I consider myself blessed when a post sparks comments more interesting and valuable than the post. Such was the case with BOYCOTT OR SUPPORT. The comments were related, but they definitely went off on a tangent. What were they about?
- How do we define success?
- How should we define success?
So how should we answer that question? What is success? I began to understand I was on the wrong path in my fifties (no child prodigy was I). As that picture at the beginning of this post suggests, I was making success all about me. It isn’t. As Jacob demonstrated for us long ago, (see Genesis 32:22-32) we have a better chance of achieving success if we grab hold of God and refuse to let go until He blesses us.
What changed my notion of success? I read the Bible. In particular, I read Ecclesiastes.
What is special about Ecclesiastes? King Solomon apparently wrote that book when he was old. So he had both wisdom and considerable experience. In Ecclesiastes, Solomon looks back on his life, and he reflects upon all the lessons he learned the hard way. Think about that. The wisest man who ever lived still had to learn the hard way.
Strangely, Ecclesiastes is not easily understood. Why? The problem is in the reader, not the book. We tend to see what we want to see, not what is actually there. So when I read Ecclesiastes, I saw a book beautifully affirming what I wanted to see, that life is meaningless, but that is not the point of the book. Life under the sun, a worldly life, is meaningless. Life under Heaven, lived for the glory of God, is not.
Several years ago I wrote A BOOK FOR DONALD TRUMP, OTHER GREAT AMERICANS, AND ANYONE ELSE MATERIALLY BLESSED BY THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD: Ecclesiastes (Doug will be pleased to note the mention of our president. Check out the comments after that post.🤣🙄😣 They have not changed much since then.).
A BOOK FOR DONALD TRUMP, OTHER GREAT AMERICANS, AND ANYONE ELSE MATERIALLY BLESSED BY THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD: Ecclesiastes provides my own take on Ecclesiastes, and it references another person more qualified in Bible exposition. Nevertheless, what I have written is definitely not good enough. Each of us needs to read the Bible and study it personally. Why?
- The Bible has a special message for each of us. When we read the Word of God, it helps us to understand our self, who we are and where we stand in relation to our Creator. We cannot gain such knowledge so well secondhand.
- Reading the Bible personally provides confirmation that the Bible is the Word of God. When we read the Bible, we slowly begin to appreciate the fact that men would have never written such a work, not without the inspiration of God.
- The Bible explains itself. When we have trouble understanding a passage, we need to continue reading. In time we usually come across another passage, often in a different book, that helps us to understand that passage we thought so puzzling. To understand the Word of God, we must read the whole Word of God.
So check out Ecclesiastes. Learn how to be successful and enjoy the beautifully written thoughts of another old man, the wisest who ever lived.
Also, please check out yesterday’s broadcast with R.C. Sproul, Vanity of Vanity (renewingyourmind.org). Vanity of Vanity is part of a series on Christian Apologetics. Here is the description of yesterday’s broadcast.
The only consistent alternative to belief in God is nihilism. Today, R.C. Sproul observes that atheism is not only built on unreasonable premises, but it ultimately results in inescapable despair.
To make his point, Sproul gives a good explanation of Ecclesiastes.