Recent Episodes

September 20, 2022

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 — 2 Are Better Than 1

In this digital age, it is really all about self, and that is something we should be aware of.  It is easy to get lost in our smart phones, whether it is a video game, or watching a movie on our iPad.  The technological era has made it very easy to get swallowed up in satisfying our own personal desires.  Solomon puts that in check today though as he points out the weaknesses of a person who is in constant solitude:

Ecc 4:9  Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.

Ecc 4:10  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

Ecc 4:11  Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone?

Ecc 4:12  A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

So Solomon reminds us that groups of people can build one another up, there’s nothing more comforting that when we are going through dark times, and we have someone to lean on.  Groups of people can help other succeed, survive, defend and even conquer.  It also makes a great case for marriage where spouses can lean upon one another for strength and protection.  


September 19, 2022

Ecclesiastes Study – The Vanity Of Solitude

Solomon’s thoughts give us some insight on why we should enjoy those closest to us, here Solomon blasts the one who chooses not to have anyone close to him, in other words, the greedy miser who wants to hoard everything to themselves:  

Ecc 4:7  Then I looked again at vanity under the sun.

Ecc 4:8  There was a certain man without a dependent, having neither a son nor a brother, yet there was no end to all his labor. Indeed, his eyes were not satisfied with riches and he never asked, “And for whom am I laboring and depriving myself of pleasure?” This too is vanity and it is a grievous task.

That’s a great question Solomon is asking here.  What is the point of living on an island unto yourself and sacrificing our time to work day and night when no one else is going to benefit from it?  The man of solitude has no one to pass his assets onto, no siblings and no kids, so  Solomon asks, what is the point?!  Indeed, a frustrating situation because we can’t take any of that money, wealth and assets with us when we die!  

Something to ponder on this week ahead, let’s make sure we spend our time in fellowship with our family and friends, and not be like the man of solitude that Solomon portrays today.  

September 15, 2022

Ecclesiastes 4:4 – Jealousy Should *NOT* Be What Motivates Us

Solomon cuts to the heart of the matter in today’s reading on what’s drives people to succeed:  

Ecc 4:4  Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind. 

The reality here is that we see someone else doing well, or better than we are, it triggers our insecurities and assaults our stubborn pride, when someone shows up with a nicer car, we immediately think that their success is going to make us look bad, so in turn we go out and buy a bigger car, because we have to one up our neighbor.

This is all sinful behavior, we are coveting or wanting to possess something that we don’t have…that’s actually one of the Ten Commandments that we are breaking when we do that, when God tells us back in Exodus you should not covet your neighbors wife, their servant, their house or donkey, we are breaking God’s law when we are envious of those around us.  

Solomon noted that the world is driven by envy, just as it is today; and it was like chasing the wind, or pointless, because we work day and night to make money and buy all this stuff, but what good is it in the scope of eternity?  We can’t take it with us when we die, our graves, nice cars and clunkers, are still the same size.

So next time we see someone roll in with a new car or the latest gadget, we should remember that the envy that we might feel is actually a violation of one of the Ten Commandments and like Solomon said, it is pointless anyhow!  All this stuff expires anyway, but on the bright side, God’s kingdom is eternal…better to obey His Word than our own feelings that will only trip us up in more sin. 


September 14, 2022

Ecclesiastes 4 — Solomon On The Evils Under The Sun

As we start out Ecclesiastes Chapter 4, we note that this section of scripture is entitled “evil under the sun”. These are the various evils in the world that Solomon observed throughout the course of his life, 

Ecc 4:1  Again, I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless.

Not much has changed since then, there are still oppressive governments now that wastefully spend at the top while tax payers have to give half of their income up.  The same can be said about modern day corporations and banks.  Unless you are in the top rung of the food chain, you pretty much have to do what you’re told.  

In the following verses, Solomon laments the evils of the world and concludes that some folks are better off not even being born:

Ecc 4:2  So I concluded that the dead are better off than the living.

Ecc 4:3  But most fortunate of all are those who are not yet born. For they have not seen all the evil that is done under the sun.

In the western world we live in, the oppression probably isn’t as extreme, but if we think back to the Jews of the holocaust that happened not even 100 years ago, surely many of those poor souls had that thought, what if I had never been born.

As we have learned in previous verses, man is inherently evil, whether it was in the time of Solomon from 700 BC, or even the evil dictatorships that flourish in other parts of the world today, man is always trying to murder other men and make them suffer.  

Even us, while we may not have committed murderous actions, we have likely had murderous thoughts at one point or another.  That is the beauty of the Gospel message, it opens up our eyes to our sin, and teaches us to hate our sinful ways and try and be more like Christ.  All Glory to Him.

September 8, 2022

Ecc 3:17 In due season God will judge everyone, both good & bad

Living in a fallen world where it seems like good things happen to bad people can be frustrating. 

It’s even more exaggerated with social media where we have a window into the lives of others, and it seems like wicked people are often rewarded for their bad behavior. 

On the other hand living a righteous, low-key and humble life may seem burdensome at times, especially in a broken world where it seems like evil flourishes.  Today’s verse puts all of that in check though:

Ecc 3:17  I said to myself, “In due season God will judge everyone, both good and bad, for all their deeds.”

God has appointed a time for everything as learned from our earlier verses, a time for love, a time for hate…

Today’s scripture also shows us that God has also made a time where all accounts will be settled, both for the good and for the evil. 

It might not happen the way we want it to, but truth be told, we have no say in the matter, God who is infinitely wiser than we are, will settle all these accounts on God’s on time, not ours.  

September 7, 2022

Ecclesiastes 3:15 – The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

Today’s Ecclesiastes verse really puts our high views that we hold of ourselves in check, man in his extreme hubris, is incredibly self absorbed, the times we are living in right now is very me-myself-and-i focused, thinking that we have this profound influence on the future of the universe,  but Solomon reminds us that God reigns supreme:

Ecc 3:15  What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.

IT’s like the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.  In other words, the events that seem to be brand new around us now, actually happened already.  Think along the lines of wars, that’s definitely one thing that has been consistent throughout humanity, man fighting with himself and murdering one another.  We can remotely launch drone strikes with the push of a button, but the end result is no different than the different battles that have spanned the expanses of time since the earth was created.  Man is inherently evil thank to the curse of Adam, this may seem like a dark worldview, but that doesn’t make the fact of humanities inherent evil, any less true.

However, all of this is to further glorify God’s name.  Man is born broken, but God shines the light in our hearts that makes us realize how broken we are and bring us into Christ’s Gospel.  The realization that nothing we can bring to the table can take away the debt that our sins pile up over the years.  The only thing that takes that sin away completely is Christ’s death on the cross.  God loved us so much that He sent His very best to die for us so that we can be made right, and have fellowship with Him in the life that comes after this one.  

September 6, 2022

Ecclesiastes 3:11 – Man’s Vague Understanding Of Eternity

Today Solomon covers the notion of eternity and that is way beyond what we are capable of understanding.  

Ecc 3:11  Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

Here The Word points out that God has made man aware of the concept of eternity, but our lives are not eternal.  We are here for a while, and then we are gone, but the earth continues to revolve around the sun, just as it did before we arrived and just as it will after we leave.  

We vaguely understand this.  But despite this, we can’t see or understand the beginning or end of what God has created.  Think about all the speculation and theory of how the world originated.  Scientists have been pitching the Big Bang theory for the last several years, and it has even made it’s way into the classroom, instead of the notion of God’s creation.  The problem with all of these theories like evolution  is that they are still just theories, rooted in very limited facts.  

The idea of eternity we can kind of understand, but cannot truly wrap our minds around, like the universe not having an end, nor knowing how it got here, outside of what God’s word tells us.  It is way above our pay grade…but humans, in our foolish arrogance, denies God’s sovereignty and pitch these dismal theories as facts.  

September 2, 2022

Ecclesiastes Chapter 2:10-11 – The Vanity of Excessive Pleasure

King Solomon is still trying to satiate his desires to find meaning in the world, and we keep in mind that he was doing this without having a Biblical worldview, so given that Solomon was a King, he had infinite resources at his disposal, basically enough money to buy any kind of pleasure he wanted whether it was wine or women.  

Ecc 2:10  And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil.

Ecc 2:11  Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

Again Solomon concludes finding happiness through pleasure is vanity, or meaningless, as in overindulging on things like food, or alcohol or drugs, and kind of excess, is supposed to bring pleasure, but Solomon, who did all that, tells us there was nothing to be gained from it. 

Very important stuff here, if we think when we are hungry and then go out and crush a whole large stuff crust pizza, after we finish eating it, do we feel a prolonged sense of happiness?  Not usually, we end up feel bad and even sick afterwards.  Same thing with booze, a couple of hours of howling at the moon usually equates to 12+ hours of being hung over the following day.  

Happiness is not found in earthly things, as Christ tells us, earthly treasures wither and fade, but we should put our sights on what is heavenly or eternal, because those things don’t wither and fade, they are eternal.  

September 1, 2022

The Vanity of Higher Learning

Opening up Ecclesiastes today, the author; King Solomon made it his mission to learn everything there was to learn, but in this task, his approach was without God.  So Solomon is trying to fill his mind with all the philosophers and knowledge of the day, thinking that he will find happiness in increasing his intellectual prowess, and here is what he tells us:

Ecc 1:17  And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.

When he tells us it is striving after the wind, he means that it is an empty pursuit.  Man cannot grab the wind, just as man cannot find happiness in knowing all there is to know about the different  ancienct philosophies as he Solomon tells us in the next verse: 

Ecc 1:18  For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

William McDonald makes a great comparison here to college campuses.  Higher learning is supposed to be the place where “we find ourselves” through various studies of different subjects, but as Solomon points out, he who increases knowledge, increases sorrow.  True enough, college campuses are never not protesting about something, there seems to be an endless amount of rage associated with college campuses with their constant protests.  

This all points to the reality that true contentment is only found in living a live that pleases God, understanding that God runs the show, and not us!  

August 31, 2022

Proverbs 31:v8-9 — defend the rights of the poor and needy

In the final chapter of the Proverbs, the author is no longer Solomon, but rather King Lemuel and the chapter opens up with advice for Kings, that could certainly be applicable to any kind of a ruler, be it a head of state, a manager, a pastor or a head of the household.  

Pro 31:8  Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.

Pro 31:9  Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy

With that language used “open your mouth” God’s Word is calling for leaders make their voices heard on behalf of those who can’t speak up for themselves, whether they are literally mute or poor and don’t have the means to plead their own case.  In other words, don’t only pay attention to those who sit first class, remember everyone, especially those who are poor or can’t plead their own cases.  

Jesus was a huge advocate for the poor and needy, and we remember back then there were no welfare programs to help people out, if you were poor, you were likely starving, there was not much in the way of modern medicine, but Jesus focused a lot of his ministry on helping these types of folks out, whether it was poor in health, like the blind man, or poor in stature like the woman at the well.  Christ ministered to these people, He did not forget about them, and like Lemuel says in our Proverbs, we too should remember the have-nots.  didn’t forget about the needy and neither should we! 

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