Solomon reveals that God is solidly in control of time. Knowing that God is sovereign over time should fill us with faith in God's workmanship.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that a life lived apart from God, under the sun, amounts to vanity and a fist full of wind. As we become aware of God's involvement in our lives, we begin to stand in awe of God, developing an appreciation for the proper investme. . .
John Ritenbaugh, cuing onto Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, observes that we must do what we must to keep a relationship with God. Solomon teaches us that money may provide some security, but it cannot be relied upon for satisfaction; only a relationship with God wi. . .
God emphasizes Ecclesiastes during the Feast of Tabernacles to show the result of doing whatever our human heart leads us to do. The physical cannot satisfy.
God has given His people tremendous gifts that, if used, will build their faith and draw them closer to Him. He wants us to succeed because we matter.
Ecclesiastes is perhaps the most practical, as well as profitable, book in the Old Testament, providing overviews of life-guiding advice, essentially a roadmap through the labyrinth, which constitutes the Christian's life journey. Ecclesiastes could be con. . .
Ecclesiastes is full of frustration, bluntness, and even a little hopeless. However, its themes are realistic and necessary for us to grasp.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the writings of the wisest mortal man who ever lived, admonishes us that we must use our faith to follow what God says, acquiring wisdom and understanding with all the energy and resources we have. There is a vital linkage be. . .
As he closes Ecclesiastes 7, Solomon makes a confession about the search for wisdom, saying that, even to him, true wisdom remained beyond his grasp.
God works all the time. In fact, it is the first thing we see God doing in His Book. We must follow His example to become skilled in living as He does.
A major theme of the book of Ecclesiastes is satisfaction. In his wisdom, Solomon assiduously sought out the answer to the question, "What brings a person true satisfaction?" John Ritenbaugh proposes that God desires far more for us than mere satisfaction:. . .
John Ritenbaugh, continuing his exposition on Ecclesiastes 6, appraises the book of Ecclesiastes as the most bluntly profound book in the entire Bible, pointing to our urgent need to develop a relationship with God. We did not create ourselves or give ours. . .
John Ritenbaugh maintains that Ecclesiastes 3:10-15 constitutes a useful roadmap for the confusing labyrinth of life. God's ways are inscrutable to most people; grasping these revelations requires a special gift. Unless God calls us and gifts us with this . . .
John Ritenbaugh, claiming that one major reason people find Ecclesiastes to be pessimistic is that much of life also contains negativity, suggests that Solomon, who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, found much of life discouraging, disappointing, . . .
John Ritenbaugh, reminding us that Ecclesiastes chapters 1-6 contains a sub-theme of materialism—specifically an indictment of the supposed satisfaction one receives from it suggests that materialism contains no lasting fulfillment. According to some. . .
Love for this world will inevitably bring disillusionment. Because the world is passing away, our priorities should be to fear God and keep his commandments.
John Ritenbaugh, continuing his exposition on Ecclesiastes, focuses on three interrelated terms: paradox (something contrary to expectation), conundrum (a riddle), and wisdom (skill in arts, such as Bezalel and Oholiab who were gifted in a specific skill&m. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reiterating that, although Ecclesiastes contains no direct prophecies, it does not present Christ as Savior, it contains no "thus saith the Lord" commands, and it makes no mention of Satan, nevertheless it does deals with quality. . .
The type of wisdom Ecclesiastes teaches is not of the purely philosophical variety, but is a spiritual sagacity combined with practical skill in living.
John Ritenbaugh, cuing in on Ecclesiastes 2:24-26, affirms that enjoyment from one's labor comes from the LORD and that the proper use of our allotted time becomes increasingly more relevant as we anticipate the conclusion of our physical lives. Solomon in. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reiterating the warning of the apostle Paul that evil company corrupts good habits, warns us that the desire to sin is highly contagious and is a deadly, communicable disease. Because the world we inhabit swims in sin, we have the obligati. . .
Ecclesiastes 7 contains a paradox: wickedness appears to be rewarded and righteousness seems to bring trouble. We must be careful in how we respond to this.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the curse of a corrupt judicial system described in Ecclesiastes 5:8-9, warns us that corruption in the courts is a fact of life, but it will intensify before Christ returns. We should not be surprised by this curse, realizin. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the book of Ecclesiastes, a document which provides an overview of the consequences of life's frustrating activities, gives us directions for making it through the labyrinth of life. This treatise prepares us with helpful, p. . .
God knows the end from the beginning, but He does not give us all the details at once, except as they are necessary for us for His purpose to be worked out.
There is a danger that arises when the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper: trying to put God under obligation to bless us through becoming 'super-righteous'.
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Proverbs 4:7, maintains that our supreme objective in godly living is attainment and cultivation of wisdom, which consists of attributes giving us skill in living. We learn that the Book of Ecclesiastes has no meaning for someo. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reiterating that wisdom is not the answer to all of life's problems, indicates that it is still a valuable virtue, transforming us for good and a sense of well-being. In the matter of deference to civil authority, we must remember that, as. . .
John Ritenbaugh reflects on two recent news items in which individuals foolishly initiated altercations with police and lost their lives in the process. As a matter of common sense, it seems the height of idiocy to challenge constituted authority. Solomon . . .
To keep us secure from the temptations of the world, we must embrace our metaphorical sister, Wisdom, keeping us focused on our relationship with God.
When Solomon visits the Temple, he comes away with a sense that too many treat religion far too casually, forgetting that they are coming before God.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that satisfaction in life does not derive from material things or wealth, by instead from an eternal relationship with God who has given us abundant spiritual gifts which we must reciprocate by developing skill in living from usi. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on Solomon's ruminations about life being seemingly futile and purposeless, reiterates that a relationship with God is the only factor which prevents life from becoming useless. As many celebrities and public figures withdraw to. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the multiple nuances of the Hebrew words translated into the English word "wisdom," suggests that an acquired skill for living represents the common denominator in all of these definitions. Godly wisdom is only atta. . .
John Ritenbaugh, stating that Ecclesiastes 3 expresses awesome possibilities for the future, also points out that Ecclesiastes 4 reminds us that there are harsh realities for those living under the sun, making compromise with the world inviting. Many of Go. . .
John Ritenbaugh, cuing in on Psalm 73:1-9, describing the despair of someone seeing the wicked prosper while the righteous suffer, affirms that it is a delusion that people in the world are leading comfortable lives. Christian living, while not comfortable. . .
Along with the central paradox of Ecclesiastes 7, the chapter emphasizes the importance of an individual's lifelong search for wisdom.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the unpleasant prospect of overhearing hurtful gossip about us from someone we have trusted, observes that, in all likelihood, our tongue has been just as detrimental against someone who may have trusted us. What goes around . . .
Solomon provides these comparisons to indicate the choices we should make to live better lives in alignment with God, even in an 'nder the sun' world.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting that Ecclesiastes 7 contains some of the most significant concepts applicable to the Christian religion, identifies them as follows: (1) A good name or reputation (based on trust, responsibility, or dependability) is better than. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reiterating that the entire world is under the sway of Satan the devil (I John 5:19, Revelation 12:9, Ephesians 2:1-3), warns us to analyze and evaluate everything that enters our minds from the contaminated, mendacious media sources, medi. . .
John Ritenbaugh, focusing upon II John 5, an epistle which cautions about deceivers who would denigrate the value of work, considers the straining on the point "we cannot earn salvation" a red herring, diverting our attention from the true value . . .
Ecclesiastes 7:1-4 highlight the Bible's attitude toward death, particularly its insistence that we allow the reality of death to change our approach to life.
Trials are a means to produce spiritual growth, unless we resort to super-righteousness, straining to please God by exalting our works.
Although many lessons of the book of Ruth allude to Old Covenant teachings, Ruth prefigures New Covenant principles such as mercy, Christ's care, and acceptance.
John Ritenbaugh, continuing his exposition of Ecclesiastes as he focuses on a paradox which initially provides a measure of grief and anguish to believers, the paradox which shows an unrighteous man flourishing and a righteous man suffering, points us to t. . .
Solomon makes the subject of deference a major part of Ecclesiastes 8. Christians must always strive to see God behind those in power over us.
Hard trials are not punishments from God for unrighteousness but tests of faith in which He is intimately involved to prepare us for the world to come.
John Ritenbaugh, reiterating that Christ died to free us from fear of eternal death, reminds us that we nevertheless have the obligation to prepare for our physical death. When Jesus Christ holds the power over fear of death, we are delivered from the bond. . .
John Ritenbaugh, focusing upon the metaphorical aspects of work and walking, suggests that these activities play a major role in overcoming and sanctification. We must have a higher regard for Christian works than our everyday job, realizing that work is a. . .
Winter is a time of cold, darkness, and sadness. As many as 10% of people in northern areas have Seasonal Affective Disorder. The Psalms for winter can help.
Ecclesiastes 2 records what Solomon experienced when he was a young man in the prime of his wealth and power. ...
Solomon says, 'What is crooked cannot be made straight,' a truism that most people know to be the case. Harsh words cannot be unsaid. Wicked deeds cannot be undone.
Both Tabernacles and Unleavened Bread keep us off balance so that we remain humble, seek stability, and trust in God's providence for our ultimate destiny.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the recent untimely death of Amanda Allen , focuses on some lyrics of a popular song recorded in 1975 by Matt Monro, titled "Yesterday When I Was Young." Sadly, wisdom is not a trait valued or acquired by youth, but. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on his memory of a local legend in his youth, an 85-year-old woman named Mother Barker, who frequently walked several miles, doggedly sacrificing for her family by toting groceries and provisions, makes several observations abou. . .
John Ritenbaugh explores the different nuances of this huge, sprawling negative concept, ranging from transitoriness, futility, profitlessness, confusion, falseness, conceit, vainglory, denial, and idolatry. Moses encapsulates the Old Testament's understan. . .
While various religions and some philosophies suggest an afterlife of some sort, the fear of the unknown transforms death into a foreboding Grim Reaper.
Joy is more than just happiness. There is a joy that God gives, through the action of His Spirit in us, that far exceeds mere human cheerfulness.
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Romans 9-11 and Ephesians 1, answers the question often posed by Herbert W. Armstrong, "Why are we here?" God does not treat people equally. As Solomon once observed, all seems to be vanity and the same things happen . . .
David Maas, focusing on Psalm 90:12, an admonition to number our days in order to get a heart of wisdom, reflects on the stark contrast between God's robust eternity and mankind's fragile mortality. Meditating on the perils of our transitory existence para. . .
John Ritenbaugh exhorts us to consider what God is working out in our lives. We usually tend to compare ourselves not with the majority of the world, who are worse off than we are, but with a set of high-achievers (such as the NASA astronauts who walked on. . .
Focusing upon Proverbs 4:23, David Maas reminds us that the scriptures exhort us to jealously and protectively guard what goes into our minds because we will ultimately "turn into" what we assimilate. The only part of us that will survive through. . .
If we surrender to God, allowing Him to shape character in us, He will enable us to live in hope, giving us direct access to Him, giving us a more abundant life.
Joe Baity, continuing his exposition on "Letting Go" suggests that the carnal man's mission statement appears in Genesis 11:4—let us make a name for ourselves, let us build ourselves a tower, defining our own destiny , imposing our will on everyone, . . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, debunking the widely-held belief that Christians lead boring lives, blames the popular media for this negative image. Some churches want to counter this image by glomming onto glitzy, high-energy motivational speakers, short sermons, an. . .
John Ritenbaugh observes that without our special calling and the gift of God's Holy Spirit, we would be about as clueless as to the purpose of our life as Solomon was throughout Ecclesiastes. Understanding is totally different from knowledge. Some people . . .
Thoughts, words, or behaviors not in alignment with the mind of God are also violations against God's law. Foolishness should never be part of our conduct.
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