Daily Encouragement

September 3 – What victimizes the poor to the tune of $70 billion annually?

September 3
Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:7
Psalm 47:1-9
Proverbs 22:16

Ecclesiastes 4:2 – What does thinking this is all there is in life lead to? Suicidal or even genocidal tendencies. If life has no meaning for humans, then perhaps humans are just keeping some other organism that has meaning from the earth.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 – Solomon shares some more of his advice encouraging marriage. Life is suffering / vanity / emptiness / a breath, but it’s better to be together than alone (excepting the examples Solomon shows us in Proverbs where in some cases it is better to dwell alone in the corner of a roof – Proverbs 21:9).

Ecclesiastes 4:13 – It’s never to late to teach an old dog new tricks, we may say.

Ecclesiastes 5:2 –  Note the back and forth between Solomon and Job. Solomon gives Job advice, albeit after the fact, and Job gives wisdom that develops into the Proverbs.

Ecclesiastes 5:15 – Here’s another example, expounding on Job 1:21

Ecclesiastes 5:18 – Is Solomon teaching epicureanism? No, this isn’t hedonism being advocated, but rather a foreshadow of 1 Corinthians 10:31

2 Corinthians 6:14-7 – Many people today value unity at any cost. But Paul goes into an extended comparison that you cannot be unequally yoked with unbelievers. Speaking of the offerings to idols – he again brings up that you can’t belong to God’s temple and the idol’s temple at the same time. As my friend says – if you work for Coke, you can’t drink Pepsi! Yes separation is painful, but its mandated. As John MacArthur says:

Not to be bound together with unbelievers is our greatest challenge.  To live a separated life is a tremendous challenge,particularly in a culture which is bombarding us with all of the elements of paganism.  It is not only our greatest challenge.  It is our greatest source of joy and usefulness when we obey that command. 

The pure and the polluted share nothing in common ultimately.  And the people of God cannot form intimate relationships with those who don’t belong to God.  All relationships like that are superficial.  You cannot make a meaningful relationship with an enemy of the gospel.

2 Corinthians 6:18 – Why is separation important? Because if we abandoned those who would be our father who are wholly inadequate, the LORD Almighty will be our Father. We’re not primarily separating from unbelievers, we’re separating to the LORD.

Psalm 47:2 – The KJV uses the word terrible. Unfortunately today we’ve corrupted English to where we use terrible as a hyperbole for bad. But as we rewind the English language we can see from Webster’s 1828:

2. Adapted to impress dread, terror or solemn awe and reverence.

The Lord thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible Deuteronomy 7:21.

Let them praise thy great and terrible name, for it is holy. Psalms 99:3.

He hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen. Deuteronomy 10:17.

The LORD works terrors that should create a response of the fear of the LORD. He is not some lowly bureaucrat that we have to endure, He is a Great King over all the earth!

Proverbs 22:16 – What is a system today that oppresses the poor, takes money from those who have little, offering but empty dreams in return, and in many places subsidizes the rich? The lottery. $70 billion will be spent this year on the lottery. And it is the poor disproportionately who are the victims. Journal of Gambling Studies:

Those in the lowest fifth in terms of socioeconomic status (SES) had the “highest rate of lottery gambling (61%) and the highest mean level of days gambled in the past year (26.1 days).” Moreover, there were “very few observed differences in lottery gambling for those in the three upper SES groups — 42–43% gambled on the lottery and the three upper groups averaged about 10 days of gambling on the lottery in the past year.”

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