"Man in his Different Portions; Youth."
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
Ecclesiastes 11:1 "Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days."
To understand this verse, you have to understand that all of our works are in God's hands. God takes care of the things that come into our lives by chance, and divine will enters into our lives that can make us or break us. So when you cast bread upon the waters, literally you end up with a bunch of soggy bread. The bread gets waterlogged and sinks to the bottom.
However this is speaking spiritually, and in Revelation 17:15 we are told what the waters signifies. "And he saith unto me, "The waters which thou sawest where the whore sittteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." The bread is the Word of God, and when you cast the Word of God upon the people it will not return void. Why? All of our works are in God's hands, and His Spirit does the work of making it grow. Our responsibility is to plant the seed of truth so that the Spirit of God can do the work.
When you do a good deed for God, that deed will return back to you with increase. God expects you to use common sense in all things, including you planting seeds of truth, and the works that you do unto the Lord. God does not bless foolishness, and that is why you must think before casting your bread at the feet of an individual. Ask yourself, is the ministry you are giving your money to preaching the true Word of God, as it ought to be taught, or is it tradition. Is the individual you are helping going to use the money as, or words of wisdom, and help, or are they going to use it in a negative way.
We are expected to use our heads, or minds in giving what ever we give unto the Lord, and when it is done as the Scriptures detail we should, God will bless greatly.
Ecclesiastes 11:2 "Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth."
This is directed to the feast days, and the helping of the poor. The instruction was to help seven families be fed while in town for the feast days. Solomon is saying if you are willing to help seven families be fed, why not give just a little more and feed eight. After all, you don't know what evil, or calamity has fallen on the people, and the need may be greater then you expected.
This is one of God's methods of protecting his people, and you don't know when you will be in need, just as the other people that are following God's Word to go to Jerusalem, and when there are in need of provision. God uses people to answer the needs of other people, and Solomon is calling attention to those generous people to try and be a little more generous. Again, even within this you must us common sense.
Keep in mind also that seven in Biblical math is completeness. So give the complete amount of care that God requires, then give the eighth, which stands for new beginnings.
Ecclesiastes 11:3 "If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be."
This is calling attention that man can not control the nature of God's laws. In the case of the rain, it falls where the wind blows it, and the amount of rain is according to the water in the clouds. When a tree falls, it falls where the gravity directs the tree to fall. Loggers have become very skilled in playing with this law, to make the tree fall where it is convenient for their work. When you know the laws of God, you can't change the law, but you can make that law work for you. That is also using common sense. The flesh man can not change God's laws, you can't stop it from raining, or change the gravity pull on the earth, but you your knowledge you can use those laws for your benefit.
This even applies to the spiritual laws of God. God can give a person a gift that can be used in accordance with his laws, only that person must have the knowledge and the will to use them, using common sense. When we pray as God has commended us to pray, then our prayers can stop the rain, or make the rain to fall. All of the gifts that are given by God, requires the individual to use their common sense, and the instructions within God's Word in using those gifts. We do not change the commands of God's Word, but we apply those laws and instructions to allow God to bless us with them.
It gets back to the beginning, with out divine intervention man alone simply cannot alter the plan of God. That is the reason that you can depend on the Word of God, because man simply can not change it. To be successful, we should use the Word and laws that God has given us, and not fight those things that we can not change.
Ecclesiastes 11:4 "He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap."
This is addressed to those that continue to put off what should be done in its proper season, it will not get done. If you wait until the wind stops to plant your seed, the seed will not get into the ground. And if you sit around waiting for the signs of rain before you plant, then it is to late also. When the time of planting comes, plant the seed, and when the season is ready for the seed, then plant. Once you plant the seed, then it is God who give the harvest, and not you. The seed will grow when God gives the water, and the wind will blow whether the seed is in the ground or not. Friend, you have to depend on God, and that is what your faith and hope is all about.
Nobody knows more then farmers how to pray for the rain to come, and the sun to ripen their harvest. This also applies to the spiritual side of your seed planting. You need not preach to someone every time you see them, the season may be ready for a smile, or just a word of encouragement. God gives the opening, and when that season come, don't hesitate, plant the seed that is right for that season, and let the Spirit of God do the work on the groweth of that seed you have planted in the mind of that person. Very few of the seeds that you plant will grow as you want them to grow, but that is not your problem, it is Gods. Many will hear the word, but only a few will understand that Word, and be converted.
Remember the moral here is not to put off what must be done today. If you wait for the right condition to make decisions on matters that count, you will not succeed, neither in business, farming, or in the work of the Lord.
Ecclesiastes 11:5 "As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God Who maketh all."
Solomon is calling attention to the fact that no man knows the ways of the spirit, the "ruach" which is the wind, nor how the baby's bones and body is formed by God, and no man knows the works, or "ma'aseh" in the Hebrew, which is the "actions (good or bad), and transactions, or activities" that only God can control.
God created the soul of man in the first earth age, and God made the flesh body that man's soul and spirit dwells therein. God is our maker, and that is why it is important to do it God's way, and not try to fight him.
Ecclesiastes 11:6 "In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good."
This is saying, "Never put all your egos in one basket". As the day goes on, keep busy and do all that you do with all your skill. Solomon is saying don't put all your prosperity tied to one thing, that if it should fail, it will destroy you. If you have more then one thing going, and they both prosper, you will be blessed by both. Put thought and good management in what you do, then have faith in your ability, and trust in God to see you through. This is adoptable to all parts of business, and even your personal life. It will fit anyone's life style. Enjoy your work, and the prosperity that you get from it.
Ecclesiastes 11:7 "Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun:"
In a sense the answer is given here. The eyes that behold the sun, and the eyes that walk under it in the flesh. This is a figure of speech, and means that life is good in the flesh, for the man, women or child that can see. This is directed to seeing and understand our heavenly Father's works, as they apply to you. You may not understand all those works, but on the level that you do, find pleasure in them on that level. From those works come love and understanding for others. It is really pleasant and sweet in the flesh when you do things God's way, and understand His purpose, and not try to fight against Him. When you please God, you will see light of this world a different way.
Ecclesiastes 11:8 "But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity."
This verse can be disturbing if you don't keep your mind focused that this is in reference to living in the flesh body. The "days of darkness" is the time when you die and are in the grave. All flesh will die, and his body will return to the dust that it is made of.
If you have not looked to the eternity, and prepared for that time ahead, there is nothing but emptiness in your life. The more you study God's Word, and know and understand the events leading to Christ's coming, and the age that follows, the more you will rejoice over the time that you will die. There simply is no comparison between the life in the flesh and the live in your incorruptible and immortal body that we will have upon Christ's return, or upon the death of our spiritual bodies.
It is joy to be near our heavenly Father. So while you flesh man is finding pleasure in the flesh, let your spiritual man be making preparation for that which is eternal, rather then that which is going to be buried in the hole in the ground, decays, and will never come out of that grave. We will see in the next chapter that the spirit and soul departs your flesh body, and immediately goes to be with the Father that gave it in the first place.
Ecclesiastes 11:9 "Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment."
This is telling you to let your mind be active all your life, as it was in the days of your youth. Let your mind keep active, even in your old age. You are to enjoy yourself in your activity, but as you do, always keep in mind that God is watching you, and He will bring you into judgment for those things that you do. You will be held accountable for your words and your actions. Judgment is not only punishment, but is also includes rewards for those who love God, and study to do things His way.
As you live your days, keep your spiritual eyes set on the Millennium age and the judgment that follows, as well as the eternal purpose that God has for your life. When you have judgment, then there is accountability for actions. Jesus spoke of this to John, when he wrote of this in Revelation 20:11-15;
Revelation 20:11 "And I saw a great white throne, and Him That sat on it, for Whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
On the throne here is our Heavenly Father, whose love for you desires that you live and reign with Him eternally in the paradise that He is preparing for you. Every soul that has been created, including the angels will give account of themselves to the Father.
Revelation 20:12 "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those books, according to their works,"
The books are what all your word's and deeds are recorded in, and the spiritually dead will be judged from them. The "book of life" is the book that records only the names of those that have repented of their sins in Jesus name, and turned from their wicked ways. The reason that it is only their names, is that all their sins have been forgiven upon repentance, and they stand charge-less before the throne of God. Christ blood has blotted out those sins forever.
Revelation 20:13 "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."
The sea are the nations of the earth. It gives up its death when those people deposit your flesh body into the grave following your death. The dead here are the spiritual dead, those that have not accepted Jesus Christ, and repented of their sins, notice that each of them are judged according to their works, and that is why in Ecclesiastes 11:9 we are warned to rejoice when we walk in the flesh, but know and walk in the ways of God, because that is what will condemn us before the Father.
Revelation 20:14 "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."
The second death is the death of your soul and spirit.
Revelation 20:15 "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
Friend, the Millennium age is over as well as the judgment, and all souls that are not written in the "Lambs book of life", or in other words, repented of their sins in Jesus name, and turned from their wickedness, simply will not be around anywhere.
Ecclesiastes 11:10 "Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh for childhood and youth are vanity."
Solomon is telling you to live your life in happiness and put evil things out of your life. In experience can cause us to make many mistakes, and that is why it is important to learn from our mistakes, repent them to the Father in Jesus name, then forget them and don't let them to take your apart. No one is perfect, and learn to confess when you fall short of God's way. Then strive to be healthy, of a sound mind, and find contentment in all that you do.
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