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. . .
Mike Ford, distinguishing the terms "knowledge" (raw, accumulated facts) and "wisdom" (knowing and doing what is right), acknowledges that wisdom does not always come with old age. Many university professors have massive quantities of f. . .
The type of wisdom Ecclesiastes teaches is not of the purely philosophical variety, but is a spiritual sagacity combined with practical skill in living.
Anyone, of any age, with the gift of God's Holy Spirit, through study, prayer, and meditation can gain wisdom, that skill in living that we all need and want.
Some people seek fame and fortune with every waking hour. They are foolish because their priorities are wrong. What they are looking for has no value beyond the grave.
Spiritual discernment is a gift from God, enabling us to judge between good and evil, comparing things with God's Word to see if they align with His standards.
David Grabbe, unraveling several apparently contradictory scriptures, exposes a fundamental flaw in western thinking—namely the binary (that is, either-or) thinking that leads us to construct false dilemmas. Perhaps the best example of this is the on. . .
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. . .
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.
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. . .
James Beaubelle, distinguishing "old age" from "good old age," asserts that the latter can only be attained by (1) Godly Wisdom, (2) Obedience to Law, and (3) the Fear of the Lord. We must seek all three to live to a good old age of pea. . .
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.
David Grabbe, asserting that the parable of the leaven hidden in the meal and the parable of the treasure hidden in the field serve as the juxtaposition of a negative and positive symbol (respectively, leaven and treasure), identifies a stark contrast betw. . .
Human discernment can be developed and exercised, triggering early warning systems with the reactions of revulsion and confusion when confronted by evil.
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, 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. . .
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.
Martin Collins, acknowledging that the expression "woe" (suggesting agony, despair, and grave calamity) gets our immediate attention, reminds us that there is nothing new under the sun. Everything, including fashion, thought, and evil endlessly r. . .
Good and evil do not mix; we cannot associate with what is wrong. The proper fear of God plays a significant role in ridding evil from our lives.
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. . .
The Kingdom of God is our goal, and our vision of what it means gives us compelling motivation to overcome, grow, and bear fruit in preparation for eternal life.
John Ritenbaugh stresses that the day-to-day choices we make have far-reaching spiritual consequences. When we incrementally learn to fear God, we make a choice to preserve our eternal life. God initiated our calling as an expression of His love and grace.. . .
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. . .
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, 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 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, 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. . .
Once we accept God's sovereignty, it begins to produce certain virtues in us. John Ritenbaugh explains four of these byproducts of total submission to God.
Richard Ritenbaugh, observing how the mood and attitude of a generation shapes society, focuses upon the ramifications of the Baby Boomers "Youth Culture," pampering, overprotecting, and worshipping its young people. It teaches a narcissistic, &q. . .
Like Job, we must surrender to God's will and purpose for our lives, realizing that both pleasant and horrendous times work for our spiritual development.
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.
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. . .
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 . . .
Martin Collins, citing a startling 700,000 assaults ("intimate partner violence" episodes) in 2001, accounting for 20% of felonious crime, suggests that patience and longsuffering are diminishing commodities in modern Israel, while selfishness an. . .
Ecclesiastes is full of frustration, bluntness, and even a little hopeless. However, its themes are realistic and necessary for us to grasp.
Conversion is a lifelong process in which we endeavor to see things as God does. We must understand and act on the fact that God is deeply involved with us.
Having knowledge of God's law is not a guarantee of spiritual success or growth. Only those motivated to use the law will experience growth and produce fruit. The fear of God is the first element of motivation, ranging from reverential awe to stark terror.. . .
Many have inadvertently adopted a soft concept of God, disrespecting and showing contempt for God's authority and power. Godly fear is a gift of wisdom.
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.
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.
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