Daily devotional, 10th of July 2013.
Psalm 87, 88 and Ecclesiastes 6 and 7
Hi to all the big family reading this blog. It’s good to be back with another post. I actually posted twice today because I wanted to catch up with my reading, otherwise, I’ll be posting something different than what I’m reading and that’s never as fresh as on the spot writing, right? So here we go.
The last post was pretty big, so I’ll try to make it shorter this time, but hey, you know me, so keep your expectations low. Anything under 1200 words is a bonus.
On Psalm 87: 5-6 we find this beautiful picture of the new city, called Zion, or New Jerusalem, depending on what translation you’re reading it from. Some people might get stuck on the questions about Zion… Is this an actual place? Is this a city in the past? Is this in any shape or form referring to the future? Does that have any spiritual meaning? Well, like I’ve done before, here is my opinion, obviously influenced by stuff I’ve read and heard before, but still my opinion.
He is talking about the city God will build, a linguistic figure that means the church, in the perfect state, once we’ve been regenerated and are living constantly in his presence.
The magnificent thing in these verses is that is says that “… He knows us by name, each and every one of us, regardless where we come from…” He knows me! He knows me, and I’m known by Him! Wow,
Pause for a second and think about this… He knows you! Good or bad, black or white, rich or poor, He knows you! I could finish just here and let you pondering about this, but I can’t resist… Let’s move forward!
I read Psalm 88 and I thought: “What is this? Is this guy trying to compete with Job on who gets the worse life???” That was depressing… Some parts of the Bible makes you think what these people had to go through to put that in writing… I could sense that he was very depressed, going through a very hard time. Maybe that’s you case… I found out that this guy was pretty high up in the chain back in the days. He was one of the three top dogs (sorry for the expression) of David. He was in charge of all the music in the temple… It reminded me that the greatest angel a long time ago was in the same job, and he decided to rebel trying to be better than God… I guess you know who I’m talking about… Abaddon is his name. Maybe that’s why in this Psalm there is a subtle reference to his name… Can’t find it??? Yeah, it’s not explicit there… But hey, I’ll let you try and find for yourself. If you can’t, post a comment here and I’ll try to show you where it is…
Anyway, I managed to get out of Psalm 88 before I was too heavy on my feelings… Jumping to Ecclesiastes 6 and 7.
In Ecclesiastes 6 the preacher tries to bring forth a concept that is almost impossible to the majority of people to grasp. I am including myself in that category. He basically says that it is better for a baby not to be born, because at least he or she won’t have to face the disgraces of this world. It feels like he is preparing us to read the parts where he says that it’s better to go to a funeral than to a party! If you’re reading this for the first time you’re probably thinking he is out of his mind. I agree, but keep reading. There is a reason behind all he is saying…
“The day someone dies is better than the day they were born…” Why? Because when they die, suffering is ceased! No more pain, no more suffering, no more tears, no more disgrace, no more violence. Just God! Nothing else, no one else! That’s enough.
I agree, it’s a very difficult thing to agree with, but if you have faith and if you believe in Jesus, you must agree that the deal of eternity with God is a very sweet and great deal! Much better than this life.
He also says: “A wise person thinks about death but a fool only thinks about the good times.” I’ve met countless people who when we mention the subject, they are repelled… It feels like they’re scared to talk about it. Maybe because they are not sure of what it means, maybe because they have no hope for the future, maybe because they are afraid of the choices they’ve made, consciously or unconsciously.
“It’s better to finish something that to start”: Surely, this is one of the most amazing truths in this chapter. Think about a race, a marathon. It’s awesome to start it, but it’s even greater to finish it. You feel a sense of accomplishment, specially if you win. The same goes to business, adventures in life, life itself. You see, I just had a baby daughter, I love her with everything that I got, I don’t want to see her grow, I wish she could be a baby forever, but then I think about the joy she will have when she is growing, maybe when she is marrying, and when she has her kids… Wow, I’ll be blessed to see the final result of this journey!
When I was thinking about this, I actually remembered that verse in Ephesians 4:11-16.
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherdsand teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
The whole purpose of growing up and maturing is explained here. I love this verse.
“It’s better to be criticized by the wise than praised by the foolish…” I couldn’t agree more. Wise criticism brings growth, praise by the foolish brings a fake perception that you’re good.
Now, to the prosperity gospel haters, including me, here is a good foundation. Verse 11b. “Wise people will get more than enough wealth”. Granted. Wise people know how to plan, to invest their money and because of God’s grace and wisdom given by Him, they can enjoy what they’ve created with their skills. I wish I get there.
It also tells you, just like Paul did, to learn to be content when life is good and when life is not so good.
It was the part of verse 17-20 that got me confused. honestly, I can’t really understand that. Maybe I will with time. with Wisdom. When he says you can’t be any extreme, not so good and not so bad, but just keep it in the middle, that is freaking annoying to me! I’m the type of guy who is black or white, not gray brother!
Buy hey, can’t argue with the Bible huh? If you read along Ecclesiastes 7 until the end, you will see that not even the wisest person in the world (the guy who wrote this, Solomon) could understand why things are t he way they are. They just are. And trying to understand it is like trying to catch the wind… Funny that at the end of Ecclesiastes 6 he says that “people can’t argue with God… It won’t change a thing…”
I found that funny, didn’t you? Funny, but true!
Luckily he finishes with: “I learned it is foolish to be evil and it’s crazy to act like a fool”. So if we are to lean towards any side, let us lean towards the good side right?
My feminist friends would be mad at me if I expanded on the last part of this chapter, but I think he mentions that to allure to the power of persuasion women have. He could also be making a reference to the original sin, on how Eve convinced Adam to sin. However, we all know that Adam had a huge responsibility and in no way we can blame Eve alone. I don’t know why he put that verse there and to be honest, I haven’t looked anything up. Like I said before, this is not a Biblical study, but more of a revelation personal insight when I’m reading my Bible.
I wish more men would listen to this advise though, because there are terrible women out there, as well as terrible men, so the advice goes to both, men and women.
And with that said, and 1549 words later, I finish. I must have a writer within me… One day maybe…
God bless you all!