Of Jerusalem: The Coming Of The Messiah and What Did Jesus Christ Say About Those Stones?), Roman legions (see Legions Of Men And Angels) under the command of Titus Vespasianus (see A History Of Jerusalem: Titus And The Zealots) breached the wall of Jerusalem.
1416: Jerome of Prague was burned as a heretic at the Council of Constance (convened by the Emperor Sigismund, and Antipope John XXIII; see The Struggle For The Papacy).
1434: The Battle of Lipany during the Hussite Wars. Utraquist forces defeated Taborite forces.
1498: Christopher Columbus left Spain with six ships on his third voyage of exploration to the Caribbean Sea (all four of the voyages of Columbus to "America" were actually limited to the islands of the Caribbean; see the map at Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).
1536: King Henry VIII married Jane Seymour, his third wife (who had been "a lady-in-waiting," in more ways than one, to his first two wives), 11 days after his second wife, Anne Boleyn (who Henry defied the Pope and created the Church of England to marry), was beheaded for alleged adultery.
1539: Spanish explorer and conquistador Hernando de Soto landed in what is today known as Florida (from the Spanish name given to it, La Florida, which means "flowery land") with 600 hundred soldiers in search of gold.
1574: Henry III (Alexandre Edouard de France) was crowned King of France.
1631: La Gazette, the first newspaper of France, began publishing.
1806: Andrew Jackson (who later became U.S. President) killed attorney Charles Dickinson in a duel after Dickinson called Jackson "a poltroon and a coward."
1832: The Rideau Canal, linking the Ottawa River at Ottawa (Canada's capital city) with Lake Ontario at Kingston, was opened to traffic.
1842: John Francis attempted to assassinate Queen Victoria as she was being driven down Constitution Hill in London.
1848: Under an end-of-war treaty signed in February 1848 and ratified on this day by Mexico, the U.S. took New Mexico and California as well as parts of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Colorado from Mexico in return for the negligible sum $15 million.
1859: The bell known as "Big Ben" rang for the first time in London.
1876: The Ottoman sultan Abd-ul-Aziz was deposed and replaced by his nephew Murat V (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1913: In a treaty signed in London to end the first Balkan War between the Balkan League (Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro) and the Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman Empire lost almost all of its European territory.
1942: 1,047 Royal Air Force bombers set off to bomb Cologne in the R.A.F.'s first "thousand plane raid" of the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1962: Adolph Eichmann, 56, Nazi war criminal, was hanged at the Ramla Prison in Israel after being found guilty of 1961 war crimes trial. Israeli agents captured and returned him from Argentina in 1960. His body was incinerated (just as were millions of holocaust victims that Eichmann and the other Nazis were responsible for; see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) and the ashes were dumped at sea.
1972: The Lod Airport Massacre in Tel Aviv by the "Japanese Red Army," on behalf of the "Popular Front For The Liberation of Palestine," killed 24 people and wounded 78.
1989: A 33-foot "Goddess of Democracy" statue was unveiled in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators.
1998: 5,000 people were killed by a magnitude 6.6 earthquake in northern Afghanistan.