BDBD is Proverbs 3:1-4

The Father again addresses his son as he did in the first two chapters. The Father beseeches his son to not forget his teachings. Forgetting the teachings of God and the wise is much easier to do than most are willing to accept. Just how easy it is to forget is found when temptation requires me to a quick decision.

A great help to remember the sound and wise ways is to keep God’s commands in my heart. BDBD, prayer, meditation, and meeting with other like-hearted followers of Jesus are methods I use to keep Jesus’ teachings and commands in my heart. Yet, even these good habits are not always enough to help me when I allow the troubles and stresses of life to control my emotions and thoughts.

The greatest gift God has given me is his Holy Spirit in my soul. The Spirit supplies me with love and faithfulness (3). The Spirit plants his good seed on the tablet of my heart. The Lord wrote the 10 commandments on tablets of stone (Exodus 24:12, 31:18) However when Jesus sends the Spirit to his followers to be with us forever we become “a letter from Christ… written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (2 Corinthians 3:3)

The Spirit enables me the extra strength to overcome the wicked impulses of the flesh. The Father promises that my life will be prolonged for many years and bring me prosperity (2). He promises me that the good habits and Spirit will help me live righteously and win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man (4).

BDBD is Proverbs 2:20-22

The Father concludes this chapter’s wisdom with a promise, “Thus you will walk in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous.” I thank God that he taught me these and gave me the strength to change my pattern of living when I was in my early twenties.

Oh, if I had only heeded his words earlier. Then I would have found a better way and avoided sin, error, and troubles. Wisdom lies in not dwelling on such thoughts. I recognize and accept the grace and mercy given me, keep my thoughts on the day, and hope for tomorrow. The Father’s words are for the present and future, not the past.

The Father tells me another very good reason for keeping to the good walk. He tells me his plans for the future. The future will come to the present and be the day of reckoning. The upright will live in the land and the wicked will be cut off from it (21,22).

The day that is coming when God will judge the living and the dead based on the decisions made. One decision will decide if a person will remain or be torn from the land. This decision is whether or not the person has decided to accept the words of the Father and his one and only Son Jesus (John 8:27-30), for the person who accepts the Son accepts the Father, and he who accepts the Son keeps his words (Mark 8:38)

Jesus taught, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” (Luke 6:46-49).

BDBD is Proverbs 2:16-19.

Enacting on wisdom has some benefits. Another one is that it will save from giving into the adulteress wayward wife which her deductive words (16).

Marriage is a covenant made before God (17). Marriage is making a life-long commitment to another soul. A covenant is a relationship between two partners who make binding promises to each other and work together to reach a common goal. They’re often, but not always accompanied by oaths, signs, and ceremonies. Covenants define obligations and commitments, but they are different from a contract because they are relational and personal.

Breaking a marriage covenant is called adultery. Adultery is a very serious sin in the Bible mentioned fifty-two times, more than most other sins. Adultery is having sexual relations between a married (or betrothed) woman or man other than one’s spouse (Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18, 1 Cor. 6:15-16) Jesus also taught that when a person looks lustfully at another other than their spouse is committing adultery in the heart. (Matthew 5:28)

Wisdom will save me from the death trap of adultery and its paths to the spirits of the dead.

BDBD is Proverbs 2:12-15

Enacting on wisdom has some benefits. One is that it will save from the ways of the wicked (12). Some celebrate wickedness. They believe that devious ways will provide wealth, prosperity, and power. Though they may succeed in gaining these, they find that these alone do not bring peace, joy, love, patience, kindness, self-control, and goodness. Usually the wicked find that other wicked people seek their harm.

The person who is weary of the ever-continuing submersion into deeper darkness can find a rescue with wisdom. Executed wisdom will save from those whose words are perverse and leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways (12,13).

Some delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil until the wickedness they have sown becomes a weed that starves them of delight and joy. Then they seek salvation only to find they cannot obtain it from the evil friends and aquatints they have surrounded themselves in.

Yet, hope exists. The wisdom of the Son of God changes weeds into fruitful gardens. “Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (John 12:44-26)

Proverbs 2:7-11

God equips his people so they are able to make sound decisions. “It is better to teach a person how to fish than to give them fish every day,” goes an old saying. So when verse 7 states that God holds victory in store for the upright and verse 8 says God guards the course of the just this is because as verse 11 points out it is because God explains to them and gives them discretion.

Discretion is the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation. Consider the discretion of an investor. The discretion of an investor knows what will increase in value and what will decrease. They have financial know-how. With experience and instinct, they are about to make a profit.

Likewise, God gives the excellent gift of wisdom thru fear of him and knowledge of him. The gift is understanding what is right and just and fair – every good path (9). The wonderful gift of God is that wisdom enters the heart, and knowledge is pleasant to my soul (10). Through this gift, God enables me to have life victories.

BDBD is Eccl. 2:1-6

I view these words as God talking to me. God is my Father. I am his son (1). He has great compassion for me. He wants and seeks the best for me. He wants me to grow up and be an adult. He wants me to be just like His Perfect Son, Jesus. He wants me to reach the full potential of what he is making me be.

My heavenly Father tells me to accept his words and store up his commands (2). And why not? He loves me and he is incredibly wise. He created me and sees all of time. So when he tells me to turn my ear to his wisdom and apply my heart to understanding him (2), then yea, I sure will.

God my Father is wisdom, knows that in order for our relationship to improve and in order for me to mature I need to seek insight and understanding with great passion and need. I need to cry out for them (3). I need to be like an infant telling my parent in the only way I can, with a loud voice in the darkest night. I need to want it as if mining for silver (4) and humbly ask for it.

When I accept and apply my heavenly Father’s commands within my heart and mind, then he will grant me fear of the Lord. I will understand who I am. I will understand my imperfection and sin. I will know my weakness and his strength. When I search my heart as a miner searches for silver, my Father will show me all the places I need to repent and improve. I will know the fear of my Father and find the knowledge of God (6).

BDBD is Proverbs 1:20-33

Wisdom is personified, a common ploy in ancient middle-east literature (20). Wisdom is beseeching the simple people going about their daily routines in the populated cities’ markets, restaurants, and forums (20,21). The simple people from wisdom’s perspective are those who rejected its call thus becoming mockers, hating knowledge, and not choosing to fear the LORD (22,28).

Wisdom’s oration contrasts the results of accepting and rejecting its implementation. Executing wisdom promises total enlightenment (23), life in safety (33), an easy set of mind (33), and life without fear of harm (33). The results of applying wisdom to daily decisions are inward in spite of what happens without.

Rebuffing wisdom promises self-imposed disaster (26), calamity (26), distress (27), and overwhelming trouble (27). The results of dismissing wisdom in daily decisions are self-fulfilling destruction and death (31,32). Lifestyle choices have results that come to a point where no matter what happens the results of decisions made cannot be avoided (26,28).

Jesus called out with words similar to verse 28. He told those in the temple, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the one who sent me. You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.” (John 7:33-34) And, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.” (John 12:35-36)

BDBD is Proverbs 1:8-15

Gain is not bad. Gaining to the point of being wealthy is not bad either. Like everything in this world, I can gain properly and improperly. The ill-gotten gain eventually takes away the lives of those who gain it (15).

Verses 10 thru 14 contain a story. The story is a warning to not accept the enticement of others to join with them and steal from others. Just because no one approaches me to join their thieving band does not mean this has never happened to me. I hear of and am tempted to not act properly with money and possessions all the time.

Shoplifting is giving away my soul. Eat-n-dash leaves a sliver of my heart at the restaurant’s table. Forcing an employee to work and not compensating them is why the kingdom of Satan will end in terror. Taking delivered packages from door-steps is giving away an eternal dwelling.

Thieving is self-destruction (18). Subliminal ones exist. Not encouraging and complimenting a child is as much stealing from them as not teaching them that there are rules that when broken will result in punishment. Not disciplining a child brings pain and sorrow to both the child and parent in the future. A good parent will instruct a child with true complements and loving punishment. Of all the ill-gotten gains listen here, the worst is to steal a son’s or daughter’s future by holding bad a blunt education in respecting authority and rules (8,9).

BDBD is Proverbs 1:1-6

The book of Proverbs is a collection of wise words, mostly written by King Solomon, the third king of united Israel around 900 BC (1). Solomon’s wisdom was a gift of God. The Lord offered him anything when he first became king as a youth. He asked for wisdom so that he could lead Israel. (1 Kings 3:1-15; 2 Chronicles 2:1-17)

Solomon’s purpose was to use his Godly gift to help people gain wisdom and discipline. Modern education consists mostly of retaining information and understanding how to use the information. The proverbs of Solomon go beyond. They are for acquiring wisdom, discipline, and prudence for even the simplest mind.

When I ask God to give me a gift I should consider and intend to use it for others as well as for myself. God gives gifts to bring people together and form an interactive and connected community.

BDBD is Eccl. 12:13-14

The conclusion: “Fear God and keep his commandments”. The reason for these is given, “For God will bring every deed into judgment. including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

So is everything “meaningless, meaningless”? People’s pursuits apart from fearing God and keeping his commandments are meaningless. From God’s perspective, our thoughts and actions are either good or evil. His commandments give us an idea of how we were meant to live. The root of his commandments is loving God and others.

When asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” he answered. “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

BDBD is Eccl. 12:9-12

A common belief about the leading of the Holy Spirit is that we do nothing. Instead, it is believed that suddenly words just come to us. However, these verses reveal that the revelation of God’s words is not always (if seldom) like that. The Spirit’s moving is a mutual undertaking.

Solomon is the Teacher of Ecclesiastes. He was wise, his wisdom a gift of God (9). He pondered and searched out before he wrote this book (9, 10). The words were inspired by God. Yet the revelation came while Solomon thought. After he received divine inspiration through rigorous thinking, a pen did not suddenly stand upright and begin writing. No. Solomon picked up the pen and started to write. The Spirit’s moving is a mutual undertaking.

Solomon is not the only person who experiences this process of mutual processing. “The words of the wise” -meaning many people- “are given by one Shepherd” -meaning one God the Spirit (11). Many books are written and it is not easy to write a divinely inspired manuscript.

More-so, when all of God’s people contemplate his words, their lives, their generation, and the nature of God and godly things they are the same as Solomon the wise Teacher, vigorously flowing and wrestling with God for just the right words. Bible Daily Bread Devotion (BDBD) and are the makings of 1,640 web pages (and growing) and it wearies my body and mind. I am blessed.

BDBD is Eccl. 12:1-8

The sentimental poem in verses 1 thru 8 is one of the most moving and yet underquoted compositions in the Bible. Read it silently once, speak it out twice, listen to it three times, and the Fourth brings it home.

A quiet Saturday morning is an atmosphere of the sound of “Truth” by Alexis Ffrench, fragrant candle and coffee, blueberry and butter whole wheat sugar-free toast, and the Spirit flowing from these verses.

Jesus’ words come to mind from the Fourth, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:4,5)

The Fourth brought Paul’s poem from a reference Bible in front of me, “What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:29-31)

Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
and the years approach when you will say,
“I find no pleasure in them”—
before the sun and the light
and the moon and the stars grow dark,
and the clouds return after the rain;
when the keepers of the house tremble,
and the strong men stoop,
when the grinders cease because they are few,
and those looking through the windows grow dim;
when the doors to the street are closed
and the sound of grinding fades;
when men rise up at the sound of birds,
but all their songs grow faint;
when men are afraid of heights
and of dangers in the streets;
when the almond tree blossoms
and the grasshopper drags himself along
and desire no longer is stirred.
Then man goes to his eternal home
and mourners go about the streets.
Remember him—before the silver cord is severed, 
or the golden bowl is broken; 
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, 
or the wheel broken at the well, 
and the dust returns to the ground it came from, 
and the spirit returns to God who gave it. 
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.
“Everything is meaningless!” 

BDBD is Eccl. 11:6-10

The general theme of these verses expands on the general theme of the book. Enjoy the light of good times; be happy and banish anxiety from your heart in them with a genuine pure focus for many dark times will come which you will have to deal with. Yet always remember that everything you do in the light and in the darkness God will bring you to judgment (9). After all is over and you stand before him on judgment day you will confess that many decisions if not all are meaningless.

A few things cannot be missed in these verses. First, I have a choice. I will be held accountable therefore it is I who decides.

Second, I can decide to be happy and enjoy life. It is possible to cast off the troubles of the body.

Third, I can decide to sow the seed and the morning and not to let my hands be idle in the evening.

Fourth, both good times and bad times come; more so bad than good. This I have no control over. I am subject to the many decisions of others and happen chance.

Fifth, I am always to keep in the forefront of my mind that God will bring me to judgment. The decision I made has consequences in this life and the next.

Sixth, following the ways of the heart and whatever I see, is a risky way to live. An undisciplined heart can lead to the cause of bad times and good. The brain must also be followed.

BDBD is Eccl. 11:3-6

Might-have-beens and what-ifs should be avoided. They draw life to a slow crawl or even a standstill. They are like stepping into quicksand during a trek to a vacation destination; they keep me from peace and rest. Wisdom tells me to start where I am at and with what I have without getting stuck in the past.

Cause and effect are to be expected. “If clouds are full of water, they pour rain upon the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or the north, in the place where it falls, there will it lie. (3)” Knowing and accepting present life patterns is important. If I learn while in school I expand my skill set. If later I decide I should have studied other subjects I should not remain in the past I should move on.

Paying attention to the present is more beneficial than living in the past. Anticipating the future by observing present events and knowing established natural cycles can benefit me. “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. (4)”

Finally, I should recognize how limited my role is when things turn out not as I had hoped. “As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.”

Humbly accept and acknowledge the past without dwelling in it. Live in the present and observe natural life cycles while looking and anticipating a better tomorrow.

BDBD is Eccl. 11:1

Investing is a part of life under the sun for the wise. When thinking of investing money first comes to mind for money is the answer for everything in my generation (10:19). However, more basic and universal possessions are time, body, mind, and emotions. How do I use these?

Casting bread upon waters” is saying I need to be long-term adventurous with my assets, like those who accept the risks and accept some loss. Eventually, the investment will yield a return, that is to say, “after many days I will find it again.”

Regarding eternity in the life to come Jesus said, “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” (Luke 16:9) This is akin to the great commission, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” (Mark 16:15) And, “”Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19)

BDBD is Eccl. 10:16-18

Human nature is to sit back and rest, take it easy, and not work at all. A lazy mindset is drinking poison laced with honey (18).

Nature has an insatiable desire to tear things down. Eventually rafters sag causing the roof of a house to leak (18). A lazy person who does not repair the sagging roof will eventually drown in his own wake.

Kings and leaders are to serve the people if they want their kingdom to be secure and well off. If a king stops serving his people, becomes lazy, and seeks after parties and selfish gratification their realm will become weak and poor. Woe to the domain of a leader who is not a servant (16).

The leader of a house must work so as to counter nature’s insatiable desire to tear down what they are building. Build enough to maintain and yet enjoy the fruits of hard labor. Bless is the house whose head works for the strength of their house and not to quench the thirst of a lazy mind.

BDBD is Eccl 10:12-15

A fool according to the Bible is a person who refuses God’s teaching. A fool may be a knowledgeable and intelligent person and yet be a fool according to the Bible.

Since the general nature of a fool is to reject God and his teaching they tend to speak words about things they refuse to understand from God. They are consumed by their own words (12). A fool starts out by talking foolishness and ends up saying crazy things that are dangerous to themselves and others (13).

A fool rejects God’s wisdom as proclaimed in this book. The conclusion of Ecclesiastes is that we fear God and keep his commandments for this is the duty of man. It continues that thought with the truth that we should enjoy the labors of our hard work under the sun; stop, take time to enjoy the gifts of God, and be good to others. A fool rejects this. Instead, they work until they are so weary they cannot even find their way to their home (in those days all lived in villages, towns, and cities.)

A wise person who obeys God speaks gracious words (12). They may not know what is specifically coming (14). However, they know that it is good to trust God and his teachings. When asked why they believe this they tell others that it is good to have faith in God’s good intentions for their life.

BDBD is Eccl. 10:10-11

When I was a young man I had several interests that I wanted to pursue; art, music, engineering, and horticulture. Preparing food came later. I was inspired and full of wonder at the masters of these life pursuits. I soon enough discovered that the master’s skill was much harder to match than their final products appeared to have been achieved. The spirit was willing, but the skill was weak.

I was a dull ax, its edge unsharpened (10). I was an uncharmed snake; killing results before I was charmed (11). I learned that skill will bring success (10). I needed skills to be happy and pleased by success. Skill would bring the profit of a job well done.

When I pursued an education in my heart’s desires I learned that refined skills required the determined pursuit of two things. I needed to learn and imitate the masters. And more than this I needed to practice, practice, practice. Continued use of these two can only be maintained by love, will, desire, and patience.

Since this is true when pursuing my heart’s desires I shouldn’t be surprised that it also applies to my character. How can I follow my Master expecting an immediate change of character? How can I follow my Master without applying these two principles to my life? I cannot. Since I want a good character I need to learn from the Master Jesus and practice, practice, and practice his way.

BDBD is Eccl. 10:8-9

The simplest takeaway from verses 8 and 9 is that accidents happen and I may be the cause of the accident. When unintentional disasters and misfortunes happen I need to admit and accept my part in the cause. When I fall into a pit I dug, then admit and accept that I was the cause (8.). When I am bitten by a snake behind a wall that I brought through, then admit and accept that I was the cause (8). When stones fall on me that I broke free from a quarry wall, then admit and accept that I was the cause (9). When a splinter from a log I am splitting gets into my mouth or eye, then admit and accept that I was the cause (9).

Applying the principle of “self-causes result from self-effects” should be applied to all life decisions. The road to recovery, healing, and forgiveness of sins starts with admitting my guilt.

He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13) “When anyone is guilty in any of these ways, he must confess in what way he has sinned.” (Leviticus 5:5) “Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds.” (Acts 19:18) “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

BDBD is Eccl. 10:5-7

A ruler can make wise decisions and foolish decisions. A ruler can be wise and foolish. These two simple truths often have little correlation. A wise leader can make foolish decisions and visa-versa. A ruler’s emotional and spiritual stability is more inclined to influence his or her decisions than these two. The same can be said of me.

The author of Ecclesiastes points out an evil under the sun, the sort that arises from a ruler. I have seen this too. A person in a position of leadership posts people under them to manage affairs for one of two reasons. Many leaders place in high positions those who are loyal to them regardless of their skill and capability. The result is that “fools are put in many high positions, while the rich occupy the low ones.” While other leaders look for skill and ability.

Most rich people in those days were people who had an ability and skill, made so by God. Today we call these people self-made and people with business sense. I like the author has witnessed good companies fall apart because those who rise in management were promoted because someone was building a silo of selfish power. I have also witnessed the opposite; people build companies because they recognize and promote people based on their skill, ability, and mental stability.

I learn to examine my motives. Why do I have the friends and partners that I have? Why am I choosing to spend the rest of my life in a commitment of marriage with someone? The answer to these questions will heavily influence my future success and happiness.

BDBD is Eccl. 10:2

The human heart is a bit of a mysterious thing. The existence of the human heart cannot be denied. The human heart is the center of our being; our emotions, thoughts, and will. The heart is the home of the personal life. Heart and soul are sometimes interchanged.

“The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.” The human heart is me and drives me.

To what extent can I control my heart? With discipline, a person may control thoughts, emotions, and will. Yet a person can only work with what they have. Make wine from spoiled grapes and the wine will be rotten.

I need not despair at the condition of my heart. “What is impossible with man, is possible with God,” Jesus taught. The Lord transforms that which is impure. He changes anything. Jesus changes water into wine. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

BDBD is Eccl. 10:1

Wisdom and honor are compared to perfume. Folly is compared to a dead fly. In my life, I may live in the wisest and most honorable decisions. Yet one foolish decision will tarnish my wisdom and honor enough to become useless and revolting.

“As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.” Knowing this truth I need to have vigilance of the heart.

Yet, what is folly? What are wisdom and honor? Are my understanding and practice correct? Folly and humor are not the same. Biblical wisdom refers to practical skills associated with understanding and living a successful life. These range from the ability to create highly skilled works to the intellectual capacity required to make choices that result in favorable outcomes and avoid troubles. Wisdom is associated with trust in and fear of God.

The book of Proverbs, the next book for BDBD has many references to folly and wisdom.

BDBD is Eccl. 9:17-18

Emotions can lead us to wonderful moments. Emotions can also lead to dreadful moments. Emotional words can bring light or darkness; life and death; words of healing and words of destruction.

During emotionally charged arguments quiet words are spoken by the wise and shouts are spoken by fools (17). The capability to control emotions (and thus words) is a muscle that is in all humans. Every aspect of the physical body needs activity and drills to mature; muscles, mind, emotions, etc. An emotionally mature person has learned to control their emotions through determined repetition of control. Control of my emotions leads to controlling the words I speak.

Likewise, controlling the words I speak leads to controlling a heated moment. Wise words are better than weapons of war for they do not kill, they heal (18). Yet one dark word destroys much good (18).

I can learn to control my emotions before it turns my tongue into a weapon to harm me and those I am speaking to. I first need to sense a powerful emotion rising in my heart. Then I need to exercise restraint; stop, think about it, breathe, harness the emotion, and force my self-preservation to head to selfless wise words.

Some people practice so they can be sarcastic. They learn control of emotions, yet speak unhealthy words. I can practice so I can be kind. I can learn to control of emotions so as to speak healthy words.

BDBD is Eccl. 11:11

“The race is not to the swift.” Just ask Aesop’s tortuous and hare. “The battle does not belong to the strong.” USA revolutionary war against Britain, the world power at that time proves this.

“Food does not come to the wise.” Just ask the sage walking down from his mountain retreat to obtain food. “Wealth does not belong to the brilliant.” Just ask the professor expelled for indecent conduct with a student. “Favor and success do not belong to the skillful and learned.” Just ask the undiscovered starving artist.

“Time and chance (unpredictable events) happen to them all.” Predominantly who we are and the decisions we make affect our future. However, nothing is guaranteed. No one can predict that which is unpredictable. Who predicted the pandemic? Yet, it had more impact on everyone than most of the decisions we made, are making, and have made.

Those who trust in and believe in themselves grow weary and/or despair when stuff happens. Those who trust in and believe in God find comfort and rest when all doesn’t go their way. “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” says Jesus. (Matthew 11:28)

BDBD is Eccl. 9:1-10

Consider this: death awaits you and you do not know when it will come. Consider this: you do not know what will happen in the future; whether good or bad, whether love or hate; whether sickness or health, whether wealth or poverty.

The righteous, wicked, good, bad, clean, unclean, those who are religious, and those who are not will experience death. The righteous and the wise and what they do are in God’s hands, but no man knows whether love or hate awaits them.

Admit it or not the hearts of all contain evil and we do not know where it hides (3). In a dungeon we falsely think is well fortified lingers madness that always is ready to escape (3). Like cancer that is in everyone is benign today, tomorrow it may start to grow and consume other cells.

Considering these “go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun— all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.” What awaits is judgment for the decisions made under the sun.

BDBD is Eccl. 8:16-17

The ways of the human heart and mind are many under every and all circumstances. Multiply that by many people. Try to comprehend the meaning of all that is done on earth. See all that God has done and comprehend it. Comprehension is impossible. That is what the Teacher, the author of this book is saying in these verses.

Deut. 29:29 says, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all his words.” This is similar to the Teacher’s conclusion in chapter 12.

Why then stop all work and leisure to consider the word of God? Why get up extra early in the morning to comprehend something from the Bible? These words are life. Where else can I go to find life? I will not comprehend the meaning of all and everything and that is fine with me. For what I seek is to spend time with me Father and receive from him life.

BDBD is Eccl. 8:14-15

Some people believe to one degree or another that if a person does bad or evil eventually they will be punished. They also believe that if we do what is right then goodness will follow us all the days of our lives. However, in life on earth (under the sun) sometimes righteous people may get what the wicked deserve, and wicked people may get what the righteous deserve (14).

Take for example Joseph who did nothing wrong and was sold into slavery merely because his brothers were jealous. He remailed in slavery and even went to jail for perhaps 20 or more years. Meanwhile, Saul remained king for over twenty years while David lived as an outcast in caves and deserts. Though it is true that Joseph became the second in power in Egypt and David became king of Israel. That doesn’t mean much when sitting and sleeping year after year in a dark damp prison and cave.

Solomon considered the uncertainty of those who live righteously or wickedly. He recommended the enjoyment of life because nothing is better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad (15). Enjoying life is a choice that does not depend on how much wealth or power we have. Enjoying life does not mean we engage in sensual pleasures that weary the body and soul. Enjoying life means making the simple things link eating and drinking joyful.

Making the daily decision to enjoy each moment no matter how simple is assurance that joy will accompany us in our work all the days of the life God has given us under the sun (15). Jesus lived in a poor back-water Roman-occupied territory. His short three-year ministry was not without obstacles and challenges. Still, he lived a life of joy that attracted thousands of people who wanted to have what he had.

BDBD is Eccl. 8:12-13

Everyone wants to live, not die. Occasionally we may consider committing suicide and a few go thru with it when they lose all hope. Still, for the majority of our lives, we want to live as long as possible. The fear of death is part of living under the sun. The fear of death is a base compelling emotion.

Dealing with the fear of death is subjective to our life perspective. A person with a wicked heart will commit many crimes believing they are extending their life (12). A person with the fear of God will refrain from sin though it may shorten their life. A good person will even lay down their life instead of sinning and/or lengthen someone else’s life.

Death of the physical body is not the end of existence. After death, each person will be judged by God. The motivation of our actions will be justly reviewed. “God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil.” (Romans 2:6-9)

Although a wicked man commits a hundred crimes and still lives a long time, I know that it will go better with God-fearing men, who are reverent before God. Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow.”

BDBD is Eccl. 8:11

The heart of all people is the same from generation to generation. The people who have decided that either God does not exist or if there is some kind of God he/she does not care for humanity and/or themselves, their sense of morality is self-defined. Personally defined codes of ethics shift, swirl, and fade away like clouds in the sky.

When it is discovered that crimes go unpunished we humans begin to seek a way to get what is wanted even though it may be illegal in our society (11). The heart of mankind can easily become filled with schemes to do wrong.

The basic principle applies to any social group including congregations and families. When a toddler discovers they got away with eating a cookie and some candy they will go back for more until they are caught. A tweenager will sneak out a window late at night once and then many times that follow if they get away with it the first time. When a man or woman cheats on their commitment to their spouse once they soon find themselves in another’s bed many times after that until it is discovered.

The compulsion to do that which is unwise, unhealthy, socially harmful and evil is strong. Even when we want to do right, doing so can be hard to resist doing wrong. A remedy exists. Allie with God and his strength will enable us to do what is good and right for ourselves and others.