OceanSide church of Christ

Read devotionals for July 2018

August 1, 2018

Ecclesiastes 2:11 – Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

Thought: Solomon had spent many days and a lot of money trying to find happiness. He had been involved in all kinds of activities in his search. As we read about his search, it seems to be the kind of life that all wish they could live. Solomon finally stops to evaluate all he has done. “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought.” His conclusion is found in the following words: vanity, vexation of spirit, and no profit under the sun. His efforts did not yield the happiness he sought. His life was still empty and worthless and hopeless. He desperately wants all to understand this.

Psalm 39:6

August 2, 2018

Ecclesiastes 2:12 – And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? Even that which hath been already done.

Thought: Solomon assures his readers that he has done all a person can do in his search for ultimate happiness. Anyone who comes after him cannot do more than he had done. Yet, it is interesting that men keep trying. They try with small scale efforts. They try with large scale efforts. The result is always the same. Vanity and vexation of spirit. Would that all could learn from Solomon. Happiness and joy are found in something that has nothing to do with the things of this world.

I Kings 10:6-7

August 3, 2018

Ecclesiastes 2:13 – Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.

Thought: Of all the things that Solomon pursued one excelled the others. “Wisdom excelleth folly.” Wisdom has some benefits to man. In some areas, wisdom can make his life better. The benefits are far better than wine, madness, and folly, which have no real benefits at all. Human wisdom, however, still falls short when it comes to bringing happiness. True happiness lies in a very special place.

Proverbs 16:16

August 4, 2018

Ecclesiastes 2:14 – The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.

Thought: Men fall into one of two camps. They are either walking in the light, or, they are walking in darkness. They either walk with their eyes open or their eyes closed. Eventually, one event comes upon each of them, death. How they have lived will mean much when they close their eyes in death.

Psalm 49:10

August 5, 2018

Ecclesiastes 2:15 – Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why am I then more wise? The I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.

Thought: In the previous verse, Solomon had noted that “one event happeneth to them all.” This event is death. Solomon contemplates the fact that death will eventually come upon him. He, then, notes that in this respect, he is just like the fool. The fool and the wise man will both die. If this is all there is to living, Solomon reasoned “that is also is vanity.” In other words, if death is all there is, then how one lives really means nothing. Sadly, this is the conclusion of the atheist and the humanist.

Proverbs 30:16

August 6, 2018

Ecclesiastes 2:16 – For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool forever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? As the fool.

Thought: Death has been called a leveler. It makes all men equal because all men are subject to it. The wise man dies. The fool dies. Once they have been dead for a period of time, they are soon forgotten by the living. As Solomon contemplates this fact, he sees life as being empty. If the end is simply death for all men, then how we live really doesn’t matter. If our lives are not going to be remembered, then our lives mean little. Is living then dying all there is to man? Will Solomon find the answer to this question?

Psalm 103:15-16

August 7, 2018

Ecclesiastes 2:17 – Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Thought: Solomon’s thoughts about life and death cause him to hate life. He saw all of his labors as being very grievous. Strain, labor, toil, sweat, difficulty – only to end in death. “…for all is vanity and vexation of spirit. Dear reader, this is the end of a carnal life. This is the end of a life without God and spiritual things. There is no purpose. There is no hope. All ends in death. Sadly, this is the life that many are experiencing at this time.

Romans 8:22-23

August 8, 2018

Ecclesiastes 2:18 – Yea, I hated all my labor which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that should be after me.

Thought: When a man dies, what does he take with him? Absolutely nothing. He may have a nice home. He may have many furnishings in that home. He may have a nice car. He may have a closet full of nice clothes. He may have a gym membership, a country club membership, and a membership in a social club. He may have a superb vacation destination. Yet, when he dies, he will leave it all behind to others that have come after him. As Solomon contemplated this fact, he said: “I hated all my labor which I had taken under the sun.” If you work hard to have it, only to leave it, what profit is there in having it?

Luke 12:18-21

August 9, 2018

Ecclesiastes 2:19 – And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man for a fool? Yet shall he have rule over all my labor wherein I have labored, and wherein I have showed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.

Thought: Solomon knew that when a man dies he leaves his “things” to those who live on after him. He now thinks of the one to whom his goods have been dispersed. He wonders whether the individual will be a wise man or a fool. He would be much more satisfied if he were a wise man, but it could be a fool. The fool would misuse his goods. He would waste his goods. He would not leave them to others after him. When Solomon thought of this, all he would say is: “This is also vanity.”

I Peter 4:3-4

August 10, 2018

Ecclesiastes 2:20 – Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labor which I took under the sun.

Thought: The lesson Solomon was learning from his experiment about life was extremely powerful. It impacted him deeply on an emotional level. He said: “I went about to cause my heart to despair.” One definition of the word “despair” is “to be desperate.” Another involves being “without hope.” Solomon was about to hit “rock bottom.” Living life, even with many physical achievements, means nothing, if death is the end. What’s the true purpose to such a life? It means nothing. What a reality!

Psalm 39:6-7

August 11, 2018

Ecclesiastes 2:21 – For there is a man whose labor is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not labored therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.

Thought: Solomon looks upon all of the effort that he has put in to acquire both wisdom and wealth. It has taken years to accumulate these things. It has taken sacrifice. It has taken blood, sweat, and tears. Then, he dies. Who gets the things he has worked to diligently to have? “A man that hath not labored therein.” He will leave it to a person who has no appreciation for what it took to get these things. He will not care for them. He will not appreciate them. He will not be a good steward of them. “This also is vanity and a great evil.”

II Chronicles 33:1-3

August 12, 2018

Ecclesiastes 2:22 – For what hath man of all his labor, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath labored under the sun?

Thought: When a man takes years of study to accumulate knowledge, what does he really have at the end of the process? When a makes works and toils all of his life to accumulate things, what does he really have to show for his efforts at the end of the process. Again, if life is just about effort, accumulation, then death, then life is just vanity and vexation of spirit. The end is not much more meaningful than that beginning.

I Timothy 6:6-7

August 13, 2018

Ecclesiastes 2:23 – For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.

Thought: To make life meaningful in a secular sense takes a lot of time, money, and effort. It also involves a lack of sleep, sorrow, and grief. Becoming rich, obtaining knowledge, and building and empire comes at a cost. As a person looks back upon the sacrifices that were made, he sometimes finds that they were not really worth it. In fact, many would make the same assertion that Solomon made in the long ago: “This is also vanity.”

Psalm 39:5-6

August 14, 2018

Ecclesiastes 2:24 – There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

Thought: The one good thing that Solomon found in his labors is that he has the right to partake of them in this life. He writes: “…he should make his soul enjoy the good in his labor.” All acknowledge this truth. It is one of the reasons people work so hard. We have come to accept that the brief time we have to enjoy our labors is worth the difficulty and struggle of the labors themselves. This is the bright side of man’s work under the sun. It is something that God has ordained.

II Timothy 2:6

August 15, 2018

Ecclesiastes 2:25 - For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?

Thought: Solomon now tells us that he is one who can enjoy the fruit of his labors. He has been blessed beyond measure. When the Queen of Sheba saw Solomon’s greatness, she said: “The half has not been told.” Who could eat and who could enjoy his harvest more than Solomon. The answer is simply: “No one.” But, does this one thing really bring true happiness? Is that momentary pleasure what life is really all about? Far too many people answer this question in the affirmative.

I Kings 4:22-23

August 16, 2018

Ecclesiastes 2:26 – For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Thought: Solomon has not omitted God from his experiment. He has found that God blesses the faithful with wisdom, knowledge, and joy in this life. He has also learned that God brings retribution upon the sinner. He takes from those who rebel against him and gives to the righteous. However, the enemy of death will appear. The blessings the righteous has received will be gone. “This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.”

Job 27:16-17

August 17, 2018

Ecclesiastes 3:1 – To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.

Thought: Life has its moments. All men experience them. Some men control. Some he does not. Some are determined by the decisions of others. Some are determined by the providential hand of God. Some happen in the course of natural law. As we read through Solomon’s list of these moments, we will all have emotional reactions remembering when these times and seasons came upon us.

Proverbs 15:23

August 18, 2018

Ecclesiastes 3:2 – A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.

Thought: All of us know the truth within these words. We have experienced the birth of a child. We have attended funerals of loved ones and friends. Some of us may have planted gardens of either vegetables or flowers. We remember planting the plants and we remember plucking them up at the end of the season. We need to remember that the time of our birth has passed. We now await the time of our death. At that time, how we lived will be very important. Live for God. Live with purpose.

Genesis 21:1-2

August 19, 2018

Ecclesiastes 3:3 – A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up.

Thought: Again, all humanity has experienced these contrasts. We have had animals that were too sick or too hurt to help. They had to be put to sleep. On the other hand, there are situations wherein healing is the most viable option. In like manner, some things just need to be torn down. They are too run down and dilapidated to restore. Too, there are times to build up. Sometimes a few boards, nails and a fresh coat of paint go a long way. Making the distinction between these various times of life can be difficult and heart breaking. Healing and building up, on the other hand, bring great joy.

Jeremiah 31:28

August 20, 2018

Ecclesiastes 3:4 – A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

Thought: Each of us has had times of sorrow in our lives. Perhaps it involved rejection. Maybe it involved a loss in our lives. It may have been when we experienced pain, either physically or emotionally. Each of us has also had times of joy in our lives: the birth of a child, an accomplishment in life, or good news about others in our lives. All of these things bring laughter and merriment to life. We do not enjoy the sorrow, but the sorrow helps us to appreciate the joys of life. My friend, endure the sorrow and appreciate the times that cause you to dance.

Luke 15:8-10