Week 27, Day 2 in the LEB

Jul 3, 2017

Podcast: Play in new window (Duration: 13:25 — 4.66 MB)
The reading for today is Ecclesiastes 1-3; Psalm 45; 2 Timothy 1.

Scripture quotations are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.

Ecclesiastes 1

The words of the Teacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

"Vanity of vanities!" says the Teacher,
    "Vanity of vanities! All is vanity!"

What does a person gain in all his toil
    with which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes,
    but the earth stands forever.
The sun rises, and the sun goes down;
    to its place it hurries, and there it rises again.
The wind goes to the south and goes around to the north;
    around and around it goes, and on its circuit the wind returns.
All the streams flow to the sea,
    but the sea is never full;
to the place where the streams flow,
    there they continue to flow.
All things toil continuously;
    no one can ever finish describing this.
The eye is never satisfied with seeing,
    and the ear is never filled with hearing.
What has been—it is what will be;
    what has been done—it is what will be done;
        there is nothing new under the sun.
There is a thing of which it is said, "Look at this! This is new!"
    But it already existed in ages past before us.
There is neither remembrance of former generations,
    nor will there be remembrance of future generations.

I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. I applied my mind to seek and to search by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. It is a grievous task God has given to humans. I saw all the works that are done under the sun. Look! Everything is vanity and chasing wind.

What is twisted cannot be straightened,
    and what is lacking cannot be counted.

I said to myself, "Look! I have become great and have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has preceded me over Jerusalem. I have acquired a great deal of wisdom and knowledge." So I dedicated myself to learn about wisdom and to learn about delusion and folly. However, I discovered that this also is chasing wind.

For in much wisdom is much frustration,
    and whoever increases knowledge increases sorrow.

Ecclesiastes 2

I said to myself, "Come! I will test pleasure to see whether it is worthwhile." But look, "This also is vanity!" I said of laughter, "It is folly!" and of pleasure, "What does it accomplish?" I also explored the effects of indulging my flesh with wine. My mind guiding me with wisdom, I investigated folly so that I might discover what is good under heaven for humans to do during the days of their lives.

I accomplished great things. I built for myself houses; I planted for myself vineyards. I made for myself gardens and parks, and I planted all sorts of fruit trees in them. I made for myself pools of water from which to irrigate a grove of flourishing trees. I acquired male slaves and female slaves, as well as children born in my house. I also had livestock, cattle, and flocks more than anyone who was before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered to myself silver and gold—the royal and provincial treasuries. I acquired for myself male and female singers, as well as the delight of men, voluptuous concubines.

Thus, I accomplished far more than anyone who was before me in Jerusalem—indeed, my wisdom stood by me. I neither withheld anything from my eyes that they desired, nor did I deprive any pleasure from my heart. My heart rejoiced in all my toil, for this was my reward from all my toil. Yet when I considered all the effort which I expended and the toil with which I toiled to do, then behold, "Everything is vanity and chasing wind! There is nothing profitable under the sun!"

Next, I considered wisdom, as well as delusion and folly. What can anyone do who will come after the king that has not already been done? I realized that wisdom has an advantage over folly, just as light has an advantage over darkness. The wise man can see where he is walking, but the fool walks in darkness. Yet I also realized that both of them suffer the same fate. So I said to myself, "If I also suffer the same fate as the fool, what advantage is my great wisdom?" So I said to myself, "This also is vanity!"

Certainly no one will remember the wise man or the fool in future generations. When future days come, both will have been forgotten already. How is it that the wise man dies the same as the fool? So I hated life because the work done under the sun is grievous to me. For everything is vanity and chasing wind!

So I hated all my toil with which I have toiled under the sun, for I must leave it behind to someone who will be after me. And who knows whether he will be wise or foolish? Yet he will exercise control of all the fruit of my toil with which I toiled wisely under the sun. This also is vanity!

So I began to despair of all the toil with which I toiled under the sun. For although a person may toil with great wisdom and skill, he must leave his reward to someone who has not toiled for it. This also is vanity and a great calamity. For what does a person receive for all his toil and in the longing of his heart with which he toils under the sun? All his days are painful, his labor brings grief, and his heart cannot rest at night. This also is vanity!

There is nothing better for a person than to eat and drink and find delight in his toil. For I also realized that this is from the hand of God! For who can eat and drink, and who can enjoy life apart from him? For to the person who is good in his eyes, he gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and heaping up only to give it to him who is pleasing to him. This also is vanity and chasing wind!

Ecclesiastes 3

For everything there is an appointed time, a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to bear and a time to die;
    a time to plant and a time to root up what is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal;
    a time to break down and a time to build up;
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
    a time to mourn and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones;
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek and a time to lose;
    a time to keep and a time to throw away;
a time to tear and a time to sew;
    a time to be silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
    a time for war and a time for peace.

What does the worker gain in his toil?

I have seen the busyness God gives to humans to preoccupy them. He has made everything suitable in its time. He also has put the past in their hearts, yet no one can grasp what God does from the beginning to the end. So I realized that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and enjoy themselves during their lives. And for anyone to eat and drink, that is, to enjoy the fruit of all his toil, this also is a gift of God.

I know everything God does endures forever;
    nothing can be added to it, and nothing can be taken from it,
        for God so acts that humans might stand in awe before him.
What is—it already was,
    and what will be—it already is,
        for God will do what he has done.

I saw something else under the sun: instead of justice there was evil; instead of righteousness there was wickedness. So I said to myself, "God will surely judge the righteous and the wicked, for he has appointed a time of judgment for every deed and every work."

I said to myself concerning humans, "God sifts them in order to show them that they are like beasts." For the fate of humans and the fate of the beast is the same. The death of the one is like the death of the other, for both are mortal. Man has no advantage over the beast, for both are fleeting. Both go to one place—both came from dust and both return to dust. For no one knows whether the spirit of a human ascends to heaven and whether the spirit of the beast descends to the ground!

So I concluded that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy the fruit of his labor, for this is his lot in life. For no one knows what will happen in the future.

Psalm 45

For the music director; according to The Lilies. Of the sons of Korah.

A maskil. A song of love.

My heart is moved with a good word;
I recite my compositions to the king.
My tongue is the pen of a skilled scribe.
You are the most handsome of the sons of humankind;
grace is poured out on your lips;
therefore God has blessed you forever.
Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,
in your splendor and your majesty.
And in your majesty ride victoriously,
because of truth and humility and righteousness.
And let your right hand teach you awesome deeds.
Your arrows are sharp;
peoples fall under you
in the midst of the king’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
A scepter of uprightness is
the scepter of your kingdom.
You love righteousness and hate wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
from among your companions with festive oil.
All your robes are scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
From palaces of ivory stringed instruments gladden you.
Kings’ daughters are among your noble ladies.
The queen stands at your right hand in gold of Ophir.
Hear, O daughter, and discern and incline your ear,
and forget your people and your father’s house.
Let the king desire your beauty.
Because he is your lord, therefore bow down to him.
Even the daughter of Tyre will come with a gift.
The rich from among people will seek your favor.
The king’s daughter is all glorious within;
her garment is of gold embroidered cloth.
She is brought to the king in colorful garments.
The young women behind her, her attendants,
are being brought to you.
They are led with joy and gladness.
They enter the palace of the king.
In place of your fathers will be your sons.
You will make them princes in all the land.
I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations;
therefore peoples will praise you forever and ever.

2 Timothy 1

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my dear child. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am thankful to God, whom I have served with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day, longing to see you as I remember your tears, so that I may be filled with joy, remembering the sincere faith in you, which lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am convinced that is in you also, for which reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of cowardice, but of power and love and self-discipline.

Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor me his prisoner, but suffer along with me for the gospel, according to the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace that was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been disclosed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought to light life and immortality through the gospel, for which I was appointed a proclaimer and an apostle and a teacher, for which reason also I suffer these things. But I am not ashamed, because I know in whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted until that day. Hold fast to the pattern of sound words which you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit through the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

You know this, that all those in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he refreshed me many times, and was not ashamed of my imprisonment, but when he was in Rome, he diligently sought me and found me. May the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord in that day! And how much he served me in Ephesus you know very well.