Day 160

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Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:14, 1 Kings 12:1-33, 2 Chronicles 10:1-11:17

John Rizzo, Care Ministries, Celebrate Recovery, and Freedom in Christ

Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:14 is full of advice for young and old. Solomon urges us to live responsibly in our youth because old age and death are coming. When I was young, old age and death seemed so far away. It hardly entered my thoughts. Now it doesn’t seem so far away, it may even be close. Only God knows. Have I honored Him? For much of my life – no. I’m a late bloomer you see. But thank God, He broke through and I’ve come to know my heavenly Father while there was still time. I’m glad it happened before my teeth fell out and my eyes dimmed. It’s never too late to honor Him. And all those “wasted years” weren’t wasted at all. God doesn’t waste anything. He uses them to put us where he wants us today.

The world is very much in tune with the part of Solomon’s message that says to enjoy life. But the problem is that without God at the center of it, we often go about it in wrong ways. Any enjoyment we get is just temporary. Life without God is futile. Nothing fills the hole. But with God at the center, we experience true joy, even in the midst of life’s storms. It’s all about Him. Enjoy Him in this life now. It’s preparing us to enjoy Him forever. May our hearts burn with desire to enjoy Him intimately. What can we do to enjoy Him today?

Solomon’s wisdom in Ecclesiastes all boils down to his concluding remarks in 12:13-14. Fear God. Obey Him. God will judge us for everything we do. Jesus made all the same points. (Isn’t the unity of scripture amazing?) Fearing God and obeying Him are the keys to wisdom and happiness. Knowing that God will judge us for everything evokes an image of having our lives shown on the “big screen” in high definition, for all to see as we stand before Him. I know Jesus died for my sins and I’m forgiven and going to Heaven. There is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. But I also know I’m still accountable and will stand before Him to watch that movie. Am I ready? It’s a sobering thought.

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4 responses »

  1. Thanks for your devotion today John, it is a sobering thought.

    I see a correlation with Rehoboam and recent dealings with my 13 year old grandson. It seems that he, like many youth (including his father & myself… back in the day) are so willing to dismiss the advice of those that are older, wiser and genuinely concerned about their future & run with the advice of a peer that has as little wisdom and experience as they do. They make decisions with life altering ramifications for people that most likely won’t be a part of the future they are molding.

    We are so fortunate that God is so loving and patient with us. He allows us to chase the wind and knows that it will eventually lead us back to Him. Usually with much more wisdom and a greater understanding of why we should have faithfully listened in the first place.

    God is so awesome!!!

    • However, in this case, God was clearly in control (as always.) God put these thoughts in the young men to fulfill His plan. He moved Rehoboam to choose this path to show us that He is God. Most people do not want to accept this truth about God, similar to how God chose Judas to fulfill His redemption plan. John emphasized above “fear God. Obey Him.” Healthy fear of God means dismissing our control and yielding to God’s control, after all, He is really in control anyway. Choose you this day whom you will serve. Today is the day of salvation. If we do not choose now, what role do we play in fulfilling God’s promises? As for me, I want to be on the kingdom building team with captain Jesus.

  2. Father, thank You for your mercy and patience. It is never too late and nothing is wasted. My heart sank when I read that Your people again made golden calves for the “convenience” of worship. I wonder if Your heart sinks when You see us walking headlong into disaster after all you have done to keep us in Your will. Thank You that You are continually growing us up and perfecting us no matter our years on earth. Your instruction is very clear. Please open my eyes and ears and clean up my heart to love and revere You and follow the way You have clearly marked for me, all for Your glory. Amen.

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