Reading for Today:
- Ecclesiastes 3:1–22
- Psalm 102:12-17
- Proverbs 24:3-4
- 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Ecclesiastes 3:1–8 a season, a time. Not only does God fix the standard and withhold or dispense satisfaction (2:26), but He also appoints “seasons” and “times.” Earthly pursuits are good in their proper place and time, but unprofitable when pursued as the chief goal (vv. 9, 10).
Ecclesiastes 3:11 everything. Every activity or event for which a culmination point may be fixed. beautiful. Fitting or appropriate. The phrase echoes “God saw…it was very good” (Gen. 1:31).Even in a cursed universe, activity should not be meaningless. Its futility lies in the fickle satisfaction of man and his failure to trust the wisdom of sovereign God. put eternity in their hearts. God made men for His eternal purpose, and nothing in post-Fall time can bring them complete satisfaction.
1 Corinthians 8:1 things offered to idols. The Greeks and Romans were polytheistic (worshiping many gods) and polydemonistic (believing in many evil spirits). They believed that evil spirits would try to invade human beings by attaching themselves to food before it was eaten, and that the spirits could be removed only by the food’s being sacrificed to a god. The sacrifice was meant not only to gain favor with the god but also to cleanse the meat from demonic contamination. Such decontaminated meat was offered to the gods as a sacrifice. That which was not burned on the altar was served at wicked pagan feasts. What was left was sold in the market. After conversion, believers resented eating such food bought out of idol markets, because it reminded sensitive Gentile believers of their previous pagan lives and the demonic worship. we all have knowledge. Paul and mature believers knew better than to be bothered by such food offered once to idols and then sold in the marketplace. They knew the deities didn’t exist and that evil spirits did not contaminate the food. love edifies. Knowledge mingled with love prevents a believer from exercising freedoms that offend weaker believers and, rather, builds the others up in truth and wisdom (13:1–4).
1 Corinthians 8:7 conscience…is defiled. The consciences of some newer converts were still accusing them strongly with regard to allowing them to eat idol food without feeling spiritually corrupted and guilty. They still imagined that idols were real and evil. A defiled conscience is one that has been violated, bringing fear, shame, and guilt.
1 Corinthians 8:12 you sin against Christ. A strong warning that causing a brother or sister in Christ to stumble is more than simply an offense against that person. It is a serious offense against the Lord Himself.
DAY 27: In Ecclesiates, what reflections does Solomon give on Genesis?
Toward the end of his life, the penitent King Solomon pondered life in the wake of the Fall and the outworking of man’s sin. Solomon drew the following conclusions, possibly from his own study of Genesis:
1. God created the heavens and earth with laws of design and regularity (Eccl. 1:2–7; 3:1–8; Gen. 1:1–31; 8:22).
2. Man is created from dust and returns to dust (Eccl. 3:20; 12:7; Gen. 2:7; 3:19).
3. God placed in man His life-giving breath (Eccl. 12:7; Gen. 2:7).
4. As God ordained it, marriage is one of life’s most enjoyable blessings (Eccl. 9:9; Gen. 2:18–25).
5. Divine judgment results from the Fall (Eccl. 3:14–22; 11:9; 12:14; Gen. 2:17; 3:1–19).
6. The effect of the curse on creation is “vanity,” i.e., futility (Eccl. 1:5–8; Gen. 3:17–19).
7. Labor after the Fall is difficult and yields little profit (Eccl. 1:3, 13; 2:3; 3:9–11; Gen. 3:17–19).
8. Death overcomes all creatures after the Fall (Eccl. 8:8; 9:4, 5; Gen. 2:17; 3:19).
9. After the Fall, man’s heart is desperately wicked (Eccl. 7:20, 29; 8:11; 9:3; Gen. 3:22; 6:5; 8:21).
10. God withholds certain knowledge and wisdom from man for His wise, but unspoken, reasons (Eccl. 6:12; 8:17; Gen. 3:22).
From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.