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 between wisdom and understanding, but the latter comes only through hard …
Knowledge, understanding and wisdom leads to righteousness and ultimately knowing God and attaining eternal life. By applying diligence, wisdom will accrue.
The wise of the world are fools in comparison to those who find and protect godly wisdom, realizing that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
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.
The type of wisdom Ecclesiastes teaches is not of the purely philosophical variety, but is a spiritual sagacity combined with practical skill in living.
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 one delineated by Protestant theologians who conceptualize law and grace at …
God wants us to use wisdom to change ourselves, humbly replacing our perspective with His perspective. God gives wisdom as a component of His grace.
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 someone not called of God, relegating it as an epistle of despair from one of …
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.
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.
Always understanding that it is God who orders life, our success at a good life depends on our yielding to His direction. We will reap what we sow.
The parables of the leaven and the treasure hidden in the field show two sides of the same coin. The hidden treasure is the God-given solution to the leaven.
Human discernment can be developed and exercised, triggering early warning systems with the reactions of revulsion and confusion when confronted by evil.
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 studies, the higher a person is on the economic scale, the less …
If we ask God for wisdom, we will also need to be ready to work to achieve it. Good results do not just magically happen; 'some assembly' is required.
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 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 using godly wisdom. Wisdom enables us to make the very best practical use of …
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.
Wisdom is not a trait valued or acquired by youth, but takes second place to strength, beauty, or fun. We get too soon old and too late smart.
Those wise in their own eyes, including philosophers, politicians, educators, and religious leaders, have failed in their quest to make the world better.
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.
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'.
God's faithfulness is the foundation of our faith. We cannot live by faith unless we believe we have a God who is faithful in everything He does.
In Matthew 13, the hidden treasure the man finds provides the spiritual solution to the leaven - corruption - the woman hides in the three measures of meal.
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—or spiritual insight). We are called into the body of Christ gifted …
We accept most of our opinions, prejudices, and beliefs unconsciously. We must scrutinize our own beliefs through the principles of God's Holy Scriptures.
Once we accept God's sovereignty, it begins to produce certain virtues in us. Here are 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, "look out for Number One" attitude, delaying responsibility and …
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.
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 ambassadors and sojourners in a foreign land, we must give governing …
Our relationship with God is often strengthened through hardship. We must choose to yield to God, living for a much higher goal than raw materialism.
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 and violence sadly are on the increase. We are admonished, as practicing …
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 comes around; we reap what we sow. Even though the best defense is not to …
Fearing God leads to a determination not to bring shame on God's name or offending and hurting the relationship between God and us.
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.
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 obligation to become a thinking people, voluntarily choosing God's purpose for …
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 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.