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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Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 May 2021 Ecclesiastes 1:8.

Ecclesiastes 1:8.     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. ​

And then it was Thursday – another beautiful spring day in my neighbourhood. All praise and glory to the Lord for bringing me through the dark night of the enemy to another one of these sparklers with all of my faculties, or rather with most of them intact. (smile) Thanks and praise are certainly in order when we awaken to a bright, brand new day in Jesus! There’s nothing like it to lift our spirits, to energize our souls and give us hope, assurance, and comfort for the future! Oh, how wonderful it is to live for Jesus! 

Please note I didn’t say easy, (smile) for as they say, anything worth its salt is worth working and facing difficulties for, and Jesus is definitely at the top of that list! He is indeed the greatest employer in the world! Who else can offer grace, mercy, LOVE and salvation to His people eh? Nobody! That’s why He is the greatest; the One and ONLY Superstar! A strong and mighty fortress! But despite working for the greatest employer, we must admit that basic life, when coupled with working in this crazy and evil world is full of problems. 

Listen to how Cousin Sol puts it in Ecclesiastes nuh: ‘Vanity of vanities (futility of futilities), saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of (from) all his labour which he taketh under the sun (toils or labours)? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever… 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. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time (in ancient times) 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. 1:4, 8-11) 

Yeh friends, Cousin Sol doesn’t mince words at all; life is one big cycle with work a major part of it, and not much of what we accomplish is ever remembered. The scholars explain it thus: ‘1:2. Vanity is the key word of the book and the refrain all is vanity its theme. The word “futility” means “that which is futile or worthless, of no value or profit.” As Solomon observed life, he saw little that exhibited profit and accomplishment. The word ‘all’ in the expression ‘all is vanity’ must not be taken to mean everything in the universe for these reasons:

(1) The author’s observations are clearly limited to what is “under the sun” or observable. (2) The negative conclusions always grow out of observable phenomena as the expressions “I saw,” “I have seen,” “Again I saw,” and so on, exhibit. (3) “Vanity” is never predicated of God, God’s work, God’s revelation, or man as man. (4) Specific realities are commended by Solomon in such a way as not to be considered vanity (e.g., the fear of God, enjoyment of life, and proper use of wisdom.’ What interesting and important insights friends! I believe we should read that slowly, at least a couple of times, so we can truly understand it, for it’s the very basis of Cousin Sol’s thesis. 

And the scholars continue, per verse ‘1:3. The implied answer to this rhetorical question “what profit hath a man of all his labour…” 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. Now,  this last scholarly explanation: ‘1:4-11. 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).’  

And with all the effort, energy and labour we put into living this earthly life, it can be somewhat discouraging to know that a lot of what we do is worthless and will not be remembered. But that’s exactly why it makes so much sense to live exclusively for Jesus! For with Him, we have a future and a hope. Our lives won’t go to waste. We’ll dwell with him for eternity, and be rewarded for the good work we did as His representatives down here on earth, with robes of white, crowns of glory, righteousness and all sorts of other heavenly treasures! (smile)

 Let’s also remember that our earthly bodies will one day cease to exist, will return to the dust from which they originally came, but our spiritual beings will live on forever, either in Hades or Heaven. However, we need to choose one of those options while we are here on earth, and for what it’s worth, I’ll say that heaven is the better choice, for we’ll be there with Jesus! And all God’s people gave a joyful and grateful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And please, please don’t be fooled by the seemingly glamourous lifestyle that the world tries to offer, because it’s only a façade, behind the glitzy front shell there is only hellfire and damnation! So for those of us who have wisely decided to choose Jesus and heaven as our eternal destination, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Thursday Blessings, those amazing characteristics that the Lord has so magnanimously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. 

Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’  

And what’s the corollary to all that, you ask?  Simple: we are expected to go out and share those blessings just as generously with others, as the Lord shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…hell and destruction…are never full…so the eyes of man…are never satisfied…  (Prov. 27:20) 

P.S. The Bit is somewhat late because I had a mid-morning zoom meeting to attend. Brilliant excuse eh! (smile) Much LOVE!                                           

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 December 2020 Ecclesiastes 1:2.

Ecclesiastes 1:2.     ​Vanity of vanities (futility of futilities), saith the preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

So we move on to Friday… And does that make any difference eh? Not really nuh, because as Cousin Sol wisely said so long ago, writing as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes: ‘Vanity of vanities (futility of futilities), saith the preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of (from) all his labour which he taketh under the sun (toils or labours)? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.’ (Eccl. 1:2-4) We certainly can’t deny all that. 

And as the scholars tell us ‘1:2: Vanity is the key word of the book and the refrain all is vanity it’s theme. Vanity means “that which is futile or worthless, of no value or profit.” As Solomon observed life, he saw little that exhibited profit and accomplishment. The word ‘all’ in the expression ‘all is vanity’ must not be taken to mean everything in the universe for these reasons: (1) The author’s observations are clearly limited to what is “under the sun” or observable. 

(2) The negative conclusions always grow out of observable phenomena as the expressions “I saw,” “I have seen,” “Again I saw,” and so on, exhibit. (3) “Vanity” is never predicated of God, God’s work, God’s revelation, or man as man. (4) Specific realities are commended by Solomon in such a way as not to be considered vanity (e.g., the fear of God, enjoyment of life, and proper use of wisdom).’ 

So I hope that gives us some useful insight into Cousin Sols contemplation, (smile) as he continues a few verses later on: ‘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.’ (Eccl. 1:8) And isn’t that the gospel truth friends, especially in this technologically driven society? Our eyes and ears are never satisfied; we continually hunger for more sights and sounds, even if they lead us to immorality, prideful lust and sinful activities. 

But that’s not all, hear the Preacher giving out further: ‘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. 1:9) More gospel truth my brethren! There might be variations of stuff, but mankind has been doing the same basic things down through the ages, and will continue to do until Jesus comes back and assumes His rightful place. 

And as Cousin Sol further argues: ‘Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time before us (in ancient times). 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) Ah mih people, how true are those words eh. 

Hear the scholars: ‘1:4-11. 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 doesn’t that give you pause for ponder and wonder? (smile) Why does the earth and all it’s seasons and cycles continue seemingly for ever, while the crowning glory of God’s creation, mankind, spends such a brief time in a physical body on the earth eh? 

I guess we could trace that all the way back to the Garden of Eden when because of our forefather’s disobedience, sin and thus futility was introduced into the world. God might even have made man to live forever, but Adam and Eve never gave us the chance to find out. Yes, some other old timers lived for hundreds of years, but that was more the exception than the rule. And now we’ll never know what God meant to do. But that’s okay, for He eventually redeemed us, gave us another chance through the sacrifice of His son Jesus on the cross at Calvary. 

But sin is still causing way too many problems in our lives, and not enough people are turning to Jesus for redemption and salvation. And I believe that these verses from John’s first epistle, say a lot about us and the world we live in. ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world , the lust of the flesh (physical desires), and the lust of the eyes (personal desires), and the pride of life (self-interests), is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:15-17) 

It couldn’t be put any clearer than that friends. Sin has made a total mess of our world, till we’ve reached the stage that we don’t know whether we’re coming or going. Some say we’re coming, others say we’re going…but what’s the truth eh? The only truth is what God’s word says. And in it He clearly states that we should pray and repent and have faith in Him when we’re in trouble. And we are in serious trouble right now, so let’s develop some wisdom and turn to Him in sincere repentance and prayer nuh, through our Friday Chant. 

Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that 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 sure and 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, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. 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!’ 

Now, if we seriously desire His divine relief, then the onus is on us to do what we’ve promised. Much LOVE!

…sin will always muddy the waters of life…and cause serious consequences… 

P.S. Yes, don’t know how many of you noticed, but there’s no word from the ordinary workingman today. The simple truth is I forgot. I guess I got so wrapped up in the topic that I didn’t remember him until I was done. But it’s all good though. (smile) Much LOVE! 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 June 2015 Ecclesiastes 12:1

Ecclesiastes 12:1.     Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not (before the evil days come), nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say I have no pleasure in them.

So it’s Friday once again Friends….

And the workers shout back: ‘We know that! And thank God for it too, because this week’s just been one long, tiresome, drawn out week. Thus we can’t help but cry out in pleasure: TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s finally here, so we can get some rest and relaxation from massa’s hard labour! Thank You Lord, thank you!’

Yeh Friends, for some reason or other, this week has certainly seemed long and tiresome. But at last our wonderful heavenly Father has brought us to the end of it, like He’s faithfully promised to do, and now we have two big whole days to look forward to. (smile)

Unfortunately though, for some of us those two days might be even more stressful than the work week because we have a lot of household and personal affairs to attend to. But let’s chant our Friday Chant so that we can get some encouragement and assume the right perspective for weekend activities.

All together now. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’

Awright brethren, now that we’ve prayed that simple prayer, let’s hope that we can get the right attitude, one of circumspection, along with some upliftment to go bravely into the weekend. (smile)

And today my people, we have a very interesting Bit from Ecclesiastes which talks about vanity and the fear of God. Listen to the Preacher. ‘Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not (before the evil days come), nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say I have no pleasure in them.’

Wonderful words of wisdom and advice my people!

And we’ll continue with the scripture that follows it. ‘While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves (stoop), and the grinders cease (stand idle) because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened (grow dim).

And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low; Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears (terrors) shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish (blossom), and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long (eternal) home, and the mourners go about in the streets:

Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken (shattered) at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.’ (Eccl.12:2-7)

Ah Friends, some real imaginative scripture from Cousin Sol in his role as Preacher or Teacher. And I’m sure some of us have never heard those obscure and hardly ever taught, but highly interesting passages of scripture before.

But as they say, the longer you live, the more you learn. (smile) And that’s the purpose of our messages; to teach us, to help us learn and understand God’s Word so that we can live obedient to His will.

Now let’s hear some explanations from the scholars on the numerous things we don’t understand. ‘12”1-7. Though these verses describe old age, they are actually addressed to the youth (v.1). The gradual darkening of the heavenly bodies represents declining vitality and joy, and the approaching clouds represent the storms of old age (v.2).

The keepers of the house are the arms; the strong men are the legs; the grinders are the teeth; and those that look out of the windows are the eyes (v.3). Growing old is further compared to the decline of a great estate (v.4).

The almond tree is a reference to the white hair of old age; the crippled grasshopper pictures the halting gait of the elderly; and desire that fails may be the loss of sexual desire (v.5).

Finally, life itself in all its preciousness is cut off. Death is pictured as the irreversible shattering of a golden bowl when cut from the end of a silver cord and the similar smashing of a pitcher or wheel (v.6). After death the spirit returns to God for judgement and the body returns to dust (cf. Gen.3:19).’

Ah Friends, leave it to Cousin Sol to paint such a weird but interesting picture of life and death eh. And I do hope that those explanations of the scholars help us to understand the preceding scriptures.

And I’m chuckling here too, because many of us who have moved on in age are already feeling, or have been feeling the effects of increased age that Sol’s talking about for a long time now. (smile) I can tell you that I have.

The whole point of the scripture though Friends is to teach the youth to remember their God, their Creator while they’re young and strong and seemingly invulnerable.

Why? Because there will come a day when they lose all the strength and vitality of youth, and then what or whom will they have to turn to for comfort and succour eh? Nobody but their frail and feeble selves.

However, if during the glorious days of their youth they engage a strong and lively faith with Jesus Christ, then at the end, they will have the Great Comforter and Provider to look after them. Their Spirit will return with pleasure to God from whence it came, and the dust of their bodies to its mother, the earth, just as it was planned by the Father.

So Friends, let’s never stop encouraging and advising the youth to seek their Maker while they are young, so that they can have an enjoyable youth, as well as a pleasant and pleasurable old age, for that is undoubtedly wisdom at its zenith. Much LOVE!

…vanity of vanities…saith the preacher…all is vanity…  (Eccl.12:8) 

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but the ole fella never got to be till after 3 this morning, and since he’s reached the stage that Cousin Sol talks about, he wasn’t able to get up too early. (smile) Yes Friends, these things do happen in old age. Much LOVE!