Good morning my dear friend. What do you think is the least common birthday in the US?
Is it Nov. 23; Dec. 25; Jan. 1; or Feb. 29 Make your guess & well learn more tomorrow.
Hey, do you know which superhero is here to solve world hunger? You guessed it right; Souper-man.
Eccl. 2:1 "I said to myself, "Come on, let's try pleasure. Let's look for the "good things in life." But I found that this, too, was meaningless."
Now most of our contemplation for chapter 1 was focused on wisdom over knowledge, now most of this second chapter is looking at the value of pleasure in comparison to knowledge. We will notice that Solomon thinks about three areas of life. Pleasure & wealth (vs. 1-11) Wisdom (vs. 12-17) Work (18-23).
He began with the conclusion that pleasure isn't necessarily evil, and yet, it has its shortcomings. He in fact, considered, and gathered to himself possessions and pleasures finding that these though enjoyable for a time, added no real long term value to life. He found that wine, women, song, and possessions brought empty frivolity, but brought no real enduring satisfaction.
Now we can ask ourselves, Does this mean that God is opposed to His people enjoying pleasurable activities? The answer in His Word rings back, No! Absolutely not! For our Heavenly Father desires for us to experience happiness, joy, humor, and laughter. However, He wants us to be aware that this worldly system alone can't bring lasting pleasure.
He wants us to realize that lasting pleasure can only be experienced in harmony with His presence. "In His presence is fullness of joy"; "at His right hand are pleasures forever more".
Psalm 16:11 "You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever."
You know, that the big lie being sold by movies, TV, advertising, and media is that we can have it all, right here on earth, outside of His presence. But Solomon learned that all the world could offer without God, was stagnant, slimy, sometimes even stinky, leftovers, in comparison to our Father's fountain of life.
I remember as a young boy, that sometimes the thinking that the outlook of Christian leaders of my early days was that, if it was fun it must be wrong. My parents demonstrated to me a balance in life, where you could have fun and yet it not be evil. They planned family nights, games, and various activities that just naturally brought my neighbor friends to our house. We had scary story nights, by the way my grandmother, and uncle were the best at that, outdoors game nights, life story night, etc.
My parents were youth leaders in my childhood days, and we were poor so we only had a car to transport kids, so we would stack kids into three layers deep in the back seat, and don't tell anybody but we also when necessary stacked them in the trunk. We went swimming, hiking, stories around the fire & S'mores, volleyball night, pantomine night, etc.
We learned that Fun started with Family. Most Friday nights were filled with many of these things. In fact the common question by our neighbor kids was "What are we doing next Friday night?"
Dad always stopped at some point in the fun and gave some spiritual lesson, in fact, unbeknownst to me they decided (mom & dad) to rather than cloistering us kids away from neighbors, we were going to bring them to Jesus and by that change the atmosphere of our community. Today we call it backyard evangelism, back then it was a just family fun night.
Saturday morning was around the house cleanup day, then lunch, and then some sort of community service day, help an elderly neighbor, as I got older my brother & I would mow their yard, shovel off their sidewalk, wash windows, etc. Then evening time we would eat supper & listen to a radio, or record story.
Sunday was two services, my parents would take a nap, my sisters would read books, and Dan & I would ride our bikes into some adventure, getting back home in time to wash up, usually outside under the hose, with soap & wash cloth, then we would go to church.
Sunday night was family night, with children stories, our church had a christian illusionist, who would sometimes perform a trick & them apply it to life. My dad would give an object lesson then apply it to the Bible. Us kids would say as we were heading home "who said church is boring."
We always loved the special speaker night, missionaries on fourlough, game night, mom would tell a christian biography story, etc.
These days were fun, inspirational, and yet instilling the Bible into our minds. We had family devotions each night, usually with neighbor kids joining in. Mom was a pastry cook for the women club; a ritzy women's club & so she would test cook her deserts on us. So there was always something to eat, then brush our teeth and off to bed.
I was lucky because my sister would leave their bedroom door open and she would tell us some story that she had read as we slipped into slumber, my brother & I. Sometimes she would sing us a song, or quote a memory verse, it was always something she had thought about.
So Go With God in His ways are peace & joy unspeakable, for rich are the poor in spirit. My dear one never apologize for placing value on knowing our Lord, and walking in His ways, for great riches are ours in Him.