February 28, 2011

My last post was “More Blessed than Solomon” and I thought I should elaborate a bit more on the understanding that I believe God has given me.

Because Ecclesiastes is a book in the Bible I thought it was straight from God and everything in it should be taken at face value. By that I mean if the book said anything it was absolutely true.

Now, that I understand, I see that all of the wisdom that Solomon talks about is the wisdom of the world and not spiritual wisdom at all. There are many of Solomon’s writings that are just not true, when viewed with the rest of the Bible in mind. However, when considered with only this world in mind they are always correct.

Let me share with you some of the contradictions that I believe the Spirit has pointed out to me.

First, Solomon calls himself “the teacher” two times at the beginning of the book (1:1 and 1:12). Well, he is not my teacher, because I was given the Holy Spirit to teach and counsel me. I need two teachers about as bad as a ship needs two captains.

Solomon’s very first words are not correct (Eccl 1:2 NIV) “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” Learning to love God is not meaningless.

That is not to say that everything that Solomon wrote is wrong. If you read Ecclesiastes, understanding that Solomon was speaking with the wisdom of the world, then verse 19, chapter 10 (A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes life merry, but money is the answer for everything. (NIV)) makes sense, but if you apply spiritual wisdom or understanding to the verse it is apparent that it is wrong, because God is the answer for everything. Money belongs to the world, it is the best tool Satan has. You can not serve both money and God; you will hate the one and love the other. Money will lead you away from God just as it did Solomon.

Solomon says the same fate awaits both the fool and the wise man (2:14). A fool as defined by the Bible is someone who says there is no God (Psa 14:1 and 53:1) and we know the same fate does not await those who say there is no God and those who know God.

There is too much understanding for me to try to explain how I view every verse in Ecclesiastes and keep this post to a reasonable length, so I will just skip to Solomon’s conclusion.

(Eccl 12:13 NIV)  Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

I would say “Love God and try to keep His commandments, for He wants your love not your duty. What you do, should, must, and will come from love, not from duty or obligation”

Yes, for those that shake their heads and sigh when they read what I post, I believe that I am truly wiser than Solomon. How’s that for a laugh? You know that I mean real wisdom: don’t you? If you understand that money is a master that opposes God, the best tool Satan has, and that it is the root of all evil in this world, then you too are wiser than Solomon!

So then, do I think we will see Solomon in Heaven? It’s not my call, but no and yes, or yes and no; it depends on what angle one views the question from. I do not think we will see Solomon in Heaven; however I do think we will see Jedidiah there. (2 Sam 12:25 NIV) “and because the LORD loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah.”

God knew everything that Solomon would do in all of his life and yet He sent word, by a man, that He loved him. If God can love Jedidiah, then He can also love us! God does not change, so if He once said He loves an individual then He always loves them and everyone, including our Father, wants to be with those whom we love.

I believe that God wanted to show us that all of the wisdom, and all of the money, and all of the fame of this world would only serve to lead us astray. As a rule God does not just tell us something, but He shows us as well. I believe He chose Solomon to demonstrate this to us and I don’t believe that He would condemn Solomon, when He knew Solomon would be tempted beyond what he could control. It was God that gave Solomon more than he could handle and God would not condemn Solomon for not being able to handle it.

God has given us more than we can handle also and He will forgive us as well; if we only ask and then love Him. How could we not love Him?


February 15, 2011

When I came to my senses and turned to the Lord, I realized that I needed to understand all about God that I could. So, I asked Him to give me “all” understanding and wisdom. I knew that He had given Solomon more wisdom than anyone before or after him. So I knew that I could not have more than He did, but still, in my ignorance, I asked. I thought to myself that I must know what God wants in order to do what God wants. It seemed like logical request to me when I asked, but as God has given me more understanding I have realized that even knowing what God wants, I do not do it.

Even though I do not always do what God would have me do, I know that He loves me. Solomon had and has more understanding than I do and yet he sinned greatly. Therefore, understanding does not save, but wisdom is not understanding. Wisdom, it seems to me is the Holy Spirit and if one turns to God, then Wisdom will pour out His heart to that person and make His thoughts known to him, or her (Proverbs 1:23)

As I thought about Solomon, the Spirit within me pointed out one word that greatly helped me understand Ecclesiastes and that word is “was”. I know that the word “was” is not in the original language, however the verse Ecc 1:12 (NIV) “I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem” is always written as past tense.

Solomon died in office, so if Ecclesiastes was written buy Solomon when he was alive on this earth, the verse would have to say ‘I am king’, not “I was king”.

1 Kings 11:42&43 (NIV) also Chronicles 9:30&31, “Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. Then he rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam his son succeeded him as king.”

Why does that make Ecclesiastes clear to me? Well, it is a book written by a man that had everything and yet sinned greatly against God. There was nothing of the world that Solomon did not have. He used his wisdom to explore the world and everything in it, but he did not use it to search out God!

He finally applied his wisdom to God and reached a conclusion, Ecc 12:13 (NIV) “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”

His commandments are (Deu 6:5 NIV) “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” and (Mat 7:12 NIV) So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Why am I more blessed than Solomon? Because God didn’t give me as much as He gave Solomon, so I was not so tempted to put my faith in money, or my own wisdom. What the world views as a blessing can be just the opposite.