3 Sep 2013

A Time to Every Purpose? Ecclesiastes (There is a season)

Submitted by theshovel
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We quote numerous verses in Ecclesiastes as if they represent God’s opinion of us, or as if they offer God’s insights regarding our purposes:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV)

Yeah, yeah, I know, “It’s in the Bible!” Well then … it’s got to be right! Right?

Now, if you think I’m denying the truthfulness of what Solomon wrote, you might want to reconsider. For something tells me that I believe its truthfulness more than most who quote it. I say this because I suspect that most who quote verses from this Bible book have very carefully selected the ones they agree with but disagree with some verses they may not even realize sit right next to their favorites. But you already know this don’t you? That’s right, there are people who live by some very different principles than you do, and they validate their beliefs by other verses in the Bible. I say that it all fits together as one seamless truth, and that it must be seen as such! Here is the very core of that truth:

​​​​​​​“Futile! Futile!” laments the Teacher, ​​​​​​“Absolutely futile! Everything is futile!” Ecclesiastes 1:2 (NET)

​​​​​​​What exists now is what will be, ​​​​​​and what has been done is what will be done; ​​​​​​there is nothing truly new on earth. Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NET)

I suggest that our attempts to stir up some good vibrations from what Solomon wrote will keep our heads spinning in the dimension where everything is absolutely futile. You see, it wasn’t until the very, very end that he revealed the worthlessness of everything he had experienced “under the sun.” All the philosophical viewpoints and beliefs we’ve built from our favorite passages in this book have only served to keep us bound to the vain, the worthless, the futile existence we see in the world around us. Listen to this:

​​​​​​​Having heard everything, I have reached this conclusion: ​​​​​​Fear God and keep his commandments, ​​​​​​because this is the whole duty of man. ​​​​​​​For God will evaluate every deed, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (NET)

Now, before you think I’m suggesting that by trying to keep God’s commandments you might somehow be rescued from the futility of this world, just remember that unlike Solomon, you don’t live under the Law. The truth is that the Law couldn’t save him then any more than it cannot save you now. But it did convince him that his very existence was linked to God himself. You see, the phrase “this is the whole duty of man” should actually read “this is the whole of man.” That’s right, the word “duty” has been inserted into many of our translations. Sure, Solomon lived under the Law, but the intent of his statement had more to do with the recognition that man can only find his purpose in God. And something tells me that Solomon would be shaking his head at how God’s people have been living by parts of what he referred to as futility.

Don’t we know that in Christ, we have been rescued from the hopeless futility of the world … especially that which comes from the mind of the religious world? Our citizenship is not found in this present world, it is found in the new creation through Christ which is inside God himself! Why do we view our purpose according to the philosophies of this world. After all, for us, Christ IS our purpose.

Spoonful: 
Old Testament: 

Comments

“Don’t we know that in Christ, we have been rescued from the hopeless futility of the world … especially that which comes from the mind of the religious world? Our citizenship is not found in this present world, it is found in the new creation through Christ which is inside God himself! Why do we view our purpose according to the philosophies of this world. After all, for us, Christ IS our purpose.”  <~theShovel

Yes, excellent!

 

Adam

“After all, for us, Christ IS our purpose.” <~theShovel

… i was thinking how that it is so true and how we often miss it, that WE are HIS purpose as well.  i know theShovel was not 'missing it' in his wording, because i know that he considers it completely a 'whole', that there is an inextricable linkage, for we are linked at heart and mind and 'purpose' as One with the FATHER and Son.  i don't know that i said that the best way to get across what i mean.  the purpose of GOD was to give HIS Son as the ultimate expression of HIMself and HIS LOVE and LIFE to be expressed and LIVED in and out of and through man.  that meant the ultimate Sacrifice to provide for us what we needed that we could not accomplish ourselves EVER.  the first Adam 'lost' himself, and that is what we inherited from the first man … 'lostness' without GOD brought about by sin.  Jesus Christ brought about a NEW CREATION reality from His death, burial and resurrection … that GOD and man can now be made One in His Son … New Creations brought about in Christ Who is the end of 'philosophies' for the New Creation.  'we dohne need no steeenkeeeng philosophies, mahn!' <(must be read with the thickest of Mexicano accento)  :) 

our relationship to that 'lostness' in sin and death and separation from GOD has been destroyed, never to return!  we have been born into the New Life given us in Him,by Him, for Him and because of Him Who was in the Beginning … in Him Who was the Word and the Word was with GOD and the Word was GOD … in Him Who became flesh … Who became GOD in man … the firstborn Son … the firstborn of many brethren who were to come.  :)

to be found in GOD!  wow!  what better or more 'purpose' could one need or want or imagine?!  :)

theshovel's picture

Most excellent and living words, my dear Sherri! :)

What MORE purpose or meaning could we want?

Well, I think the mind of the flesh has tried to procure some 'holy” meaning and purpose through simple outward observance of Paul and or Jesus in the description of their lives on earth. To the outward man, Paul's ministry appears as a “passion” or a “purpose” stemming from human origin and human motives.[things he was sure to point out were not true]

I think it is most likely were we got spiritual concepts like “the purpose driven life” and other secular seemingly noble endeavors. It most always comes down to the attempt to fortify the validation of our own wants to be noticed, recognized or have meaning.

 

Having purpose and meaning all in Christ, is something that is hidden from the mind of the natural man and so he must CREATE something according to his own works. The resulting rest that comes from faith in the Lord for this need is as foreign to us as a people as is the language of another world.

 

Frankly, it seems impossible and therefore wrong that we should just get to rest in Him despite the call to get busy and get our purpose going. After all most say it is not only something that is good for us to do but, also necessary to enjoy ones life and gain a sense of well being. To abstain would be a great injury to ourselves in that mind set.

 

But as Sherri has pointed out, we find our rest in Christ and in nothing else, and by this reality do we live and breath and do. I am still discovering what this means in my own life but, I have come to see it is the only way to go forward in Him.

 

Adam

Thank you Sherri and Adam for your posts. Statements like Sherri's ;"to be found in GOD! wow! what better or more ‘purpose’ could one need or want or imagine?! And Adam's statement: "Having purpose and meaning all in Christ, is something that is hidden from the mind of the natural man.", has my spiritual juices stirred and excited again.
"ALL IN CHRIST" has me thinking again about what we mean by the phrases we use, as in "CHRIST IS MY LIFE". Doesn't that mean ALL, EVERYTHING, MY HOPES AND DESIRES, MY LOOKING FORWARD, MY LOOKING BACKWARDS, MY JOYS, MY SORROWS, YES, MY PURPOSES, MY REASON FOR EVEN BEING HERE!!! This is just naming a very few.

While I'm at it, I want to thank all of you who take the time to post on this site. I see that it's not just another place one can give their opinions about things, but the focus is on all there ever is that makes any difference to anything, and that is Christ Himself. In posting, you are giving me the privilege of seeing into the depths of your heart where Christ is expressing himself so individually in each of you.

My love and thanks to all........... Julie

and thank you Julie for your encouragements!

 

Adam

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Random Shovelquote: Realize the freedom (view all shovelquotes)

How can you realize the freedom you have in Christ? I say that you will discover it, more times than not, in the midst of the bondage that still seems to hold you down. You see, the power of the gospel is not found merely in the words of its testimony of Jesus’ death and resurrection, it is found in the reality that has been brought about because of who he is and what he has done. That reality is that Christ is in you. He is there, and his life witnesses from within you … despite all the doubts that you think actually come from within you. source