Wednesday, December 9, 2015

VANITY OF VANITIES

Today’s Reading: Ecclesiastes 1-3

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

This is the monument to Pius VIII in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Italy. The Pope is shown kneeling, accompanied by a statue of Christ enthroned, with statues of Sts. Peter and Paul. Pius VIII was imprisoned in 1808 during the French domination of Italy for refusing to take the oath of allegiance to Napoleon. Napoleon, the Emperor of France, Europe, North Africa and much of the middle east, would probably agree with Solomon that “All is vanity,” particularly if Napoleon was asked about his life from his imprisonment and exile during his later years.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Ecclesiastes 1:2, 3:11

“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher;

“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”

…He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

 

We cannot help but notice the repetition “the Preacher” used for his desired emphasis. The word, “vanity” occurs 37 times. It means “useless” or “empty.” The “preacher” has tried all life has to offer. Worldly wisdom, works, wealth, etc., as well as laughter and wine are all found to be empty. This can all be discouraging to us, his readers, unless we refer several times during our readings to chapter 12. We may want to read Solomon’s conclusions about life each day.

The word “time” is repeated 31 times in today’s reading. Time is short here on earth, but a ray of hope shines through with the statement that God “has put eternity in their hearts.” All anthropological studies done in every people group on earth prove that our human family is constantly reaching beyond ourselves and into eternity. The monument pictured above gets it right. Peter and Paul got it right. Pius seems to have gotten it right. Napoleon got it wrong, as is the case of everyone who seeks their ultimate values here and now in this life alone.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will live every moment of my life with eternity’s values in mind. As I grow older, may I grow up into Your love and truth. I ask for grace to keep the vain things of earth in their proper perspective, always seeking to use material possessions and human pursuits for eternal purposes. Thank You for putting “eternity” in my heart. I pray that eternal values will also be in my head, my consistent thoughts and decisions. In the Name of Your eternally existing Son, Father God, I ask these mercies, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Remember the TV show Hee Haw? I know one of the main characters personally. Gordie Tapp is the son of Salvation Army officers. I have no doubt that when he and Roy Clarke sang of gloom, despair, etc., he knew about the book of Ecclesiastes. In fact, that song could’ve been lifted right out of this book.

I’m thinking again today of the late, great man, Nelson Mandela. He had such high hopes for his people. It must have been discouraging for him as reality set in and he observed the rampant corruption that has become epidemic in the South African government after he stepped aside from the presidency. He surely tried his best and I commend him for setting such a good example. I want to commend highly our former Prime Minister of Canada, the RT. Hon. Brian Mulroney, for taking the strongest stand of any world leader for doing what was right in South Africa prior to Mandela’s release from prison, and after. God bless you former Canadian P.M. I’m proud of you!

Yours for filling the emptiness of life with the fulness of Christ!

David

P.S. Here’s the Hee Haw song I referred to (click here). While Solomon tells us that “laughter” accomplishes little, it is good for us. In Proverbs 17:22a, Solomon told us that “A merry heart does good like a medicine.”

12 thoughts on “Wednesday, December 9, 2015

  1. “Steve Backland”, noted Christian author, evangelist, preacher wrote several books recently, one of which is entitled -“YOUR CRAZY IF YOU DON’T LAUGH AT YOURSELF” (once in a while).Truth is , we tend to gripe at things when we should be laughing. Our GOD is able to do the exceeding abundantly above ALL that we ask or think. When that unexpected bill comes in- don’t grumble – laugh at it saying God can handle this- no problem. When the Government announces 25000 refugees are soon arriving from Syria to our corner of the world- don’t begin complaining in church /in the community or even on this blog- our GOD JEHOVAH JIREH- HE is able to supply ALL OF OUR NEEDS ACCORDING TO HIS RICHES IN GLORY (not ours) instead, of complaining- take a different approach- BEGIN LAUGHING AT THE DEVIL who is the instigator of every evil and wicked thought and confess OUT LOUD to yourself (as you laugh at the enemy)-MY GOD IS ABLE AND BECAUSE MY GOD IS ABLE- THEN I AM CERTAINLY ABLE. Then sing that song we used to sing in church years ago- HE’S ABLE, HE’S ABLE, I KNOW HE IS ABLE, I KNOW MY GOD IS ABLE TO CARRY ME THROUGH (REPEAT) HE HEALS THE BROKEN HEARTED HE SETS THE CAPTIVE FREE, HE MAKES THE LAME TO WALK AGAIN AND HE MAKES THE BLIND MAN SEE—-HE’S ABLE , HE’S ABLE …(repeat first line )– then you will find FAITH rise up in the mighty NAME of JESUS and you will find yourself agreeing with GOD WHO always told and tells the truth.
    Love your blog Rev. David Mainse-you truly are Canada’s PASTOR and I along with hundreds of thousands of fellow bloggers salute you today. As the late R.W. Shamback used to say _YOU’RE ONE IN A MILLION!
    GOD BLESS YOU AND NORMA JEAN

    Rev. Terry FELVUS

    • Thank you Rev. David and Rev. Terry for your very encouraging words this morning. God Bless all my blogger friends. Yours in Christ Eleanor M.

    • Thank you for your words today. In our Church we still sing the chorus, “He is able” – He IS able, through Christ our Lord. We have many pictures of Jesus, but the one I love that was around in the 70’s was a great picture of Jesus laughing. “The joy of the Lord is truly our strength”. Blessings. Samuel

  2. Nearer, My God, to Thee, Sarah F Adams, pub.1841

    “Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
    E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
    Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Refrain:
    Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

    Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
    Darkness be over me, my rest a stone;
    Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee.
    There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n;
    All that Thou sendest me, in mercy giv’n;
    Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee.
    Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
    Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;
    So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee.
    Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky,
    Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly,
    Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee.
    There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest,
    There in my Savior’s love, perfectly blest;
    Age after age to be nearer, my God, to Thee.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwLl5nY5WPI

    • Thanks Beverlee, Such a beautiful hymn. So comforting and soothing.
      Enjoyed listening to it again. What a contrast to the message of Ecclesiastes when our lives our wrapped around our relationship with God rather than a life centred on self. I never realized that the Author of this song reflects on the imagery of Jacob’s experience at Bethel – when he was running away from Esau and God met him at Bethel (Gen.28-22) – the Author seems to be looking back at Jacob’s experience but now from the perspective of the Cross. Through Jesus we are able to now enter directly into God’s presence. With the cry of Victory from the Cross, the veil of the Temple was torn down. So now, for those who love the Lord, our lives are not meaningless but meaningful. “O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. Blessings to you and all bloggers, to David & Norma-Jean. “Eternity in our heart” links us all together as the Family of God. Samuel

  3. WOW! you all gotta check this website out: IT LEFT ME SHAKING, TINGLING! I am convinced more than ever that God is in control of North America! I also believe it was the faith of our first leaders in both Canada and the United States that laid the ground for God’s blessings in our continent!

    http://hawthornephoto.com/walk.htm click WALK WITH PRESIDENT.

    • I AGREE IRENE: I could not believe what I saw! I was also thinking that when Canada and the United States were being discovered so to speak, the leaders and even the people lived by the Golden Rule….I am hearing many documentaries of past leaders and many of them prayed daily. Even before I saw this link I often wondered how God has blessed these countries, Scripture says He will honour those who have honored the Lord…

  4. Yes I agree with you David about our former P.M. Brian Mulroney for taking that stand, doing the right thing is always in season. I’m well pleased also with him. A thing I heard this morning on the Kenneth Copeland show about never saying he is proud because it’s proudness that keeps us away from God, so now he (Kenneth) uses the word pleased instead. It was interesting so thought I’d pass it on. Lord bless, Elaine.

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