Ecclesiastes 7:1-9:18, 2 Corinthians 7:8-16, Psalms 48:1-14, Proverbs 22:17-19
Today is the 4th day of September welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it is great to be here with you today. I can’t believe it’s September already. Truly, for a year that felt like it was going to drag on or is dragging on forever, it’s like…we’re in September already. It's…it’s crazy but we’re moving into it, we’re getting settled into it and we have the Bible to escort us through the gates of every single day and week and month. And right now, the Bible is leading us to the book of Ecclesiastes, which is…yeah…the exploration of the meaninglessness of whatever we might pursue in life even if we get it all but don’t acknowledge God and it. So, let’s dive in. We’re reading from the New International Version this week. Ecclesiastes 7, 8, and 9 today.
Okay. Let’s talk about sorrow for a minute. One of our favorite things to talk about talk about, right? Like let’s talk about it all the time, every day. No…sorrow…sorrow what does that bring up in you? Like what…what does that word evoke? I guess we could say sorrow in many ways is some of the things that we’re seeing in the book of Ecclesiastes. Sorrow is attached to a lot of things like regret or grieving or…or whatever, pain, suffering. Do you ever think though sorrow is a good thing? Like normally we don’t ever think that sorrow is a good thing even though sorrow is kind of a baseline. Like it is at the bed rock of things. Like when we are experiencing sorrow, we certainly may have erratic emotions, but sorrow exposes what’s really going on. And sorrow is something that the apostle Paul is talking about today in second Corinthians and we just never think about embracing sorrow because we see it as a bad thing. And, so, we’re like, “I only want good things in my life and sorrow isn’t one of them” even though sorrow can bring us back into goodness. So, I gotta confess. Like I don't…I just don’t ever wake up…I may wake up in the morning feeling sorrow but I don’t ever wake up in the morning feeling great and thinking, “yeah…let me get my coffee so I can just…I want to…I want to see how quickly I can get into sorrow.” Like nobody does. And we wouldn’t be able to say that the apostle Paul never experienced sorrow because we've…we’re spending time in his letters, we read of his journeys in the book of Acts. Like this guy experienced suffering and sorrow all over the place, not just externally like from opposition to the message but also internally when there’s conflict in the churches and he’s just trying to hold things together and he’s experiencing sorrow because of the way that people are accusing him of something or there’s just not getting along or they’re straying from the message. So, we would have to say the apostle Paul experienced plenty of sorrow. But Paul in his mindset doesn’t have sorrow as an only bad sensation. So, let me quote Paul from second Corinthians today. “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” Okay. So, Paul is saying there is a godly sorrow. We might call that at a…a sensation of conviction, the sensation that we get when we know we have stepped over the line in some area of our lives willingly. We did this thing. We regret what we have done. We can see perhaps the repercussions that are coming at us like a wave and we can turn into worldly earthly sorrow because of…because of what might or might not happen because of what we’ve done, but there is a godly sorrow, one that tells us this is not who I am, this is not who I want to be, this is not the way I want to go, this is not the path my life should be taking. To enter into godly sorrow then that should, that awareness should be frustrating and disappointing, should bring us grief, it should feel distressing. Like it should feel like we’re losing something important. When we…when we walk into sin willfully, like clearly, we should experience the weight of the choices that we are making and what is happening because we are stopping in its tracks the work of God in our lives. Like literally, we are halting sanctification. We are pushing stop on the forward progress of being transformed. We are halting it willingly and saying, “right now I’m doing my own thing. Right now I’m going to follow the path of evil in some way. I’m gonna willingly walk into the darkness. I’m gonna willingly walk the pathway that leads to death.” Okay if we’re gonna do that then we are betraying life. That should not feel good. It should not be something that we associate with wholeness or being healthy. It should bring us sorrow because the way Paul puts it, “this kind of godly sorrow leads us away from…from sin, from darkness, from evil and it results in our salvation.” So, if we’re gonna walk away from God in some way, instead of running toward God then…that…we should feel sorrow and that sorrow should lead us to repentance. And repentance is to change, literally to change your mind, like to go in the other direction. It should lead us to repentance. We should feel this separation that we don’t ever want to feel again. So, let’s enter into that today. We have a no shortage of things to feel sorrow about. But let’s focus our attention and awareness on the Holy Spirit’s leading, the things that bring us sorrow because we have walked away from life. Let’s feel the weight of that. Let’s think of what Solomon is saying in Ecclesiastes because as sobering is what he is saying is, he’s still saying the truth. We all we all die. That is the ultimate destiny of each one of us. Our faith informs life beyond this one and we believe this, I believe this, but we all die an earthly death. Why would we walk the pathway to death and foolishness and folly? We should feel sorrow when we’re walking that path. We’re wasting time in this brief moment as Solomon kind of puts before face. It’s not a lengthy indefinite period of time that we get to be in this human body and have the experience of life on planet Earth. Why waste it in the darkness? So, let’s invite the Holy Spirit into that.
Holy Spirit come, well up from within us. We…we have tried to mix light and darkness so much that it’s almost like commonplace. And yet there is a way. There is a path that leads to life. It’s narrow, few find it, but we want to be one who does, which means we have to pay attention to the path we are on and where the road is going. And if we know we are walking into darkness, then the path only goes into the darkness and the end of that road is death. We want to walk the road that leads to life. Come Holy Spirit and show us places within that we are willingly bringing sorrow upon ourselves because we are willingly interrupting what You are doing within us. Come Holy Spirit, we open ourselves to You and we meditate upon this as we move through this day. Lead us as we consider. We ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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