Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 May 2022 Proverbs 29:18.

Proverbs 29:18.      Where there is no vison (prophetic vision or revelation), the people perish (cast off restraint): but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

So, what’s new this spring Tuesday morning in May of 2022 eh friends? A sunny day when the trees all seem to be finally blooming, putting on their new look of bright green for the upcoming season, returning to an energetic life after remaining dormant for so long in the cold, dreary depths of winter. 

And I know that most of us would reply ‘same old, same old,’ to the above question. But what’s really wrong with same old eh? Nothing at all! Because that’s what life is all about; that’s how we learn, by repetition. If we had a new situation every day we wouldn’t know or learn anything. And sadly, that’s how it’s shaping up these days when we are all hungering and clamouring for something new, and quickly getting bored and frustrated although we have so many new toys to keep us occupied. 

In our recent rush for speed, we’ve developed very short attention spans, which make us quickly disenchanted with new stuff. But let me put this other question to us. What do you think will, or would have happened to us if our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ had a short attention span, and was easily bored and frustrated like us eh? We’d certainly be left out in the rain, in the dark, in the cold, without a safe place to shelter. 

But thankfully Jesus is strong and steadfast, and not worried about the same old, same old that He does by constantly saving us from making foolish mistakes and interceding for us every day to His Father. So please, let’s get wise and give up this foolish rush for speed and change nuh, because it’s causing us to lose the ability to truly enjoy life, the abundant, same old life that Christ died for us to have. 

Our appreciation for the things and people in our lives are plummeting each day, because we have so many things, we can’t keep count or enjoy them properly. And as per people, too many relationships these days are only surface deep, so false and plastic, that there’s little trust and true enjoyment to be found in them. And sadly, the relationships and situations that words like loyalty and honour breed are quietly disappearing from our vocabulary and society. How unfortunate my people, because those are the basic things that make a society rich and powerful and enjoyable, without their members having to keep a constant watch for dishonor and disloyalty which are rife in our world today. 

When a society has lost its trustworthiness then it’s on its way down. When a person’s word is no longer sacred, when even the laws can be successfully manipulated to cause hurt and dishonour, then that society is no longer growing like a strong, tall and steadfast cedar of Lebanon, but is withering like a cursed fig tree. And believe me, withering like a cursed fig tree happens much quicker than the growth of a cedar of Lebanon. So, once a society gets on that path of destruction, its demise happens rather quickly. 

And that’s why proper leadership is ever so important for a society or any organization to function properly. No wonder Cousin Sol says in his wisdom that:’ ‘Where there is no vison (prophetic vision or revelation), the people perish (cast off restraint): but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.’ (Prov. 29:18) And that’s the indisputable truth! Where there is no moral or divine inspiration in leadership, then people cast off restraint and do whatever they feel like. 

Sadly, that’s exactly what’s happening in our world today. Our leaders seem more interested in a grab for power, self-aggrandization and war-mongering than in building a moral and godly civilization. We’re even trying to remove God from our society, so why should we be surprised at the way our world is going since, as the scholars tell us: ‘Morality is based on adherence to God’s revealed will.’ And if there’s no God, then there can’t be any revealed will. 

And unfortunately, all that we’ve spoken of above is reflected in these few words of author Adrian McCullen in an article titled ‘Where there is no vision the people perish,’ on the website medium.com. He writes: ‘Society has reached a stage where more people are dying from abundance than from lack. Obesity and obesity-related illnesses kill more people than starvation. People are at a point where their basic needs have been met.’ That’s in our western based societies. 

And we see the perfect example of the lack of divine vision and inspiration in the state of Israel when the Lord called Samuel. The Good Book tells it thus: ‘And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious (rare) in those days, there was no open vision.’ (1 Sam. 3:1) 

And the scholars explain: ‘The severity of Israel’s apostasy (rejection of God)  (cf. Jud. 21:25) caused a dearth of God’s revelatory work. The condition was perpetuating and self-defeating. (cf. Prov. 29:18) By God’s grace, the prophetic institution would receive impetus and standardization in the person and work of Samuel. (cf. 3:21; 19:20) 

Ah friends, our current world is now almost like that of Israel back then. And that reference to Judges 21:25 in the scholars’ explanations spells it out in spades. It says: ‘In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.’ And unfortunately, that’s the same philosophy that’s taking hold in our current society. The moral law of God is being rejected for that which we consider appropriate to our personal needs. 

So why the surprise when we discover that our world is sinking into the morass, of death and decay eh? When we do our own thing and don’t follow God’s law, we will suffer and eventually perish, unless we come to our senses like Israel did under Samuel. It’s as simple as that. So, for those of us who are trying to live the righteous life, as set out in God’s law, let’s go home now declaring (yessss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Now it behooves us to go and do just that; share Christ’s amazing LOVE and friendship with those we meet, so that they too can come to LOVE and worship Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…God’s law works to build up…man’s law to destroy…   

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   6 May 2022 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.       Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 

And the joyful shout of  ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ rises up all over the land. And although it’s a cloudy Friday morning, just the thought that the work week is on its last slippery legs, brings joy to the populace! Oh, how we look forward to our weekends so we can rest, party and be rejuvenated to go back out and do the same dreary, painstaking work the following week. And do we ever need a break from the drudgery of work, the same old, same old, at the end of the five days. 

And Cousin Sol puts it so nicely in his role as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes, when he says: ‘Vanity of vanities (futility of futilities), saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity (futility). What profit hath a man of (from) all his labour which he taketh under the sun?  One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.’ (Eccl. 1:2-4) And that’s no lie! While mankind comes and goes with a few changes, the earth goes on unchanged and undisturbed. 

And according to the scholars, ‘The implied answer to the rhetorical question in verse 3 is that there is no profit for man in his work. This supports the idea that “vanity” refers to a lack of profit, value, or worth. Under the sun is used 29 times in the book and denotes the sphere of Solomon’s observations.’ And please note that ‘vanity’ or futility ‘is never predicated of God, God’s work, God’s revelation, or man as man.’ 

Then, after commenting on the sameness of the sun, the winds, the rivers and seas through all generations, (vs. 5-7) Cousin Sol continues: ‘All things are full of labour (wearisome); man cannot utter (express) it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.’ (Eccl. 1:8-9) And when we look at it from a worldly point of view, it’s the gospel truth! Nothing is really new, for from the beginning to the end, life is just a revolving cycle. 

Then he asks: ‘Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See this is new? it hath been already of old (ancient time), which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.’ (Eccl. 1:10-11) We can’t argue much with those statements, for as the scholars explain: ‘The ceaseless cycles of nature illustrate the futility of life. The amazing thing is that the earth goes on, but man, the height of God’s creation, passes into eternity with no remembrance (vs.11).’ 

Now, we all know that Cousin Sol undertook a study to find out what life’s all about and if it’s worth living at all. And throughout history there’s never been anyone better qualified to undertake such a study. As he says: ‘I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate (greatness), and have gotten more wisdom that all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge (I understood great wisdom). And I gave (set) my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit (a grasping of the wind). For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.’ (Eccl. 1:16-18) 

And in chapter 2, Cousin Sol, as the scholars outline, ‘pursued fulfillment through pleasure, wine, great works, wealth, aesthetic and artistic pleasures, and fame. All of these failed to bring lasting satisfaction to the wisest man of all time, yet people three thousand years later are still trying them in search of enduring fulfillment.’ Now, when we consider the awesome truth in the last statement, it brings forth a sad sigh, because we are still running behind the lusts and pleasures of the flesh that hold no lasting good. 

And, as per wisdom and folly, Cousin Sol found that wisdom was better than folly, ‘as far as light excelleth darkness.’ (Eccl. 2:13) However the same thing, death, happens to the wise as to the fool, so why be wise eh? That too was vanity (futile, worthless). However, wisdom is still the most attractive virtue since it brings inner peace: ‘a man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness (sternness) of his face shall be changed.’ (Eccl. 8:1) 

There is also joy in labour, because it is from the hand of God. For although we brought nothing into the world and take nothing with us. ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils)  all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion (heritage).’ (Eccl. 5:18) 

And since we don’t have the time nor space to list all of Cousin Sol’s findings in his search for purpose in life, we’ll go straight to his conclusion. He puts it thus: ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl. 12:13-14) 

So, despite the many problems and difficulties we might face in living this earthly life, we must remember that our first duty is always to reverence and worship our great God and be obedient to His holy will. That’s why we’ve been created and placed on this earth… for a true and sincere relationship with the God of our creation. And to uphold that relationship between us, He instituted the communication called prayer. Therefore, in wisdom and honour, let’s go to Him right now nuh through the medium of prayer, raising our Friday Chant to heaven, acknowledging our problems and asking for divine help. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And if we truly want positive answers to our prayer, then we must show that we are indeed faithful believers and set a good example as we’ve promised. Much LOVE!

…life might be rough…but our God is good…and His promises are sure… 

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