Google+ 03/05/13 Enjoy Your Work!

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

 

Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good.

It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun

During the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life.

And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it.

To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God.

God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past. 

 

Sandwiched in between the books of Proverbs and Song of Solomon, is a twelve chapter book of the Bible called Ecclesiastes.  It is clear that Solomon is definitely the speaker in this book.  As I have mentioned before, Jewish and Christian traditions also favor Solomon as the author, even though the author is not identified at any time in this book of the Bible.  Martin Luther has even questioned the authorship of Ecclesiastes.  For our purposes today, we will side with the traditional view of Solomon being both the author and speaker.  Like the subject of authorship, Bible scholars are also divided about the message of this book.  Some believe it is terrifically pessimistic, cynical, skeptical, hedonistic, and agnostic.  On the other hand, many interpret this book as being very positive since the author is a man of faith and a realist, who sees that man can simply not put his whole life together without some careful instruction.  Most Christians share in the latter view, as they can relate to the premise!  Finally, there are six key ideas in this book, which also cause division, because three are positive and three are negative!!!  The three negative ones are that all is vanity, man is limited, and God is hidden.  The three positive ones are fear God and keep His commandments, enjoy the life God has given you, and use wisdom properly.  Today's Scripture finds us weighing in on the positive, instructive side of Ecclesiastics, through Solomon's teaching. Beginning in verse 18, Solomon identifies a very important aspect of our everyday life.  He tells us that it is good to eat, drink,  and enjoy our work under the sun!  Enjoy our work?  Some of you are saying, "O God, you don't know about my job!!!"  O yes God does, and He has given it to you for a purpose.  Not only does Solomon tell you once to enjoy your work, he repeats it in the next verse!  Get the point?  We waste great amounts of energy complaining about our "lot in life."  Rather, we should, as Solomon says, accept our "lot,"  enjoy it, and look at it as a gift from God.  You may be currently in a transitional "work" place.  God may be using your current situation to prepare you for something else you haven't even discovered yet.  We don't know, so be happy and mindful of your current situation, so that you can make the most out of it!  Are you ready for Solomon's grand finale?  Why should we do all this?  The answer is that God keeps "such people" so busy enjoying life and their work, they have no time to brood over the past!  Now, do you understand why the Bible calls Solomon a wise man?  Because all of us sin and fall short of the glory of God, constantly "brooding" over our past is a depressing and non-productive thing to do.  The nature of our past is that, for the most part, it is full of hideous mistakes we have made while not listening to God because of our evil nature.  I contend that the reason God did not give us the ability to forget as we forgive, is because we are supposed to use our past as the "great teacher."  We are not supposed to live in the past.  We are supposed to use it as a reference book.  We should "look up" items in this vast resource when indecision plagues us in the present.  By evaluating what we have done in the past, we can make better decisions for the present and future.  Please don't miss Solomon's wisdom here.  Accept your present circumstance as a gift from God.  Don't live in the past, so that you can't recognize the joy of the present and the hope of the future in God.  I have seen so many people throw away today's opportunities because they never recognized them as such.  They were so preoccupied with their negative past, that they never see their positive present.  God has made you and molded you for such a time as this!  Part of who you are and the joy of the Lord that you have now, is the overcoming and triumphant victory you have achieved over past trials and tribulations.  So, I, like Solomon will tell you the same thing.  Live in the present and ENJOY YOUR WORK!!!