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Thursday, September 22, 2016

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Ecclesiastes 1:2-11
Psalm 90:3-6, 12-14, 17
Luke 9:7-9

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the misery of money, power, and sex

"Vanity of vanities!" —Ecclesiastes 1:2

The book of Ecclesiastes is traditionally attributed to Solomon because its author, Qoheleth, is identified as David's son (Eccl 1:1). This association makes the message of Ecclesiastes more poignant. Qoheleth, or possibly Solomon, announced that everything is vanity, work and money are useless (Eccl 1:3), "there is nothing man can say" (Eccl 1:8), and all our entertainments are empty (Eccl 1:8).

This is quite a statement for anyone to make, but it's even more significant coming from the mouth of the wisest, richest man in the world. Most people think that someone with 700 wives and 300 concubines would have enough excitement to make life at least palatable (see 1 Kgs 11:3). Yet the one who had it all admitted he had nothing: vanity.

Is there any hope? Our hope is in Jesus alone. "We lived at the level of the flesh, following every whim and fancy, and so by nature deserved God's wrath like the rest. But God is rich in mercy; because of His great love for us He brought us to life with Christ" (Eph 2:3-5). "There is no condemnation now for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rm 8:1). " 'Life' means Christ" (Phil 1:21).

Prayer:  Father, "teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart" (Ps 90:12).

Promise:  "Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants!" —Ps 90:13

Praise:  Finding no rest in TV or the Internet, Laura spent the day with the Lord and found refreshment.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet The Bible on Sex.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 23, 2016

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