Solomon has several concluding chapters as he shares wisdom on enduring the margin of mystery. The theme is similar to 1 Peter 4:19: When life is hard to understand, stay active doing good things.
The next section of Ecclesiastes we will study is Ecclesiastes 6:1-8:15. The beginning of chapter 6 instructs us how to navigate life's apparent divine inequalities. The message of the book is consistent: God's people must persevere in enjoying God and His blessings, even when God seems unfair.
There is profundity in simplicity. Our world is complicated, but God's plan to lead us back to Himself is simple. Human ways to God only lead to destruction.
Human wisdom robs our joy. Left to our own thinking, life doesn't make much sense. Lived with God's wisdom, life can be enjoyed.
In every period of time, God gives His people time to stop, worship, and celebrate. Nehemiah 8:1-12 shows one of those occasions. The nation of Israel was back from exile, rebuilding Jerusalem, and celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles. Scholars tell us the book of Ecclesiastes was usually read publicly at this festival. Nehemiah's admonition to the people to rejoice, not grieve, is a similar message to Solomon's. The best way to enjoy life is to enjoy it with God, by living according to His Word. Conviction should be a quick work, with grace then bringing joy.
Philippians 3:10 expresses the Apostle Paul's desire to "know Him [Christ] and the power of His resurrection." In the Bible, the word "to know" usually means to share one's life. We share life with those who are closest to us, spouses, family, and close friends. We share in Christ's life when we know Him as our Savior.
Romans 8 was written to believers who lived in a society experiencing relative peace and security, similar to what we experience in our day. Often this sense of security gives way to moral relativism. Regardless of society's views, Jesus is always the exclusive way to spiritual peace.
Romans 5:12-21 concludes the first major section of this book. Alva J. McClain said about these verses, "A constant reading of this passage, under the leadership of the Spirit of God, never fails to bear fruit." It is a refrain of the blessings of justification in Paul's presentation of the Gospel.
Many hymns tell how the truth of the resurrection affects our life today. "I serve a risen Savior," wrote Alfred Ackley in "He Lives!" Charles Wesley underscored the reality that because Christ has risen, we will also rise, in his hymn "Come, Let Us With Our Lord Arise." Those who know Christ live because of Him, and our glory is His.
By contrast, those who choose to live without God often describe the fleeting nature of human life. English poet Thomas Gray wrote the line, "The paths of glory lead but to the grave." Our glory is short-lived without Christ. God's glory is eternal, and He has wonderfully planned to share it through Jesus Christ.
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