Sep 27, 2016
Yesterday we heard of Jehoshaphat wisely appointing judges, and he also travelled all over Israel personally encouraging people to follow the Lord.
20:8-9 [We, their descendants,//They] have lived here and have built [this//a] temple to honor you, knowing that if any disaster struck [us//them] to punish [us//them]—a war, an epidemic, or a famine—then [we//they] could come and stand in front of this Temple where you are worshiped. [We//They] could pray to you in [our//their] trouble, and you would hear [us//them] and rescue [us//them].
The book of Ecclesiastes is the record of Solomon seeking to find God in a worldly way. This is a book of worldly wisdom. Solomon repeatedly uses the key theme word ‘useless’ to describe our lives on earth. God had not given clear promises about how all mankind will live after death, and Solomon considers the afterlife an open question. Had he known what we know, his opinions on many things would have changed. He does finally come to the same conclusion found in Proverbs— namely that the best thing is to fear God and keep his commands.
Yesterday we heard of John the Baptist’s beheading. Jesus retreated to the countryside, but a huge crowd followed him. Then he worked several powerful miracles— all of which hold clear symbolic meanings for us. It is worth the time to meditate on Jesus’ miracles!
8 ‘These people, says God, honor me with their words, but their heart[s are// is] really far away from me.
12 Then [we, his//the] disciples came to him and said, “Do you know that the Pharisees [were offended//had their feelings hurt] by what you said?”
14 “Don't worry about them! They are blind [people leading other blind people//leaders of the blind]; and when one blind man leads another, both fall into a ditch.”
15 Peter spoke up, “Explain [to us what you said about things that defile people.//to us what you said about things that go in and out of the mouth//this saying to us.]”
16 Jesus said to them, “CEV Don't any of you know what I am talking about by now?//You are still no more intelligent than the others.]