Saturday, July 30, 2022


Bobservations Column
Pastor Bob Lawrenz

In the 1950’s and ‘60’s, Hollywood starlet Doris Day was a popular figure on the silver screen. She played her roles opposite some of the most handsome leading men in Hollywood. Now passed on, she lives only in the memory of her fans. Her roles often included a singing part, for her voice was clear and crisp. In “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (Alfred Hitchcock, 1955), her song from the movie crossed over to be a hit on the Pop Charts. “QUE SARA, SARA” was the song, and the lyrics were simple and entirely akin to today’s message. The song answers the question of a child with a non-answer: “What will be, will be.”

Lacking God’s foreknowledge, we often ask the similar questions “What will the future bring,” or “What will be my family’s fate?” The Apostle Paul taught in four of his Epistles that he would not have believers ignorant, and he then goes on to explain a doctrine, or teaching. Paul is following God’s example in the Word, as He tells us before-hand what to expect in the future. Frankly, the Lord tells us in Bible prophecy what to expect, and even goes into detail about how to live a good life, and how to succeed in life in a corrupt world. But choosing to live as God suggests is up to every individual.

God’s pattern of prophecy and fulfillment gives us hope, for “with God all things are possible.” Though Doris Day had no direct answer to the child-like question, the Lord would neither have us in ignorance, nor leave us wondering. When we consider the entire Bible, about 25% of it is prophetic. God’s Word answers our questions, if not directly, then by way of further study, leading from cross-reference to cross reference. We also have God’s track-record to consider for His faithfulness to fulfill His Word, and the scriptures reveal that God is 100% faithful to fulfill His Word.

Solomon’s 11th chapter of Ecclesiastes is a short one, but it puts our 21st Century minds into overdrive, thinking about the future: our personal future, our nation’s, and our world’s future. Solomon himself offers us no hope, but God’s word does. It eases our minds with assurance and hope.
“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience, experience; and experience, hope. And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” - Romans 5:3-5

Today's Audio Teaching:
Ecclesiastes 11:1-10 - "Children and Our Youth"


Verses 1-2 - "Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days." This statement emphasizes the element of risk and uncertainty, and opportunity – these things face us daily with many decisions we make. We have read in the last passages of chapter 10 these directions:
“16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning! 17 Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, and your princes feast at the proper time— for strength and not for drunkenness! 18 Because of laziness the building decays, and through idleness of hands the house leaks. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry; But money answers everything. 20 Do not curse the king, even in your thought; Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; For a bird of the air may carry your voice, and a bird in flight may tell the matter.”
These previous passages were dealing with royalty and leaders. Solomon now focuses on the common people in verses 1 through 6. Opportunities come before us on every level of this life. They are found in the workplace, in the financial realm, in our own relationships. They also are found in our reactions to much that come upon us. It is an opportunity to shine for Jesus or simply revert to our own human nature. Many times, there is no middle ground.

Solomon tells us to cast our bread upon the water – this sums up the whole risk and opportunity aspect. None of us knows what tomorrow will bring. We don’t know the outcome of our investment. We don’t know how God has planned for us in the future. Regardless of not knowing these things, it shouldn’t hinder us from making valuable and productive use of ourselves and our resources each day.

'Cast' - is a decision for action to be taken. 
'Your Bread' - something of value to you must be ventured. 
'After many days’ - develops patience in waiting for results. 
'Find it' - is the reward for taking the step of faith.

Verses3-4 - Have you observed some of the people around you? Sadly, they do not seem to have a clue of what is going on in the world. Sometimes the statement, ‘ignorance is bliss’ is true, but ignorance all the time isn’t. The natural man doesn’t know what lies ahead, but the believer trusts the Lord. He knows that “God will supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory.” A wise person will understand the times and season and prepare accordingly. If it looks like it is going to rain, then a person will prepare and use it to his or her advantage. 
"Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time." Colossians 4:5. "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."  - Ephesians 5:16

When a tree dies and falls, that's where it is. Just because it appears that a tree is leaning in one direction or another, it doesn't mean it might fall on your house. In other words, even though you cannot control things does not mean you ignore the potential problem. Don’t be a procrastinator. Be aware of the warning signs.  Sow while you have the opportunity.  

Vs 5 - Having warned about the need to take precautions, Solomon now tells us the flip side, that is the problems associated with being too cautious. If you analyze everything to death before you venture forth to do the task, you will not get anything accomplished. We need to respond to the opportunities that the Lord has given to us. The reason for this is that we do not know how God works. Even with all the knowledge and talent and ability, we are ignorant of so much, such as the secrets of the wind or the human body. It is the work of God; it is His and His alone.

Again, God is in control of all things. This should be a great comfort to us. He knows the number of our days; our very breaths are in His hand. His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. He is Eternal. He is all knowing. He is all powerful. He is the beginning and the end.

Vs 6 -This should be our hearts attitude: “In the morning sow your see, and in the evening don’t withhold your hand; For you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good.” Can we really give too much? Can we outgive the Lord? Sow in the morning and the evening. Invest in industry. Invest in others. Invest in the Church. Invest in God’s Word. Give Him your time, your effort, your all. Scripturally speaking, we are not only supposed to be sowing spiritual seed morning and evening, but far and wide...God gives the increase (Galatians 6:9).

Verses 7-8 - We all need to stop and reflect on how short our lives really are. While we enjoy the time that we do have, we need to evaluate the future carefully.  Even if a person has enjoyed a good life "under the sun", the dark days are coming, more dark days than light if he is not prepared for the coming judgement.   All will be vanity.  A time of everlasting regret (2 Peter 2:17). 

Verse 9 - After having described these facts of life, Solomon speaks directly and personally to each young man. When we are in the prime of our lives, we think we are invincible. We can do what we like, participate in dangerous adventures and foolishly believe nothing will happen to us. The sins of youth are many! Thankfully we wise up with age! While making the most of our lives, we would be wise to remember that all we do will be judged.

Verse 10 - Childhood and youth are vanity," just like every other aspect of life if it is lived only under the sun.  Therefore, as Paul later would write to young Timothy, "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believer, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (1 Timothy 4:12). "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart: (2 Timothy 2:22).  It is natural and proper for young people to enjoy their youthful years, BUT they should do so in ways pleasing to God, knowing that "for all things God will bring thee into judgment" (verse 9).

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, "
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."  (Matthew 6:33). We are to seek the things of God as a priority over the things of this world. Putting our trust in Him. Seek salvation! See newness of life. Seek His righteousness and truth! God has promised to provide for His own, supplying all of our needs (Philippians 4:19), but His idea of what we need is often different from ours. He knows what we truly need, and He always wants what’s best for us. Let us put away sin and follow the Lord!  Know Him.  Trust Him!

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