OceanSide church of Christ
Read devotionals for September 2018
October 1, 2018
Ecclesiastes 5:8 – If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.
Thought: Man seems to marvel when the poor are oppressed and judgment is perverted. Solomon writes: “Marvel not at the matter.” Injustice isn’t new. Many get angry and respond with wrath and violence. One thing should be remembered: “he that is higher than the highest regardeth.” God who occupies the highest throne in the universe knows what is happening. One day, He will right all the wrongs. He will punish all those who pervert justice and remove the voice of the poor and widow.
October 2, 2018
Ecclesiastes 5:9 – Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field.
Thought: Before kings and those in power, seek to do harm to “the little guy,” they need to remember that all men are dependent upon one another. The laborer depends on the king for protection from the evil doers. The king depends on the laborer for the goods produced in the field. Each, therefore, should seek the others best interest and the kingdom will flourish. If they do not, the kingdom suffers.
I Samuel 8:12-16
October 3, 2018
Ecclesiastes 5:10 – He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.
Thought: “I hope I win the lottery.” “I wish I had just a couple of million dollars.” “I wish I could make $250,000.00 a year.” “I wish I were as rich as…” Most common people have made these statements. We have been deceived into thinking that riches will make our lives wonderful. The problem is that one is never satisfied with riches and abundance. Solomon says: “This is also vanity.” Isn’t that a thought! A person can be wealthy beyond measure and still be empty and never satisfied.
October 4, 2018
Ecclesiastes 5:11 – When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?
Thought: The more one possesses, the more people he needs around him to operate and maintain his wealth. With the increase of goods comes the increase of them that eat them. Too, what does a person really have after he has acquired a mansion? A sports car? A pool? A second house? He only has things he can look upon with his eyes. He only has “things.” More mouths to feed and things to look at. Is that happiness? Or, is it vanity as well?
October 5, 2018
Ecclesiastes 5:12 – The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
Thought: It seems that most have a desire to be rich. However, we fail to understand some of the negative consequences of being rich. The rich are not able to sleep as well as the laborer. He is constantly worried about his riches. Will they be there tomorrow? Will someone take them from him? Are his investments making a good return? Fret and worry are always in the mind of the rich. A person who works every day to make a living, whether he earns little or much, is able to sleep soundly. The burden of much wealth does not plague his mind. In essence, riches are not always a blessing.
I Thessalonians 4:11
October 6, 2018
Ecclesiastes 5:13 – There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.
Thought: Riches are fleeting. When they depart, hurt and despair come to their owners. They trusted in them. They relied upon them for their identity, their happiness, and their hope. When they leave, there is an emptiness, a hopelessness, that enters into the life of the one who possessed them. Because they measured their lives by their riches, they are nothing when their riches depart. As Solomon said, this is a “sore evil.”
October 7, 2018
Ecclesiastes 5:14 – But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand.
Thought: Riches can be taken from the wealthy in a variety of ways: a stock market crash, poor investments, robbery, and extortion to name a few. Now the family suffers poverty and hardship. The children of the wealthy find nothing in their hands. What was going to be an inheritance is gone forever. This is another example Solomon gives of vanity within our world.
October 8, 2018
Ecclesiastes 5:15 – As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labor, which he may carry away in his hand.
Thought: Solomon states a simple and sobering truth. It is a truth that no one can deny. Nothing material that we amass in this world will be taken with us when we die. We can accumulate stockpiles of riches. We can build massive buildings. We can have storehouses filled with goods. When we die, they will remain right here. Nothing will be carried by the individual into the next life. If this is true, why do we give so much attention to things? Something much more valuable deserves our attention.
I Timothy 6:7
October 9, 2018
Ecclesiastes 5:16 – And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath labored for the wind?
Thought: Solomon continues his thought from yesterday. Man enters the world with nothing. Man leaves the world with nothing. Thus, he asks the question: “What profit hath he that laboreth for the wind?” Man works hard. He accumulates many things. Man dies and leaves it all behind. His efforts appear to be futile. The wise man refers to it as “a sore evil.” It happens every day. Man works hard all of his life only to die and leave it all behind. Even so, this is the most important thing in life to many.
October 10, 2018
Ecclesiastes 5:17 – All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.
Thought: Riches in and of themselves are neither good nor bad. However, great riches tend to separate a man from God. Man tends to trust in his wealth rather than in the living God. Those who allow this to happen are in darkness, separated from the true Light. These individuals may appear to be more than human, but they are not. They, too, experience sorrow, wrath, and sickness. Their appearance is often deceiving. We much remember that riches are not a shield from the human predicament.
II Kings 1:2
October 11, 2018
Ecclesiastes 5:18 – Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor which he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him for his portion.
Thought: Solomon returns to a concept discussed earlier. He tells us that it is “good and comely” for an individual “to enjoy the good of all his labor.” Ultimately, man dies and leaves all of his hard work behind. He leaves it to others who do not appreciate it and may misuse it. Therefore, the benefit of his labor comes in this life. When a person enjoys the portion God has given him, it is a blessing. Solomon is not talking about wastefulness. He is referring to one being the beneficiary of his diligent labor.
October 12, 2018
Ecclesiastes 5:19 – Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God.
Thought: When we work hard, we often deceive ourselves into thinking that we are the ones who have brought blessings into our life through our diligence. We sometimes forget that what we have really comes from God. He blessed us with talents. He blessed us with good health. He blessed us with time. He blessed us with profits. What we enjoy from our labor is “the gift of God.” May each of us be thankful for God’s blessings. May we never forget God’s involvement in our labors.
October 13, 2018
Ecclesiastes 5:20 – For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answered him in the joy of his heart.
Thought: Enjoying the fruit of one’s labor allows a man to forget the struggles, difficulties, and hardships of life. The good seems to offset the bad. The good enables him to appreciate life rather than being discouraged by life. This blessing comes from God. God grants man serenity and ease in a world that it filled with turmoil and sin. God gives man joy in a world that is filled with sorrow. Man has a tendency to remember the good and forget the bad. Thank God for this blessing.
October 14, 2018
Ecclesiastes 6:1 – There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men.
Thought: Remember, Solomon has been investigating the world trying to find true happiness. In his search, he has found much evil among men. These are things that are not fair. These are things that bring sorrow. These are things that sometimes involve sin. These are things that cause man to believe that all that is in the earth is vanity and vexation. It is good for us to see and understand these things.
October 15, 2018
Ecclesiastes 6:2 – A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.
Thought: There have been numerous people who have accumulated much wealth, but were not able to enjoy it. They did not enjoy it while they amassed it because of constantly working for it. Some never enjoyed it because they died young. Others found themselves in bad health when it was time to enjoy it. Still others did not enjoy it because they were so covetous that they would not spend it. It meant more to them stored in an investment account somewhere. These individuals left their possessions to others. Solomon saw this as vanity and an evil disease.
October 16, 2018
Ecclesiastes 6:3 – If a man beget a hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial: I say that an untimely birth is better than he.
Thought: Children should be a blessing to the one who has them. Living a long life is also a blessing. But, if one’s life is not filled with good, and, if a person’s children refuse to give him a proper burial at his death, an untimely birth is better. Sometimes death seems like a better alternative than living. The writer is not advocating suicide. He merely states a reality. Some lives would have been better if they had never been lived.
October 17, 2018
Ecclesiastes 6:4 – For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness.
Thought: In the previous verse, the inspired penman had mentioned one who experiences an untimely birth. An untimely birth is a miscarriage. He now describes the infant that was miscarried. He cometh in with vanity. Because the child dies in the womb, there is no purpose to his life. He departeth in darkness, that is, he dies in the womb. His name shall be covered with darkness. Often miscarried infants are never named. Miscarriages happen all of the time. They are extremely sad events. Fortunately, the infant is known by God in the womb.
October 18, 2018
Ecclesiastes 6:5 – Moreover he hath not seen the sun, nor known any thing: this hath more rest than the other.
Thought: Solomon continues to describe an infant who has been miscarried. He has not seen the sun and knows nothing. The child was never given birth. He never sees this world. He never grows and learns. “This hath more rest than the other.” In the mind of Solomon, the miscarried child is in a better situation than a person who lives his life to its full end, but his life is filled with evil and without any respect from his children. This man knows more sorrow and heartache than the miscarried child.
October 19, 2018
Ecclesiastes 6:6 – Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?
Thought: Solomon continues to speak of the man whose life was filled with no good. Even if such a life were extended to one or two thousand years, there would still be nothing good about it. The length of one’s life does not determine the quality of life. When all is said and done, this man will die. His life will be one that was vain and empty. My friend, enjoy life. Live life to the fullest. Even if it is short, make it memorable.
October 20, 2018
Ecclesiastes 6:7 – All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.
Thought: We think we just have to have it. If we have it, it will satisfy our longing. If we have it, it will be all we need. If we have it, there will be nothing more we could possibly want. So, we labor to obtain the thing for which we hunger. We get it. We enjoy it for a brief time. Then, there is something else for which we long. Man desires. Man works to fulfill his desire. Man desires again. True contentment is not something that comes to very many individuals.
I Timothy 6:6-8
October 21, 2018
Ecclesiastes 6:8 – For what hath the wise more than the fool? what hath the poor, that knoweth to walk before the living.
Thought: Man has a tendency to judge between various groups of people. We believe one to be better than another. If all are looked upon as humans who are racing toward the same end, death, “what hath the wise more than the fool?” Even the poor who knows how to properly conduct himself in life is on the same level as others. My friends, our desire to divide men into classes needs to be tempered by the reality that all men are the same on several levels.
October 22, 2018
Ecclesiastes 6:9 – Better is the sight of the eyes than wandering desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.
Thought: We all long for more. We all like to think into the future. We all like to contemplate what could be. However, as we focus on these desires and longings, we fail to see the blessings of the present. We miss the happiness of what we have right now. Solomon says: “Better is the sight of the eyes than wandering desire.” Wandering desire may never come. Those who focus exclusively on those things are filling their lives with vanity and vexation of spirit. Thank God for your daily bread.
October 23, 2018
Ecclesiastes 6:10 – That which hath been is named already, and it is known that it is man: neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he.
Thought: Solomon has said: “There is nothing new under the sun.” What happens to man now has happened to man in the past. It has been experienced and named by others. These events that happen over and over help to shape man. These things were set in motion by our Creator. Whether we like them or not, we cannot change them. It will do us no good to contend with the Creator about them. We must allow them to shape and mold us as they have others in the past.