Daily Encouragement

September 13 – Lucifer’s 5 – I Will’s

September 13
Isaiah 12:1-14:32
2 Corinthians 13:1-14
Psalm 57:1-11
Proverbs 23:9-11

Isaiah 12:1 – What a great picture of salvation! God was angry with us, but it is turned away, and those who God was once angry with now God comforts! What changed? God is my salvation!

Isaiah 12:2 – Note that it says LORD JEHOVAH. In Hebrew that is “YAH-YAHWEH.” This is the first of two uses – the other is Isaiah 26:4. “Yah” is found in Psalm 113:1 where the KJV renders in English “Praise Ye the LORD” the Hebrew phrase “Hallelu-Yah”

From Barnes: In this place, and Isaiah 26:4, “the repetition” of the name seems to be used to denote “emphasis;” or perhaps to indicate that Yahweh is the same always – an unchangeable God.

Isaiah 13:8 – Notice the similarity between this and 1 Thessalonians 5:3. Both are talking about the day of the LORD compared to childbirth.

Isaiah 13:10 – The plague of darkness is spoken of many times (Ezekiel 32:7, Joel 2:31, Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:24, Revelation 6:12). Exodus 10:22 foreshadows in Egypt what God will do.

Isaiah 13:11 – Why will God judge the world? Evil must be punished! God is too just to excuse sin.

Isaiah 14:1 – From Jimmy DeYoung:

The Lord promised to have “mercy” on Jacob, the nation of “Israel”. The Lord had chosen these people in the past, Deuteronomy 7:6-8, and will “yet choose Israel” and “set them in their own land”.
It really doesn’t matter what the rest of the world may say about the land, God will set His chosen “Israel”, the Jews of today, back in the land of their forefathers, the land He has given them for the future, as well. From the sidelines we today can see the Lord beginning that process, the process that will move to completion after the Rapture and culminate at His Second Coming.
Isaiah 14:12 – It’s hard to keep up with Isaiah. He is bouncing from millenia future to millenia past – you wonder how magnficient was the vision that he is struggling to keep up. We now see what happened to Lucifer, now known as Satan. He fell from heaven for these 5 “I wills.”
Isaiah 14:13 – From Jimmy DeYoung:
Please notice the last “I will” in verse 13, “I will sit also upon the Mount of the Congregation, in the sides of the North”. According to Psalm 48:2 this is describing the city of Jerusalem. Satan said he will be worshiped in Jerusalem, actually on the Temple Mount. II Thessalonians 2:4 is the prophecy of when the Antichrist, energized by Satan, claims to be God, from the Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
2 Corinthians 13:1 – For the past few days, we’ve seen Paul pouring out his heart to the Corinthians. You can feel the hurt that he has in his heart from how the Corinthians have dealt with him.
2 Corinthians 13:14 – While the word Trinity isn’t in the Bible, we see Paul equivalencing the LORD Jesus Christ to the Father and to the Holy Ghost. As some religions teach that Jesus is not co-equal to the Father – this is an awkward verse to deal with for them.
Psalm 57:2 – Does this sound like your prayer life? In America we are tempted to make prayer into a passing phrase before a meal, a vain repetition before bed. But the Psalms show the depth of a relationship we can have with our Father in heaven! We can cry to Him, because He performeth all things for us!
Proverbs 23:9 – Solomon’s saying was condensed by Jesus into Matthew 7:6.

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Daily Encouragement

September 12 – The Lion lies down with the Lamb

September 12
Isaiah 10:1-11:16
2 Corinthians 12:11-21
Psalm 56:1-13
Proverbs 23:6-8

Isaiah 10:2 – God has active concerns for how we act here on earth. How we deal with the needy, the poor, the widows, and the fatherless. Note that He is not advocating equality of outcome (redistribution), but equality of access (I do not have a right to a “Not Guilty” verdict, but I do have a right to a fair trial). Laws that hurt the poor and needy are bad laws. Heritage Foundation has an interesting report on Big Government Policies that Hurt the Poor and How to Address Them.

Isaiah 10:21 – What is the point of all this judgment? That the remnant of Israel shall return unto the mighty God. While this is Old Testament, we see parallels to the New Testament. Many Christian families have mourned their children going astray. But those children who experience not just the pleasures of sin for a season, but the chastening of the LORD – will return unto the Father.

Isaiah 11:1 – Who is this Branch? We read about the Branch in Isaiah 4:2 – the Branch is beautiful and glorious, and sanctifying Israel. Now we read that this is the descendant of David (Jesse’s son), who shall have a special spirit, judging the poor, smiting the earth, slaying the wicked.

Isaiah 11:6 – When has the wolf lied down with the lamb? Not in my lifetime – but in the Millennial Kingdom, we will see this era of peace (Isaiah 11:6-9). This is the time spoken of in Isaiah 2:4 as well. Obviously this time hasn’t come yet.

Isaiah 11:16 – A new Red Sea Highway? This will be interesting to see!

2 Corinthians 12:15 – The woes of many a pastor. The more love you show to people, sometimes the less you are loved.

2 Corinthians 12:17 – Paul has been emphasizing throughout this chapter – that he sought nothing from the people. He wasn’t a televangelist raising money for a new Gulfstream G650. He spended and was spent for them (2 Corinthians 12:15).

2 Corinthians 12:20-21 – How many of these things do we find in our lives? No Paul isn’t coming to house-search for envyings and strifes, but Jesus is with us. Let’s examine our lives and live for God!

Psalm 56:3 – Here’s an easy way to memorize from Mr. E!

Psalm 56:13 – The Psalmist thanks God for his soul’s salvation from spiritual death, but now asks for deliverance from physical death. If God has saved our soul, He can save our body!

Proverbs 26:7 – Guarding your thoughts is so important – because thoughts determine your actions, and your actions determine your character.

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Daily Encouragement

September 11 – The longest word in the Old Testament is Mahershalalhashbaz

September 11
Isaiah 8:1-9:21
2 Corinthians 12:1-10
Psalm 55:1-23
Proverbs 23:4-5

Isaiah 8:1 – Mahershalalhashbaz is the longest name in the Old Testament. The name means – “Hurry to the spoils!” Soon the Northern Kingdom of Israel would be wiped out.

Isaiah 8:12-13 – Military alliances would not deliver Judah, but the LORD himself!

Isaiah 8:19 – Under Mosaic code – what was the punishment for wizards? (Luke 20:27). Why try to communicate to the dead – seek the Living God!

Isaiah 8:20 – An Old Testament warning to search things according to the Law. Deuteronomy 13:2-3 says even if the wizard does wonders, do not listen.

Isaiah 9:2 – Who is this light? It comes from one who is faithful to the Law (Isaiah 8:20). It is the glory of the LORD (Isaiah 60:1).

Isaiah 9:6 – What kind of child is this that is called The mighty God? The everlasting Father? That will sit upon the throne of David? If a child is the Mighty God – then He is God With Us, Immanuel. This is the promise of Isaiah 7:14 – the child of a virgin would be the Everlasting Father!

2 Corinthians 12:1 – Paul is very personal in this letter. Not so much doctrine and teaching but humbly imploring his beloved Corinthians.

2 Corinthians 12:2 – If there is a third heaven, there must be a first heaven and a second heaven. You can see the first heaven in an airplane, this is where our weather comes from (Genesis 7:11). You can see the second heaven in a spaceship, this is where the planets and stars are (Nehemiah 9:6). But to see the third heaven, you must go with Jesus, this is where God the Father is.

2 Corinthians 12:7 – What is the thorn in the flesh? Whatever it was, he besought the Lord that it might depart (2 Corinthians 12:8). Interestingly the only other time Paul uses the word “depart” in his epistles to the Corinthians is in relation to a wife departing her husband (1 Corinthians 7:10-11).

Psalm 55:17 – How often does God hear your voice?

Proverbs 23:4 – What is your goal in life? Riches are fleeting (Proverbs 23:5).

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Daily Encouragement

September 10 – Holy, Holy, Holy!

September 10
Isaiah 6:1-7:25
2 Corinthians 11:16-33
Psalm 54:1-7
Proverbs 23:1-3

Isaiah 6:1 – The year is 740 BC. The political establishment was in upheaval because Uzziah had been king for 52 years. This was the only king Isaiah had ever known. Uzziah was such a great king (2 Kings 15:3) he thought he’d make a good priest as well (2 Chronicles 26:18), and so he was cursed with leprosy (2 Chronicles 16:19). They’ve even uncovered a burial stone that claims to be where he was reburied:

Uzziah Tablet

What else happened in 740 BC? “In 740 BC Tiglath-Pileser III took Arpad after a siege of three years, and razed Hamath. Uzziah had been an ally of the king of Hamath, and thus was compelled by Tiglath-Pileser to do him homage and pay yearly tribute.” (Wikipedia)

Isaiah was taken from the earthly realms into the heavenly realms! The earthly king was dead, but the King of Kings was still on the throne!

Isaiah 6:2 – People have tried to portray this scene – but this is an incredible look into heaven!

Mosaic of Seaphim, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople

Isaiah 6:3 – We see similar creatures in Revelation 4:8. Day any night they declare – Holy, Holy, Holy!

Isaiah 6:5 – Isaiah realized he was an unworthy sinner, when he saw the KING! But God sent a seraphim to purge his sin (Isaiah 6:7).

Isaiah 6:8 – God is still calling today – “who will go for us?” Isaiah said, “Here am I, send me!” From Patch the Pirate:

Isaiah 6:9-10 – How’s that for a message to share on deputation? Called by God to preach that the people are unable to understand or perceive, and that they have rejected God so God will close the door of healing, and Judah will be wasted desolate (Isaiah 6:11).

Isaiah 7:1 – We’ve just jumped ahead from the death of Uzziah to the reign of his evil grandson Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:2-4) when Rezin and Pekah are teaming up against Ahaz. God had a message for Ahaz of deliverance for Judah (Isaiah 7:7) and judgment on Israel (Isaiah 7:8).

Isaiah 7:12 – Ahaz is trying to be pious – “I will not tempt the LORD” – but God recorded for us that Ahaz was trusting in Assyria (2 Chronicles 28:16), and even sacrificing to the gods of Syria his enemies (2 Chronicles 28:23). Ahaz vandalized the house of the LORD (2 Chronicles 28:24), yet God still reached out to him.

Isaiah 7:14KnowingScripture debunks the argument that the word “virgin” should mean “young woman,” and addresses the question – why is God giving a messianic prophecy to Ahaz when he’ll be dead for 600 years before Jesus is born!

First, the Lord offers a sign to Ahaz that he would defend Jerusalem, but Ahaz rebelliously refused it. In reply, the prophet addresses not Ahaz personally but the house of David: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign . . .” (Isaiah 7:13-14). In Hebrew, the you’s in this passage are plural. So the proper recipients of the sign are a broader category than Ahaz personally. The promise is made to the entire royal house as such.

Tomorrow we will read more about the child in Isaiah 9:6-7.

2 Corinthians 11:23-27 – Paul is wondering why the Corinthians are willing to follow people who will fleece them, devour them, belittle them, even smite them on the face (2 Corinthians 11:20). Paul gives a great advertisement for missionary service in these verses, sharing what he has endured for the cause of Christ:

  • 195 beatings from the Jews
  • 3 times beaten with rods
  • Stoned once
  • 3 times shipwrecked
  • Wearied, painful
  • Hungering, thirsting
  • Cold, naked

Paul didn’t have his best life now – but he had in mind the future with the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ!

Psalm 54:7 – Paul can declare with the Psalmist – He hath delivered me out of all trouble!

Proverbs 23:2 – Gluttons beware – don’t eat with royalty!

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Daily Encouragement

September 9 – Does Isaiah 3:12 warn against Hillary Clinton being president?

September 9
Isaiah 3:1-5:30
2 Corinthians 11:1-15
Psalm 53:1-6
Proverbs 22:28-29

Isaiah 3:4 – We just read about this curse under Solomon in Ecclesiastes 10:16.

Isaiah 3:12 – No this verse is not talking about if Hillary would have won the election. There are several possible theories:

  • Pulpit Commentary: Herodotus, 8:88, where Xerxes says that “his men have shown themselves women, and his women men;” and see also Virgil’s Aeneid “O vere Phrygia, neque enim Phryges.” The rulers were womanly, i.e. weak, wavering, timid, impulsive, passionate, and are therefore called actual “women.”
  • Gill’s Exposition: Because the child has the title of ruler, the mother is the actual ruler (regent).
  • We have no good Queens of Israel – they were all among the “evil rulers” – Athaliah who killed her children (2 Kings 11), and Jezebel who killed the prophets (1 Kings 18). These queens were in contrast to Deborah (Judges 4-5).

Isaiah 4:1 – Isaiah isn’t talking about his dating troubles, rather the shame of widowhood because the men will be slain (Isaiah 3:25). But after judgment there will be a deliverance!

Isaiah 4:2 – This is the first reference to the Branch of the LORD. He will lead those who escape, He is beautiful and glorious!

Isaiah 5:10 – Ellicot says that 1 bath is the equivalent of 7.5 gallons. when the land should produce 500 baths (3,750 gallons). This is poverty.

Isaiah 5:11 – What should we do in the morning? Follow strong drink – NO! Follow the LORD YES! (Psalm 5:3).

Isaiah 5:15-16 – The proud shall be humbled but the LORD shall be exalted!

Isaiah 5:20 – Speaking of calling evil, good – here’s Pastor Joe Wright’s prayer in the Kansas State Legislature.

Isaiah 5:25 – Yes, God’s judgment is coming. God is a God of love, but also of anger.

2 Corinthians 11:4 – Too many religions today preach another Jesus.

CARM offers a test to see if you have the True Jesus.

2 Corinthians 11:14 – Interestingly, the New Age Movement is centered on the idea of light.

Psalm 53:1Religious nones are on the rise in America. Yes, there are none that doeth good (Psalm 53:3, Romans 3:23). Salvation is needed! (Psalm 53:6).

Psalm 53:2 – Here’s a Scripture memory song from Earl Martin:

Proverbs 22:28 – From Woodrow Kroll:

Landmarks were important in antiquity, just as they are today. A stone erected at the corner of a field told a farmer where his field ended and his neighbor’s field began. Ancient landmarks marked boundaries; they told you how far you could go—and where you could go no farther. They established order and made for good relationships…. Ancient landmarks provided clarity as well as protection. Much of the unclear theological thinking today is likely due to those who have removed one or more of these ancient landmarks. That is why Solomon’s advice is still valid and necessary:

Proverbs 22:29 – God rewards the diligent! You may wonder why it has taken so long for your work to be rewarded. Don’t weary – God will reward you!

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Daily Encouragement

September 8 – The Great Isaiah Scroll!

September 8
Isaiah 1:1-2:22
2 Corinthians 10:1-18
Psalm 52:1-9
Proverbs 22:26-27

Isaiah 1:1 – We begin the prophet Isaiah! Explore the Great Isaiah Scroll – the most significant of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

You can even zoom in to see the texture of the paper and see Isaiah’s name (2nd word from the right) – remember Hebrew is written from right to left.

Isaiah 1:4 – As a prophet, while he did much fore-telling (God’s message about the future), he did much forth-telling (God’s message about the present).

Isaiah 1:11 – God doesn’t want sacrifices? Well we just wasted our time reading Leviticus 1-9? No – let’s look at what God has said thru His prophets:

  • 1 Samuel 15:22 – To obey is better than sacrifice
  • Proverbs 15:8 – Sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination
  • Jeremiah 6:20 – Your burnt offerings are not acceptable
  • Micah 6:7 – Instead – do justly, love mercy, walk humbly
  • Amos 5:21 – I hate, I despise your feast days

If you didn’t get from the Old Testament that God doesn’t accept empty ritual, check out Luke 18:10-14 to see what Jesus said about empty ritual!

Isaiah 1:16-18 – Three commands – Repent (put away the evil), Retrain (Learn to do well), and Reason (they shall be as white as snow). What are we to retrain to do? “Do well.” How? Isaiah explains –  “seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.”

  • Judgment – No cheating, just speaking truth. That’s part of what the Federal Trade Commission does with Truth in Advertising laws and what your state Consumer Protection’s Weights & Measures teams inspect. But Isaiah isn’t saying the state needs to pass more laws (Israel had a pretty good law system that addressed judgment (Leviticus 19:35-36). It is a need for personal morality – God is wearied by their outward signs of conformity (Isaiah 1:14).
  • Relieve the oppressed – I am a capitalist because capitalism is the best way of relieving the oppressed. 1 Billion (that’s 1,000 million) people have been taken out of poverty from 1990 to 2013.
  • Judge the fatherless – see that he is not wronged (Pulpit Commentary).
  • Plead for the widowBarnes: “She is unable to defend herself; she is liable to oppression; and her rights may be taken away by the crafty and designing. It is remarkable that God so often insists on this in the Scriptures, and makes it no small part of religion; Deuteronomy 14:29Deuteronomy 24:17Exodus 22:22 “

It’s interesting that sin begins by pride taking advantage of those who are vulnerable. Those whom you can unjustly profit off of, and nobody will notice.

Isaiah 2:4 – This verse is carved on the statute in front of the United Nations. The idealists thought that the nations “neither shall they learn war anymore.” But even though “The United Nations was Created to Prevent Wars – Since then there’s been 150 Wars & over 100 Million Casualties.” Dispensationalism helps you understand the text – because this prophecy has not been fulfilled!

Isaiah 2:7-8 – Material prosperity (and disobedience to Deuteronomy 17:16), leads to idolatry. Good thing nobody worships the work of their own hands today (401k, brokerage accoutns, television, social media, etc).

Isaiah 2:12 – This is the first mention of the day of the Lord in the Bible.

2 Corinthians 10:5 – How is your thought life? How many days can you go without thinking about the LORD? Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ!

2 Corinthians 10:18 – To be commended by the LORD is the highest mark of approval. Don’t seek man’s applause, seek the LORD’s commendation!

Psalm 52:5 – The opposite of the LORD’s commendation, is the judgment of the LORD! Either you’ll get rewards at the Bema Seat, or you will get eternal damnation at the Grew White Throne judgment – see contrast here. Make your choice now – the result has eternal consequences.

Proverbs 22:26 – More debt advice from Solomon (and we’ve covered surety before), but to borrow a phrase from Shakespeare:

Neither a borrower nor a lender be;

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Daily Encouragement

September 7 – Solomon teaches on conflict resolution

September 7
Song of Solomon 5:1-8:14
2 Corinthians 9:1-15
Psalm 51:1-19
Proverbs 22:24-25

Song 5:1 – Solomon is enjoying fully the gift of intimacy without guilt and shame (Nelson, 103).

Song 5:2-3 – According to Nelson, this is a new event in the relationship. Solomon’s wife is in bed, but he is home late. His wife is in bed, and upset (Nelson, 110).

Song 5:4-6 – By the time his new wife gets to the door to let him in, Solomon leaves upset (Nelson, 111).

Song 5:7 – The watchmen are much rougher than in Song 3:3.  If your beloved is so special, why is he gone?

Song 5:10-16 – The wife responds by sharing why she loves her husband, renewing the lost affection.

Song 6:3 – A great summary of the marriage relationship – I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine. There is no you and me, just us! (Nelson, 129).

Song 6:4-7 – “Rather than displaying silence in expectation of an apology or an angry response, Solomon greeted his bride with genuine compliments, telling her essentially, “You are as lovely as I remember you on our wedding night, and I respect you fully as my wife. You are my delight (Tirzah) and my soul’s refuge of peace (Jerusalem).” (Nelson, 145). “He was forgiving his bride even before she had a chance to ask for forgiveness” (Nelson, 146).

Song 6:13 – JFB notes that Shulamite is a variation of Solomon referring to her taking his name.

Song 7:1-2 – “Solomon complimented what he alone knew to be true about his wife. Wives in Solomon’s time didn’t wear bikinis to the beach.” (Nelson, 164).

Song 7:11-12 – Men can and should be romantic (Nelson, 157).

2 Corinthians 9:5-7 – God’s model for giving! Planned, Resulting, and Cheerful.

2 Corinthians 9:15 – No matter how much you give, you can never outgive the LORD!

Psalm 51:3 – As Ron Hamilton shares in his song based on this, My sin is ever before me!

Psalm 51:16 – We’ve read this before and will read this again – God doesn’t want sacrifices as much as obedience, and failing that, contrition.

Proverbs 22:24 – No we are not to be friends with all men.

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Daily Encouragement

September 6 – The Book of Romance

September 6
Song of Solomon 1:1-4:16
2 Corinthians 8:16-24
Psalm 50:1-23
Proverbs 22:22-23

Song 1:1 – You’re more likely to hear a message from Ephesians than from the Song of Solomon. But there is value to this book! As part of our premarital counseling, my pastor gave me Tommy Nelson’s video set on the Song of Solomon. If you have access to RightNow Media, you can watch the whole set for free, or you can listen to the sermon set from his church at DBCMedia.org for free. While models of courtship vary from family to family and church to church and this is in no ways a substitute for your family and church, he does a good job at explaining a very confusing book (see the overview of the “three character hypothesis” that involve a love triangle with a distant shepherd from Kauk). From his book (if you prefer reading):

The same God who has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness, the same God who calls us to righteousness, holiness, and a life without compromise, the same God who forgives sin and guides those who seek wisdom, this same God is the foremost expert on your need for romance, your sex drive, and your future or current marriage. Based on what He knows about us and desires for us, He has provided an instruction manual so that we might truly live with the joy and intensity of satisfaction that He created us to experience. That instruction manual of God is the book of the Bible titled the Song of Solomon.

Song 1:2-3 – I’ll be borrowing from Tommy Nelson’s thoughts because he’s done a great job at expositing this book. In the first couple verses we see the physical attraction and the spiritual attraction (thy name = reputation).

Song 1:6 – She is sunburned from diligence, working in the fields (see Proverbs 31:13).

Song 1:7 – Nelson points out that she refuses to be one of the prostitutes who “turneth aside by the flocks,” and holds her as a model of a woman of conviction.

Song 2:1 – Nelson shows how Solomon’s love for the woman raised her self esteem (Song of Solomon 1:6).

Song 2:4 – Many in church history who were bothered by the vivid language used in this book, have interpreted this as an allegory of Christ’s love for his church. Thus this verse has been incorporated into a classic junior church song:

Song 2:15 – Romance is not just about vague generalities, a commitment to dealing with details (little foxes) is necessary.

Song 3:7 – The wedding bed approaches – Nelson shares these stats about marriage:

  • 80% of couples that shack up before marriage, split up
  • 60% of marriages by a justice of the peace, divorce
  • 40% of marriages in a church end up in divorce
  • Only 1 of 1,156 couples that pray together on a daily basis end up in divorce.

The problem is that as few as 11% of American couples pray together on a daily basis outside of meals, even though over 25% identify as Evangelical Protestant.

Song 4:1-7 – It’s ok to compliment your bride! As a newly married husband, this is one of the challenges to remember to not take her for granted!

Song 4:16 – As Solomon is consummating his marriage, this is a helpful reminder that sex outside of marriage is strongly warned against throughout the New Testament (1 Corinthians 6:18-20, Hebrews 13:4, Galatians 5:19-21, Revelation 21:8)!

2 Corinthians 8:16 – We’ll read Paul’s letter to Titus soon – but it’s obvious that Paul values his heart for the ministry highly!

2 Corinthians 8:20 – As Christians, we must strive to be blameless in all aspects, including financial. If you need examples of financial safeguards, we can go back to look at Ezra!

Psalm 50:4 – We’ve seen several reminders lately that God will judge His people.

Psalm 50:15 – God doesn’t desire sacrifice as much as He desires us to call upon Him! Let’s spend time with Him in prayer!

Proverbs 22:23 – O.J. Simpson’s legal team were legends. Johnnie Cochran. Robert Shapiro. Robert Kardashian. But the greatest advocate in history is pleading the cause of the poor (James 2:16).

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Daily Encouragement

September 5 – The student who died from over-studying.

September 5
Ecclesiastes 10:1-12:14
2 Corinthians 8:1-15
Psalm 49:1-20
Proverbs 22:20-21

Ecclesiastes 10:1 – If you read about marketing, you’ll read about “Brand consistency.” What’s always amazed me about “business books” – most of the time it’s principles that are based in Solomon’s words with illustrations from the author’s life.

Ecclesiastes 10:16-17 – In other words, elections matter!

Ecclesiastes 10:20 – Ever wonder where the expression “A little bird told me” came from?

Ecclesiastes 11:5 – Just within the last few decades we’ve been able to map the progress of the growth of the bones in the womb, but we’re still amazed by how God has it all coded in DNA. The 3.1 billion base pairs that make up the human chromosomes is truly amazing.

Ecclesiastes 11:9 – Solomon keeps bringing the point back to this – yes you can enjoy life, but remember God will bring thee into judgment! So – Remember thy Creator! (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

Ecclesiastes 12:6 –  StackExchange seems to like Adam Clarke’s analysis:

The context is aging, approaching death, and the call to remember the creator acknowledged in your youth. Verses 3 – 6 compare the aging body to a house where the keepers are the hands that become paralytic and shaky; the strong men are legs that begin to bow and no longer hold up the body; the grinders are teeth that have decayed with age, and can no longer chew strong meat; the windows are the eyes that dim and can no longer see well; the doors being shut in the streets are the lips and mouth which can no longer swallow; and the sound of grinding low is the lost teeth, and inability to chew properly; rising up at the sound of a bird is the inability to sleep soundly being disturbed at the least sound; the daughters of music being brought low is the weak and feeble voice of old age.

The silver cord is the nervous system breaking; the golden bowl breaking representing the brain and loss of memory; the pitcher broken at the fountain and the wheel broken at the cistern is the heart slowing and failing to pump; which then results in the death of the body.

Ecclesiastes 12:12 – There are approximately 130 million books in the world as of 2010, and over 2 million new titles every year are published. Solomon was right! And much studying can be fatal. While I was in law school, this news clipping from the New York Times was passed around:

Ecclesiastes 12:13 – Yes, what is the conclusion of the matter? Fear God and obey him!

Ecclesiastes 12:14 –  Because one day God will bring every secret thing into the open!

2 Corinthians 8:5 – Vic Eliason shared with me the story a pastor told him. Elvis Presley was religious – he recorded religious songs, attended church, and even gave generously into the offering. But while he gave of his money, he didn’t give his heart. The pastor told Elvis – God doesn’t want your money – He wants your heart! Yes, it is good to give – but unless you have given your heart to the LORD, giving all of your goods profiteth nothing (1 Corinthians 13:3).

2 Corinthians 8:14 – God did not give you an abundance to be hoarded, but so you could give to help others!

Psalm 49:6 – Speaking of money… you can’t buy salvation with it (Psalm 49:7). Souls are precious (Psalm 49:8). Use your earthly resources to lay up treasure in heaven! (Matthew 6:19-21).

Psalm 49:16-17 – You can’t take it with you (1 Timothy 6:7) – this may be the only picture ever taken of a hearse with a U-Haul on it.

Proverbs 22:21 – How can you know the truth? Read God’s Word!


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Daily Encouragement

September 4 – The Poor, Wise Man

September 4
Ecclesiastes 7:1-9:18
2 Corinthians 7:8-16
Psalm 48:1-14
Proverbs 22:17-19

Ecclesiastes 7:15 – You can almost hear Job saying these words!

Ecclesiastes 7:20 – This theme echoes throughout the Bible.

  • Genesis 6:11 – The earth also was corrupt before God
  • 1 Kings 8:46 – there is no man that sinneth not
  • Psalm 14:1 – there is none that doeth good
  • Psalm 14:3 – there is none that doeth good, no, not one
  • Psalm 53:1 – there is none that doeth good
  • Psalm 53:3 – there is none that doeth good, no, not one
  • Psalm 143:2 – in thy sight shall no man living be justified
  • Romans 3:9 – both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin
  • Romans 3:10 – there is none righteous, no not one
  • Romans 3:23 – all have sinned and come short of the glory of God
  • Galatians 3:22 – But the scripture hath concluded all under sin

Ecclesiastes 7:21 – Solomon is considering the words of his father in 2 Samuel 16:10

Ecclesiastes 7:26 – Solomon has an extended discussion of this woman in Proverbs 7 (especially Proverbs 7:10-12).

Ecclesiastes 8:12 – In the midst of his depressed rant, he utters the truth of Job’s tale. It’s better to suffer for doing right, than be rewarded for doing wrong.

Ecclesiastes 9:5 – Do the dead still exist? The Jehovah’s Witnesses say “Therefore, when we die, we cease to exist. The dead can’t think, act, or feel anything.” The technical term for this is “annihilationism.” But what does the rest of Scripture say about the dead? GotQuestions discusses several problems including:

“Second, Ecclesiastes 9:5 cannot contradict Ecclesiastes 4:2. There, Solomon states that the dead are “happier than the living.” However, when a person is dead, the opportunities to enjoy things on earth no longer exist.

4Witness discusses:

Solomon, being a worldly person at this point in time, is speaking from his worldview which was limited to that of the present moment of his existence.  This is opposed to a Christian outlook concerning life and death that gives one a proper perspective on how to understand the passage.

Secondly, Solomon is not talking about the afterlife or an annihilation but is speaking about the physical corpses of those who have died and are “in the grave” (see Eccl. 9:10). Thus, contextually speaking, Dr. Norman Geisler remarks,

“The passages that say there is no knowledge or remembrance after death, are speaking of no memory in this world, not of no memory of this world.”—When Critics Ask, p.259

IsAnnihilationTrue compares this phrasing to Potiphar:

We read in verse 6 that “he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand”. Potiphar entrusted everything that he had to Joseph because whatever Joseph did, the LORD blessed it. Then we read about Potiphar, “he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat”. Does this mean that Potiphar did not know anything about what he had except for the bread that he ate?… Rather, the phrase “he knew not ought he had” means that Potiphar did not pay any attention to what he had, except that which he did eat. Joseph was doing such a good job in managing Potiphar’s possessions that Potiphar did not need to pay any attention to them.

John 5:9 identifies the dangers of those who die in sins, and await the resurrection of damnation.

Ecclesiastes 9:9 – I am enjoying doing this with the wife that the LORD hath given me!

Ecclesiastes 9:10Work for the night is coming!

Ecclesiastes 9:12 – Man knoweth not his time – don’t put off to tomorrow talking to the person God has laid on your heart.

Ecclesiastes 9:15 – The poor wise man – necessary, successful, unrewarded. Many have preached on this over the years. John Gill identifies this man with Christ:

Christ, who is man, though not a mere man, but God as well as man; who was so in purpose, covenant, and promise, before his incarnation, since truly and really so; and “poor”, as it was foretold he should be, and who became so for the sake of his church and people, ( Zechariah 9:9 ) ( 2 Corinthians 8:9 ) ; yet “wise”, even as man, being filled with wisdom, in which he increased, and gave such evident proofs of; on whom the spirit of wisdom rested, and in whom the treasures of it were hid, ( Luke 2:40 Luke 2:46 Luke 2:47 Luke 2:52 ) ( Isaiah 11:2 ) ( Colossians 2:3 ) ; he was found here by God his Father, who exalted one chosen out of the people, and made him Head over the church, who is the firstborn among many brethren, ( Psalms 89:19 Psalms 89:20 ) ; Or “and”, or “but he found in it” F9; that is, Satan, the great king, found him here, contrary to his expectation, and to his great regret

2 Corinthians 7:10 – There is “sorry, I got caught”, and godly sorrow that leads to repentance that leads to salvation!

Psalm 48:1-2, 11-12, 14 – Sing along (Psalms were meant to be sung!) – Great is the LORD!

Proverbs 22:17 – Another double dose of Solomon. Wisdom is trusting in the LORD!

Share how reading thru the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.