Good evening! Lord willing, I'm in the air on my way to twenty-four days in Vietnam. In my absence, I have a number of guest writers filling in for me. Tonight's devotional is written by Mike Tune. Mike was the evangelist at my church in Tennessee and now preaches for the Church of Christ in Falls Creek, Virginia. Mike is also the son of Tom Tune, who I will work with in Vietnam. I know you'll learn from his look at Ecclesiastes!
Herman Melville called Ecclesiastes the “truest of all books. No “sugar-coating.” Its heard and heeded message is a requirement for maturity.
Life is uncertain: “The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all” (9:11).
The unexpected happens: “Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them” (9:12).
So does the unfair: “In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: a righteous man perishing in his righteousness, and a wicked man living long in his wickedness.”
Whatever life brings your way, make friends: After all, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (4:9-10).
Use difficult times to reflect on the direction of your life, and what God might want you to learn. “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart” (7:2).
Find something in every day to enjoy: “So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?” (3:22)
Don’t move too quickly, Think things through. “ . . . the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a man’s misery weighs heavily upon him” (8:2-6).
Take chances. “Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again” (11:1).
Don’t put all your hopes and dreams on one thing. Diversify! “Give portions to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land” (11:2).
Don’t be idle. Seek to be productive every day. “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that,
or whether both will do equally well” (11:6).
Finally, don’t leave God out. “Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment” (11:9).
As Melville wrote: “It’s the truest of all books.”
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