Bible Reading, Jan. 6

Jan. 6
Genesis 6

Gen 6:1 It happened, when men began to multiply on the surface of the ground, and daughters were born to them,
Gen 6:2 that God's sons saw that men's daughters were beautiful, and they took for themselves wives of all that they chose.
Gen 6:3 Yahweh said, "My Spirit will not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; yet will his days be one hundred twenty years."
Gen 6:4 The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when God's sons came in to men's daughters. They bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
Gen 6:5 Yahweh saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Gen 6:6 Yahweh was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him in his heart.
Gen 6:7 Yahweh said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the surface of the ground; man, along with animals, creeping things, and birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them."
Gen 6:8 But Noah found favor in Yahweh's eyes.
Gen 6:9 This is the history of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time. Noah walked with God.
Gen 6:10 Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Gen 6:11 The earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
Gen 6:12 God saw the earth, and saw that it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
Gen 6:13 God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
Gen 6:14 Make a ship of gopher wood. You shall make rooms in the ship, and shall seal it inside and outside with pitch.
Gen 6:15 This is how you shall make it. The length of the ship will be three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.
Gen 6:16 You shall make a roof in the ship, and you shall finish it to a cubit upward. You shall set the door of the ship in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third levels.
Gen 6:17 I, even I, do bring the flood of waters on this earth, to destroy all flesh having the breath of life from under the sky. Everything that is in the earth will die.
Gen 6:18 But I will establish my covenant with you. You shall come into the ship, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you.
Gen 6:19 Of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ship, to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female.
Gen 6:20 Of the birds after their kind, of the livestock after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every sort shall come to you, to keep them alive.
Gen 6:21 Take with you of all food that is eaten, and gather it to yourself; and it will be for food for you, and for them."
Gen 6:22 Thus Noah did. According to all that God commanded him, so he did.

Ecclesiastes, Epilogue & Conclusion, Mark Copeland

                       "THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES"

                    Epilogue & Conclusion (12:8-14)


1. With advice given to the young (11:9-12:7), Ecclesiastes then draws
   to a close - 12:8-14

2. The book has often been misunderstood and abused...
   a. By taking passages out of context
   b. By drawing conclusions which ignore the author's own conclusion

3. But in the last seven verses, we find...
   a. A restatement of the result of the Preacher's search for meaning
      - 12:8
   b. An epilogue that describes the Preacher's continuing work, the
      value of wisdom, and a warning against the wrong kind of study
      - 12:9-12
   c. The grand conclusion drawn from the Preacher's search for meaning
      and purpose in life - 12:13-14

[With the "Epilogue And Conclusion" before us, we can guard against the
misapplications some have made of this book.  Therefore let's begin


      1. In the Prologue - 1:2
      2. Prior to describing his search for meaning - 1:14
      3. Throughout the course of his search:
         a. The vanity of pleasure - 2:1
         b. The vanity of industry (labor) - 2:11,22-23; 4:4
         c. The vanity of human wisdom - 2:15
         d. The vanity of all life - 2:17
         e. The vanity of leaving an inheritance - 2:18-21
      4. Throughout his words of counsel and wisdom:
         a. The vanity of earthly existence - 3:19-21
         b. The vanity of acquiring riches over family - 4:7-8
         c. The vanity of political popularity - 4:16
         d. The vanity of many dreams and many words - 5:7
         e. The vanity of loving abundance - 5:10
         f. The vanity of wealth without the gift of God to enjoy it
            - 6:2
         g. The vanity of wandering desire - 6:9
         h. The vanity of foolish laughter - 7:6
         i. The vanity of injustice in this life - 8:14
         j. The vanity of the days of darkness - 11:8
         k. The vanity of childhood and youth - 11:10

      1. He is referring to the vanity of life "under the sun"
         a. As stated in the prologue - 1:3,9,14
         b. In describing the vanity of his labor - 2:11,17-20,22
         c. In relating the evil that he saw - 3:16; 4:1,3,7,15; 5:13;
            6:1; 8:9; 9:3,6,11; 10:5
         d. In giving his counsel - 5:18; 6:12; 8:15,17; 9:9,13
      2. I.e., when life is viewed solely from an earthly perspective
         a. Examining life solely on its own merits
         b. When God and the afterlife are not taken into the equation
      3. When viewed from this perspective...
         a. There is no advantage of wisdom over folly - 2:15-16
         b. Man is no different than animals - 3:19-21
         c. The dead know nothing and they have no more reward - 9:5-6
         -- But it would be a misapplication to use these passages to
            deny life after death, or that there is no value in seeking
            after true wisdom

[If life "under the sun" is all there is, then truly, "Vanity of
vanities, all is vanity." But we have seen throughout the book that the
Preacher gave wise counsel for dealing with the vanity of life. That he
continued such work is evident from the next four verses...]


      1. He continued to teach others, and to seek for knowledge, truth
         and righteousness - 12:9-10
      2. This certainly sounds like Solomon - 1Ki 4:30-34; 10:4-8;
         cf. Ec 1:1,12,16; 2:9
      -- Note that his conclusion about life's vanity did not lead him
         to despair or inactivity!

      1. The words of the wise are of great value - 12:11-12a
         a. They are like "goads", prodding our thinking, moving us
            along in the right direction
         b. They are like "nails", that which can provide stability and
            steadfastness in our lives
         -- Especially those "given by One Shepherd" (i.e., inspired by
      2. But not all knowledge is beneficial - 12:12b
         a. There is no end to the making of books (with the printing
            press and the Internet, this is even more so!)
         b. Much study is wearisome to the flesh (cf. 1:18)
         -- Since one can't study every book, one must be selective as
            to which "shepherd(s)" they will follow!

[Since life "under the sun" is filled with so much vanity, we are
admonished by the Preacher by both example and precept to seek out the
right kind of wisdom to guide our short sojourn here on earth.  That
leads us finally to...]


      1. This is "the whole duty of man" (KJV, RSV) - 12:13
         a. This summarizes the answer to his own question - cf. 2:3
         b. This is man's reason for being, his "prime directive" for
            his existence
      2. To "fear God"
         a. That is, to revere God, to hold Him in awe
         b. This is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge - Pr 1:7;
         c. This reverence will help prolong life, and protect one from
            much evil - Pr 10:27; 14:26,27
      3. To "keep His commandments"
         a. A charge given to the nation of Israel - Deut 13:4; 30:16
         b. A charge given to the disciples of Jesus - Jn 14:15
         c. The basis by which we know that we know and love God - 1Jn 2:3-4; 5:3
      -- To reverently obey God, "walking in the fear of the Lord"(Ac9:31), this is the purpose

           of life and the key to true happiness! - Pr 22:4

      1. Having taken "everything" into consideration
         a. Not just from what may be observed in life "under the sun"
         b. But from wisdom given by revelation as well (cf. Ec 2:3,9;
            1Ki 4:29)
         -- I.e., the conclusion of the "whole" matter!
      2. In view of the coming Judgment - cf. 3:17; 11:9; Ac 17:30-31
         a. In which every work will be judged - Ro 2:16
         b. Whether it be good or evil - 2Co 5:10


1. People have often searched for the meaning of life...
   a. From philosopher to the common man
   b. Asking questions like:
      1) "Why am I here?"
      2) "What is my purpose for life?"
   -- Many have concluded that there is no purpose, and fallen into

2. But a search that begins with the wrong assumptions invariably leads
   to the wrong conclusion...
   a. Such as assuming that there is no God, nor life after death
   b. If what we see in this life is all there is, then truly "vanity
      of vanities, all is vanity!"

3. The Preacher with his own experiences, and his God-given wisdom...
   a. Has demonstrated that, yes, life from an earthly perspective
      alone is truly vanity!
   b. Has taught us that by fearing God and keeping His commandments,
      one can endure the vanities and perplexities of life, while
      enjoying the good things in life!
   c. As penned by the Psalmist:

                           PSALM 112
               The Blessed State of the Righteous

      Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
         Who delights greatly in His commandments.

      His descendants will be mighty on earth;
         The generation of the upright will be blessed.

      Wealth and riches will be in his house,
         And his righteousness endures forever.

      Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness;
         He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

      A good man deals graciously and lends;
         He will guide his affairs with discretion.

      Surely he will never be shaken;
         The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance.

      He will not be afraid of evil tidings;
         His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.

      His heart is established;
         He will not be afraid,
         Until he sees his desire upon his enemies.

      He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor;
         His righteousness endures forever;
         His horn will be exalted with honor.

      The wicked will see it and be grieved;
         He will gnash his teeth and melt away;
         The desire of the wicked shall perish.

May we be like the Preacher, then, and continue to seek out "acceptable
words", "words of truth" (12:10), especially those from the words of

      "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
                                                             (Col 2:3)