Tuesday, January 15, 2013

If I Only...



...had some money...

...had a job...

...had a husband...

...had a wife...

...had a child...

...were pretty...

...were thin...

...were smart...

...were wise...

...had more faith...

...had more strength...


Consider these words of Solomon who is purported to be the wisest and wealthiest man in the Bible.

1 I said in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself." But behold, this also was vanity. 2 I said of laughter, "It is mad," and of pleasure, "What use is it?" 3 I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine--my heart still guiding me with wisdom--and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. 4 I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. 5 I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. 6 I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. 8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the children of man. 9 So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun. 12So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly. For what can the man do who comes after the king? Only what has already been done. 13 Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness. 14The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them. 15 Then I said in my heart, "What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?" And I said in my heart that this also is vanity. 16 For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool! 17 So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind.  
18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, 19 and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. 20 So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun, 21 because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22 What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? 23 For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity. 24There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, 25 for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? 26 For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

What does the word vanity mean?  We always think of it as "meaningless".   The word "vanity" is the Hebrew word Hebel which is Strong's 1891 and is an adverb which is more accurately rendered as something that is like a vapor or a breath.  It is commonly used to describe something that is transient or evanescent.  I think what King Solomon was telling us is that there is really only one thing that doen't disappear like a vapor and that is God.  God and the knowledge of Him is the only thing that lasts and is worth putting our time and effort towards.  We can enjoy the things of this life, but they only last for what is really only a breath, and then we die.  What happens to us then depends solely on the choice for or against Jesus Christ that we made during the breath of our life.  That, then is a BIG choice.  I choose Jesus.  I pray that you will, too. 

Jesus, I pray that you will send forth your word and your light that it would do that which you intended it to do.   You said that your word would not return void and that it WOULD accomplish your purposes.  I lift up your name today and I praise you for you alone are worthy of praise.  You are good and you are trust worthy.  You are slow to anger and filled with loving kindness.  You loved me at my worst and expect the best from me.  You help me when I need you and you strengthen me when I am weak.  You correct me when I am wrong and love me even then.  You are sweet and precious.  You are strong and mighty.  You are wise and know everything, but you are not a smart-alek or a know-it-all.   You are patient and you are so long suffering.    The greatest thing is that you are God and that you are all these things to all people:   man, woman, and child in all walks of life, all ages, and stages.  You   are   so   worthy   of   all   I   have   to   give AND SO MUCH MORE! 

If only, Lord, the world, the whole, world had you.    I pray in your name...Amen


  

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