|Ecclesiastes 3 |
1 To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
9 What profit does he have who works in that in which he labors?
10 I have seen the travail, which God has given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
11 He has made everything beautiful in his time; he has also set the world in their hearts, except no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end. [A man's heart is the mirror of the world.]
12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.
13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor; it is the gift of God.
14 I know that, whatever God does, it shall be forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; and God does it so that men should fear before him.
15 That which has been is now; and that which is to be has already been;1 and God requires what has past.
16 And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and in the place of righteousness, iniquity was there.
17 I said in my heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
18 I said in my heart concerning the state of the sons of men, that God might show them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.2
19 For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts; even one thing befalls them. As the one dies, so dies the other; Yes, they have all one breath; so that a man has no preeminence above a beast, for all is vanity.
20 All go to one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
21 Who knows the spirit of man that goes upward, and the spirit of the beast that goes downward to the earth?
22 Therefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than for a man to rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion in life; for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?
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1 That which has been is now; and that which is to be has already been. There is no time with God. A day is a thousand years, and a thousand years is a day. 2 Pet 3:8.
2 that God would show them, that man themselves were beasts. Man thinks very highly of himself. He imagines God to be much like himself. But God has said: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Isa 55:7-9. Compared to God, man is a lowly beast. As David said: I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before you. Psa 73:22. Man is a selfish, ravenous beast, serving his own lusts, appetites, habits, pleasures, and pride. Until a man turns to God, he is ignorant of how unrighteous and deep in sin he is.
God reveals unrighteousness to the spiritual man. The natural man cannot accept the things of God and cannot see the depth of unrighteousness. This is a basic function of the Holy Spirit — to convince the world of sin [unrighteousness]. The typical sect-attending Christian has no concept of sin, limiting it to murder, theft, rape; he is unaware that intolerable sin includes: adultery, pre-marital sex, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, partying... immorality, impurity, greed... evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. From the word of the Lord within: "Every thought of man is at best a vain hiss." The very next verse emphasizes that sin, and all other understandings from God, have to be shown to a man by God, before a man can see sin and unrighteousness.
That which may be known of God is revealed in them; for God has shown it to them. Rom 1:19. What is to be known of God, is revealed by God within a man's heart. Mark! Not from reading a book. Not from listening to a preacher speaking without words supplied by the Holy Spirit, as he speaks.
And since they did not want to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them [men] over to an impure mind, to do those things which are not proper;
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; gossipers,
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding, promise breakers, without natural affection, constant in enmity, unmerciful.
They, knowing the judgment of God and that those who commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in those who do them. Rom 1:28-32
We read about fornication, adultery, murder, theft — taking pleasure in such acts. Our music, DVD's, TV programming, and movies — all celebrate evil. Our newspapers print the bad news; we eagerly read how others have suffered death, accidents, catastrophes, etc. It is our sick, depraved minds that find ungodliness entertaining and pleasurable. We are like beasts. God can, desires to, and will change us to be like him — unselfish, compassionate, loving, kind, peaceful, joyful, gentle, patient, full of goodness — but we must go to him. We must wait on him — listen silently, with the humility of a sinner in need of his changing power — grace.
The Lords' voice is kind, gentle, pure, easily understood, easily accepted, peaceable, complete, morally correct, encouraging — never with even a hint of sarcasm, bitterness, or condemnation — never incomplete leaving you guessing what he wants; instead His words are full of love itself — his spirit of Love — for he is Love. He will tell you things about Himself. He will encourage you. He is kindness. He will tell or show you things about yourself; some will be things that are ugly. But since he is your friend, you know that he is showing them to you for your own good. So you listen and watch. And you don't run; you stand before the Son of Man. And you repent of what he shows you. And sometimes he gives you commands. You are hearing the Word of God, the living Word. And hopefully you will obey his commands and show him you love him by being obedient.
So wait, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey. You must endure to the end, when Christ brings salvation.
You must abide in him. Now little children abide in him, that when he shall appear you may have confidence in him. 1 John 2:28
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