Ecclesiastes 10:1-12:14 , 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 , Psalms 49:1-20 , Proverbs 22:20-21
Today is the 5th day of Aug…of September. (Brian laughs). Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you. I get a little confused every time we switch to a new month it seems. But I doubt I’m the only one. It’s September 5th and this is the Daily Audio Bible and we are around the global campfire and we’ve come to take the next step forward in our journey through the Scriptures. Which leads us back into the book of Ecclesiastes. We’re reading from the Modern English Version this week. Ecclesiastes 10, 11 and 12 today.
Okay. So we concluded the book of Ecclesiastes and, I mean, Ecclesiastes at first blush, right? At first glance, it can seem full of pessimism and cynicism. So it’s helpful to look at what Solomon wrote from an apophatic or subtractive perspective. Solomon looked back over his life with all that he had pursued, all of his challenges, the injustices he had seen, the pleasures he had experienced. And what he found was mostly useless activity. He’d applied all of his energy in the pursuits of beauty and wisdom. He searched far and wide for answers to unanswerable questions. Still, he couldn’t find what he was looking for. So he took a sobering look at it all and began to subtract away from life all that he found meaningless, coming to the conclusion that without a fundamental awareness of a sovereign God, nothing else makes any sense. Everything is like chasing the wind. So, what can we take away from this? What can we learn from this man Solomon who had done it all and then had the wherewithal to step back and subtract away from life all that he found meaningless. He gave us those conclusions. He’s like, this is the whole story. This is the conclusion. Fear God and obey his commands, for that’s what everyone must do. And God will judge everything we do, including all of our secret things, whether they’re good or bad. That’s how the book of Ecclesiastes ends. That’s the final conclusion. And the conclusion Solomon came to in Ecclesiastes is essentially the same conclusion that the bible comes to, right? Give your heart in surrender and reverence to God. Offer yourself in faithful and loyal worship and relationship. Honor God. Do what he says to do. This is what everyone is supposed to do. And this is the only way we’ll find meaning. So let’s sit with this conclusion. This is coming from someone who would know, someone who’s done it all. And fundamentally the conclusion, the foundation of what Solomon is saying is that we must fear God and obey him. And how do we even know if we’re doing that? We’ll have to watch ourselves. We have to learn to watch ourselves. We have to be able to slow down enough to ask, am I worshiping God in this? If I name what I’m trying to do, can I find God in it? If I subtract everything else away, like my motives. If I pull away everything, can I find God in it? Am I worshiping God and keeping his commandments? Because if Solomon, the great and wise king, and then the Bible, came to this conclusion, then we’re not gonna find any other kind of meaning and other kind of way. And so there’s plenty to think about there. And now that we’ve reached the of Ecclesiastes, we should notice something beautiful that the Bible’s given us through Job and Ecclesiastes. Some time to grapple with hard questions, to let them be said out loud to things that won’t have tidy answers, unless we believe in the goodness and sovereignty of God. The topics, suffering and purpose, meaninglessness, that can be unsettling territory. But the Bible doesn’t shy away at all. It just spent a generous amount of time delving into that because we need to. We need to grapple with the ways that we’re trying to find meaning and we need to challenge what we think that we know.
And so, Father, we invite You into that. That we might fear You and obey Your commands. And we understand this is not because You’re tyrannical or insecure. It’s because this is the only way life was ever designed to work. This is the only way it ever will. So come Holy Spirit. We open ourselves to You and Your guidance and Your truth that we might fear You and obey Your commands. Come Holy Spirit we pray. In Jesus name. Amen.
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And that is it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.