This passage oozes with the notion of predestination. That’s a “churchy” word meaning different things to different people. Known as a Christian doctrine for some denominations, it has been debated by theologians for centuries. Basically, it means that God has figured everything out ahead of time, knows what’s going to happen in our lives, and there is nothing we can do to change it. Does that give you assurance or scare you just a little bit?
In terms of our salvation, however, this can be a bit unnerving. What if God didn’t “choose” me to be saved? I have a hard time believing that some people of faith would not be saved because they weren’t “predestined.” After all, Jesus commanded us to evangelize and make new disciples. Why would he do that if it was already predestined who would be saved?
Continue reading “Ecclesiates 6:10-12 – What’s Your Future?”
Are you feeling oppressed today? Oppression is defined by Oxford Languages as “prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control.” Solomon was observing such behaviors in his day, too. As king, you would think he could have some control over how his subjects were being treated. The powers of evil were clearly at work then, as well as now.
It’s not pleasant to endure hardship, whether it’s oppression or otherwise. To believe we’d be better off dead is a bit “dark” don’t you think? It helps to remember that Solomon had drifted away from God and was relying on the gods of his many wives late in life. For those living on their own, hardship and oppression must be unbearable.
Continue reading “Ecclesiastes 4:1-6 – Oppression”
In his own words, Solomon said he “had everything a man could desire!” I must admit, the list of things Solomon chased in life while seeking pleasure was quite complete. Most of us will never attain such wealth or the extent of possessions he describes. Why didn’t anything bring him happiness?
It’s easy for us to say, “because you can’t buy happiness.” If we know that to be true, then why do we also seek pleasure in the same way? I don’t think we should be condemned from being happy for having new “toys,” but we need to realize that happiness from those such things will not last forever.
Continue reading “Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 – What Brings You Pleasure?”
Zechariah’s visions reveal God’s intentions for Jerusalem. The LORD declares, “My love for Mount Zion is passionate and strong; I am consumed with passion for Jerusalem!” The LORD is returning to dwell in Jerusalem in the midst of his people.
This passage must have been what a friend of mine was referring to years ago when he talked about returning to Jerusalem. It was as if he believed his own faith journey would one day lead him to Jerusalem.
Continue reading “Zechariah 8:1-8 – If Only You Could See”
These visions seem to tie God’s plan all together as the people are returning from exile. The prophet Jeremiah spoke of this day when his prophecy declared the people would return after seventy years in Babylon captivity. God’s promise all those years ago was finally being fulfilled.
God wants his people to know that he still cares for them. He said, “Anyone who harms you harms my most precious possession.” How does it make you feel to be “God’s precious possession?”
Continue reading “Zechariah 2:6-13 – God’s Heavenly Plan”