Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12 + 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:7 + Psalm 47:1-9 + Proverbs 22:16
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Old Testament - I heard a good chunk of today's readings in the book of Ecclesiastes at a wedding a few years ago. And really, these verses work out quite nicely for a wedding if you think about it. Chapter 4 verses 9 through 12: "Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble. And on a cold night, two under the same blanket can gain warmth from each other. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." Pretty good stuff for a wedding, eh? The kicker is that last little bit about the triple-braided cord. The pastor at the wedding I was at said that God is the third strand in the triple-braided cord in marriage. I like that! Two people come together in marriage, and it's good. But, throw God into the mix of the marriage, as I'm sure we would all want to do, and you've got a very strong triple braided cord! Great stuff. If you are married, is there a triple braided cord in your marriage? Is God always part of your marriage? Part of your every day life?
New Testament - Second Corinthians chapter 7 verse 1 today is powerful - "Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete purity because we fear God." How does this verse speak to you? What promises do we have as followers of Jesus Christ? In light of these promises, should we cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body? And cleanse ourselves of everything that can defile our spirit? Are you living your life in such a way that you are moving toward complete purity? Do you believe that the Cross of Jesus Christ purifies you? What does the Cross of Jesus ultimately purify you for?
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Second Corinthians titled "Choosing Sides" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 47 is an awesome Psalm! I can almost hear and feel music and a drum beat as I read this Psalm today! This Psalm was used in later Jewish synagogue liturgies for Rosh Hashanah, the New Year Festival. This Psalm has also been used by the Christian church in the Celebration of Jesus' ascension, in particular with emphases on verse 5 - "God has ascended with a mighty shout. The LORD has ascended with trumpets blaring." Do you hear and feel the music as you read this Psalm? Verse 1 sets the stage so very well for verse 2 in the image below - "Come, everyone, and clap your hands for joy! Shout to God with joyful praise!"
Proverbs - There is an interesting "or" statement in Proverbs chapter 22 verse 16 today - "A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty." I hadn't really ever thought that showering gifts on the rich might put one in the same boat as oppressing the poor. Oppressing the poor seems like the obvious no-no. But showering gifts on the rich... why do you suppose this is a no-no as well? What's wrong with showering the gifts on the rich? I'm wondering if it is because our gifts would be better given elsewhere? e.g. to the poor?
Worship Video: Today's readings in Ecclesiastes and Second Corinthians reminded me of Santcus Real's awesome song "Lead Me:"
Is God leading you? Click here to be led!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on two verses of Scripture today: "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If they fall down, they can help each other up. But pity those who fall and have no one to help them up! " Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 TNIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you have at least one great friend, and that you in turn are a great friend to someone else. Pray that you will help out your friend if they fall, and that they in turn will help you out if you fall.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our One Year Bible readings at this link.
p.s. #2 - Download a schedule of our One Year Bible readings for the year in PDF format at this link.
p.s. #3 - I would greatly appreciate it if you would pray for this One Year Bible Blog ministry today! Please also consider partnering with us by financially supporting this ministry. Thank you!
Clearly, Solomon wrote this book because he was an observer of life and people so there is much meat in these words.
8 If you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful and justice being miscarried throughout the land, don't be surprised! For every official is under orders from higher up, and matters of justice only get lost in red tape and bureaucracy. 9 Even the king milks the land for his own profit!
10 Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness! 11 The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what is the advantage of wealth--except perhaps to watch it run through your fingers! (5:8-11)
Verse eight is one I need to get way down in my spirit. I see so many people in leadership oppressing those they are either called to lead or who have been given supervisory positions yet despise, mistreat and totally abuse those they have been given charge over. I see leadership who fail to take responsibility for their departments; homes and businesses playing the Blame Game trying to pass their responsibilities unto those they are suppose to be leading. Justice fails when the attitude or understanding of the word justice is defined by a “just us” attitude, right behavior, actions and outcome are only just for us and not for them.
We were not placed on this earth to self-consume, we will not get a prize for gathering the most “toys.” God gives each and every person gifts, saved and unsaved, so that they will realize that what they have they did not get because they are so great are so talented, no one makes themselves. God’s gifts are given without repentance. (Romans 11:28-30; Acts 17:26-27
In reading this book, I must constantly remind myself that Solomon wrote this book under the sun and not under the Son or hopelessness will take over.
II Corinthians 6:14-7:7
14 Don't team up with those who are unbelievers. How can goodness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? 15What harmony can there be between Christ and the Devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? 16 And what union can there be between God's temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said:
This admonishment by Paul can be applied to every area of life, not just marriage. Amos 3:3 states, Will two walk together, except they have agreed? (JPS)
I see this violated so many times by Christians single women who are so desirous of getting married at all cost that they marry an unbeliever, and an unbeliever can be someone who goes to church. They scope out a man they want then manipulate them onto their hook. Once they catch them, scale them and fry ‘um up they then complain about the taste.
What you see is what you get, you can’t change people unless they want to be changed and if they want to change they have to change we can’t make them or create them to be into the image we want. God does not even do that. If you can’t live with the man you see standing in front of you with all his flaws, leave it alone, don’t begin a construction project, you will fail. In fact what you really are doing is Practicing Witchcraft!! In reality witchcraft is the practice of trying to control someone else’s will, it aint ‘bout black cats and cauldrons folks it’s about manipulation.
When I read the Psalms of Praise that encouragement that instruct people to clap, shout, praise God with tambourines and cymbals and the like, I think Heaven is not going to be a quite place and that sometimes at church we are to make a lot of heavenly noise so we won’t be shocked when we get there. Of course this “noise” should be in a manner that is deceit and in order.
This Proverb may be dealing with giving actual gifts but there is another Proverb, in the next chapter that warns of receiving gifts from the “rich,” the gift of a meal, or those who have power over you. Mike maybe this is because the writer understands the human nature of our “gift” giving. Are we giving a gift because we want to bless the person or are we giving a “gift” as a disguised bribe hoping we will find favor with the wealthy person who will give bigger gifts in return or at least get the crumbs from the ruler’s table.
WHEN YOU sit down to eat with a ruler, consider who and what are before you; For you will put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to desire. Be not desirous of his dainties, for it is deceitful food [offered with questionable motives]. Weary not yourself to be rich; cease from your own [human] wisdom. [Prov. 28:20; I Tim. 6:9, 10.] Will you set your eyes upon wealth, when [suddenly] it is gone? For riches certainly make themselves wings, like an eagle that flies toward the heavens. Eat not the bread of him who has a hard, grudging, and envious eye, neither desire his dainty foods; For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. As one who reckons, he says to you, eat and drink, yet his heart is not with you [but is grudging the cost]. The morsel which you have eaten you will vomit up, and your complimentary words will be wasted.
(Proverbs 23:1-8 AMP).
In fact this verse, 16 A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty, would not be out of place with today’s reading in Ecclesiastes dealing with the seeking of wealth (Ecc 5:8-20)
Grace and peace,
Posted by: Ramona | September 02, 2022 at 09:59 PM
True Ramona about listening the readings of Solomon of Ecclesiastes..I like how the commentary speaks about wanting what we don't have or being aggravated when others get..we have to or need to be thankful for all we have ..not be considered in something we don't have.
2nd Cor 6:14..don't be unequally yoked with an unbeliever.. I tell my sweet daughter who has yet to be thrusted into the man God created for her yet..I tell her be careful when she begins dating because being a believer or not believing in any is a big thing and not worth the obstacle to date a non believer.
Psalm 47..I could so be there! Singing loudly and band going..worshipping to the Lord..
Proverbs: taking from poor and giving to boost rich is wrong..our government does it ..politicians do it and corrupt tax offenders who don't pay like should do it..but also when we see someone poor and we turn a blind eye..we too are being against the poor by our actions 🎬 😒. Ouch!
Posted by: Dd | September 04, 2022 at 06:35 AM