Solomon’s Practical Counsel

Ecclesiastes 6 (NIV) – Selected Verses

1 I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on mankind: God gives some people wealth, possessions and honor, so that they lack nothing their hearts desire, but God does not grant them the ability to enjoy them, and strangers enjoy them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.

A man may have a hundred children and live many years; yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity and does not receive proper burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he.

Everyone’s toil is for their mouth,
    yet their appetite is never satisfied.
What advantage have the wise over fools?
What do the poor gain
    by knowing how to conduct themselves before others?
Better what the eye sees
    than the roving of the appetite.
This too is meaningless,
    a chasing after the wind.

10 Whatever exists has already been named,
    and what humanity is has been known;
no one can contend
    with someone who is stronger.
11 The more the words,
    the less the meaning,
    and how does that profit anyone?

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Stand in Awe of God

Ecclieastes 5 (NIV) Selected Verses

2 Do not be quick with your mouth,

do not be hasty in your heart

to utter anything before God.

God is in heaven

and you are on earth,

so let your words be few.

3 A dream comes when there are many cares,

and many words mark the speech of a fool.

4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. 5 It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. 6 Do not let your mouth lead you into sin.

7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God.

Riches Are Meaningless

8 If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still.

10 Whoever loves money never has enough;

whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.

This too is meaningless.

12 The sleep of a laborer is sweet,

whether they eat little or much,

but as for the rich, their abundance

permits them no sleep.

18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.

 

Proverbs 19 –

Proverbs 19 – Selected Verses (NIV) 

The verses selected relate to me the most for some reason.  It could because I am having a conflict and the verse gives me wisdom of how to handle it, or I wish someone would take the instruction because of the conflict, or I think the verse is a good reminder.  Enjoy!

Desire without knowledge is not good—
    how much more will hasty feet miss the way!

A false witness will not go unpunished,
    and whoever pours out lies will not go free.

The poor are shunned by all their relatives—
    how much more do their friends avoid them!
Though the poor pursue them with pleading,
    they are nowhere to be found.[a]

The one who gets wisdom loves life;
    the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper.

11 A person’s wisdom yields patience;
    it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

16 Whoever keeps commandments keeps their life,
    but whoever shows contempt for their ways will die.

17 Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
    and he will reward them for what they have done.

19 A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty;
    rescue them, and you will have to do it again.

20 Listen to advice and accept discipline,
    and at the end you will be counted among the wise.

26 Whoever robs their father and drives out their mother
    is a child who brings shame and disgrace.

27 Stop listening to instruction, my son,
    and you will stray from the words of knowledge.

 

Why Should I Fear in Times of Trouble?

Psalm 49:16-20 (NIV)

16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
    when the splendor of their houses increases;
17 for they will take nothing with them when they die,
    their splendor will not descend with them.
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—
    and people praise you when you prosper—
19 they will join those who have gone before them,
    who will never again see the light of life.

20 People who have wealth but lack understanding
    are like the beasts that perish.

Oppression, Toil, Friendlessness

Like Job, Ecclesiastes has many poems in it.  I have sevral versions of the Bible, one does not write them as below, in a poetic form.  Find a version which does if yours dos not, I think the enjoyment of reading will be greatly increased

Ecclesiastes 4:1-12 (ESV)

Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun:

I saw the tears of the oppressed

    and they have no comforter;

power was on the side of their oppressors

    and they have no comforter.

And I declared that the dead,

    who had already died,

are happier than the living,

    who are still alive.

But better than both

    is the one who has never been born,

who has not seen the evil

    that is done under the sun.

And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Fools fold their hands

    and ruin themselves.

Better one handful with tranquillity

    than two handfuls with toil

    and chasing after the wind.

Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:

There was a man all alone;

    he had neither son nor brother.

There was no end to his toil,

    yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.

“For whom am I toiling,” he asked,

    “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”

This too is meaningless

    a miserable business!

Two are better than one,

    because they have a good return for their labor:

10 If either of them falls down,

    one can help the other up.

But pity anyone who falls

    and has no one to help them up.

11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.

    But how can one keep warm alone?

12 Though one may be overpowered,

    two can defend themselves.

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 3 (ESV)

Ecclesiastes  3 (ESV)

The God-Given Task

Ecclesiastes 3:11–13 (ESV)

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he canspiritual-photonot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 (ESV)

14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.

From Dust to Dust

Ecclesiastes 3:17 (ESV)

DuskTillDawn17 I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.

Ecclesiastes 3:20 (ESV)

20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.

Proverbs 18 – Selected Verses

Proverbs 18 All Verses from NIV

  An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends
    and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.

Fools find no pleasure in understanding
    but delight in airing their own opinions.

It is not good to be partial to the wicked
    and so deprive the innocent of justice.

The lips of fools bring them strife,
    and their mouths invite a beating.

One who is slack in his work
    is brother to one who destroys.

11 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city;
    they imagine it a wall too high to scale.

14 The human spirit can endure in sickness,
    but a crushed spirit who can bear?

15 The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge,
    for the ears of the wise seek it out.

17 In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right,
    until someone comes forward and cross-examines.

21 The tongue has the power of life and death,
    and those who love it will eat its fruit.

22 He who finds a wife finds what is good
    and receives favor from the Lord.

24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.