Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - March 15, 2017

Today's Reading:

Matthew 15:21-39

Leviticus 26-27

Ecclesiastes 1:12-2:26

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

Solomon was the wisest man, having asked for (and been given) the gift of wisdom at the outset of his reign. For a time, he used this wonderful gift to pursue God and to serve Israel as a righteous king. But, eventually, Solomon became puffed up in his own eyes. He began to focus upon and pursue everything else which mankind may pursue in this world. In Ecclesiastes 1:12-2:26 Scripture tells us that Solomon chased after and attained everything mankind seeks. Solomon, being king, and also having wisdom was uniquely qualified to try it all and succeed. Yet in it all, he found only emptiness "a chasing after the wind":
  •  Instead of using his wisdom to deepen his pursuit of God, Solomon began pursuing wisdom itself. He studied the sciences and discovered much about the earth and life upon it (Ecclesiastes 1:13-15). 
  • Solomon tried love, forming relationships with hundreds of beautiful women - some as wives and others as concubines.
  • Finding emptiness in the pursuit of scientific knowledge and relationships, Solomon pursued the "wisdom" of knowing his own heart. This is a popular one today. The idea is "godness" is within us. So mankind, like Solomon, seeks to know himself. But when Solomon pursued to know his own heart, he again found emptiness (Ecclesiastes 1:16-18).
  •  Next, Solomon pursued pleasure. He decided that laughter, entertainment, and pleasure would bring him satisfaction and would cause his life to be worth living (Ecclesiastes 2:1-2). But in the end, Solomon concluded that hoping to find happiness in entertainment and the pursuit of selfish pleasure was "crazy" and useless.
  • At this point, Solomon tried alcohol, hoping to find happiness in a mind-altering substance. But after trying this for a while, he concluded that it was "folly" (Ecclesiastes 2:3).
  • He acquired many servants and amassed unsurpassed wealth and great treasure. He acquired everything he saw which delighted his eyes or was pleasing to him. In the end, he truly noted that he was wealthier and his kingdom more magnificent than any other king's. Yet this, too, let him empty (Ecclesiastes 2:7-11).
Having tried all these things, yet having failed to find anything of value or lasting happiness, Solomon "hated life" (Ecclesiastes 2:17). He found that he was no more able to find true fulfillment in these pursuits than he could hold onto the wind.

Today, the human heart is much like Solomon's. We seek fulfillment in all of the ways he sought it. But, unlike Solomon, we are usually not in a position to be able to try everything. Like Solomon, we find emptiness in each pursuit. But rather than re-inventing the wheel, it would be far wiser for us to heed his testimony. Solomon was uniquely qualified to do it all. Having pursued every avenue of finding fulfillment available to mankind, Solomon testified that fufillment and true success were not to be found in any of these trivial pursuits. Rather, fulfillment and lasting happiness and success can only be found where his father, David, found them: in God, and in the service of God.

What are you pursuing?  What is it that you are chasing after, hoping to find fulfillment and success? If it is anything but God, be warned and wisened in Solomon's testimony. You don't have the time or resources to reinvent his failures. Rather, you and I can learn from his mistakes and choose better. Happiness, success, and fulfillment are only found in God and in doing His Will. This is why we are told to pursue HIM first. So the next time you are tempted to chase the wind. Remember Solomon's experience and don't!

If, instead of seeking after riches, you seek God - He will one day take you Home with Him to a place where gold is the pavement!

If, instead of seeking power and position, you seek God - He will one day bless you with reigning with Him for all Eternity.

If, instead of pursuing pleasure, you seek God - You will be with Him in His Kingdom, where at His right Hand are pleasures forevermore.

If, instead of chasing after beauty, you seek God - He will one day bless you with a perfect and immortal body in perpetual youth.

The amazing thing is that everything man could ever desire is freely given, by God. If we will stop the pursuit of it - and instead pursue Him.   
Matthew 6:33  "But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."