Ecclesiastes – Revealing Our Duty

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Book of Ecclesiastes is really written to men and women who think with their hearts, who have had the deepest desire to understand and walk with God. David’s tenth son, Solomon, the second child born to Bath-sheba wrote Ecclesiastes.  He was the richest man in the Bible.  Solomon was also someone whom God greatly loved.

In I Chronicles chapter 1, God asked Solomon what he wanted, and God would give it to him. Solomon only asked for wisdom and knowledge, and because he didn’t ask for riches God gave to him both riches in extraordinary amounts of abundance, and wisdom with the knowledge to apply the wisdom of God.

There were many times that Solomon disobeyed God’s Word and did what he felt like doing, yet towards the end of his days he again began searching and finding his God because he found his Savior Christ in the Scriptures.

In Ecclesiastes, as Solomon looks back upon his life and reflects on all that he knew, all that he did, and all that he had, he finally came to the conclusion that without Christ and God in his life ─ life itself was just not exciting.

In Ecclesiastes he writes of the heart of the matter, finding reason and purpose to life itself, and today we will see the conclusion of all that Solomon’s wisdom had discovered:

Ecclesiastes 12:13 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

“Fear God” is a term that some people use to imply that without being genuinely fearful of God, His wrath and vengeance, then they say that God cannot and will not bless the believer’s life. Yet this is totally untrue, God always loves us.  The word “fear” means to have respect, to give reverence with honor to God. Never does God want His children to be afraid of Him for any reason whatsoever!

When we look to Jesus Christ as the way to the Father, he can teach us how to genuinely love God without fear. He said in John 14:31, “But that the world may know that I love the Father.” Jesus wanted us to know by his example that he also loved, and he knows how to not only love, but also he knows how to teach us how to love and respect our heavenly Father.

Then verse 13 says, “and keep his commandments.” Again as we look to Jesus we see that in Matthew 22:37-38, Jesus combines all the Laws and commandments into two and the two are to love God and our neighbor as ourselves, and without knowing Christ we would become totally burnt out trying to keep all of God’s commandments. However, when we walk in love toward God and our fellow man, then we can only be pleasing to God.

Thirdly the verse says “for this is the whole duty of man,” this is not some of the duty, not the best part of our duty, but our only duty is to love and respect God, and walk in love.

There was a time in Solomon’s life that he refused God’s instruction, and misinterpreted the Word of God, and as a result of that he lost his duty to God.  Solomon spent years contemplating the essence of life without God, yet when he again began looking to Christ, he found his way and finally recognized his duty and began enjoying life again.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 – He {God} hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world {the ages} in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning {of the ages} to the end {of the ages}.

God gave man the heart to quest and realize that there is a spiritual force and power behind life (Romans 1:20), yet that force (Who is God) is just out of man’s reach until he comes to know his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. John 1:17 teaches us that “the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he {the Son} hath declared him.

Jesus Christ’s mission has always been to make known God (to know Him Who was in the beginning of the ages) and he assures us that (in the end of the ages), our final resting place will be eternally with our heavenly Father.

Romans 11:33-36 teaches us that man of his own abilities cannot discover God’s judgments, nor His true ways, nor can he fully know God’s thoughts or be His counsellor. But when Jesus Christ comes into our hearts and lives, we can put on in our minds the thoughts of Christ who in turn reveals the Father. I Corinthians 2:16 reads, “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? {The answer is no one can.} But we have the mind of Christ.”

When we put on the mind of Christ by putting on God’s Word, then we will receive the “mind of Christ,” and his mind gives understanding to us so that we may discover our true duty before God.

To honor, respect, and love Him and to love our fellow man. This is the only heartfelt conclusion to life that we have in Jesus Christ and this is what will satisfy the believer’s inner quest for true spirituality.

The Purpose for Receiving the Grace of God

I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ– I Corinthians 1:4. Each time Paul thought of his fellow believers throughout the day – he thanked God for the free and open access to God that they had (and we have) made available to all of us by the grace of God through Jesus Christ (John 1:17). Grace means, God’s divine favor given to us with the abundance of His spiritual blessings, and these blessings are truly unmerited, undeserved, and unlimited. This grace is from God Himself and is given to men and women by (or on account of) Jesus Christ, by his own sacrifice on our behalf. I Corinthians 1:5 continues, That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge. The purpose for receiving the grace of God is to enrich our lives, therefore, I thank my God!” ~LMJ~

The Energy of Love (Loves to Believe to Receive to Enjoy, with Enthusiastic Energy)

“In Galatians 5:6 we read, faith worketh by love; faith makes available the things that God has given to us in His Word. The word faith means believing, and the word worketh means to energize. In other words; believing is energized and works properly by one thing and one thing only, and that is love – the love of God. God’s love in manifestation energizes our believing, and believing appropriates the promises of God, bringing them into focus, so that we may love to believe to receive to enjoy, with enthusiastic energy. When you are first a lover, God’s love will effortlessly energize your believing, and your believing will open to you the abundance in God’s healing Word.”  ~LMJ~

A Virtuous Woman

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

A virtuous woman enjoys believing trust in God which is the crowning complement of all her virtues; her “price is far above rubies!”

Her virtues are a crown recognized by her God, her Savior, and a joyous example to all the children of God!

Her virtues are not innate, they are learned, worked for, and practiced, and are the result of her labor of love for her God and the household of faith!

The Bible tells us how wonderful a virtuous woman really is; her witness is the true story of her gentle, Christ-like lifestyle as she lives His-story!

In Proverbs 31:10–31 we read the qualities of a virtuous woman!

50 qualities of her virtues are as follows:

She is 1- strong, 2- invaluable (verse 10); 3- trustworthy, 4- sufficient in all things (verse 11); 5- pure character, 6- a  blessing to her husband, 7- accommodating (verse 12); 8- ingenious, 9- industrious (verse 13); 10- proficient, 11- displays genuine compassion (verse 14); 12- well-behaved, 13- obliging, 14- considerate to her family/household members (verse 15); 15- versatile, 16- beneficial (verse 16); 17- robust in mind and body (verse 17); 18-  knows her worth, 19- efficient, 20- watchful, (verse 18); 21- thrifty/frugal, 22- skillful (verse 19); 23- charitable, 24- merciful (verse 20); 25-  fearless/courageous, 26- believes for family abundance (verse 21); 27-  a well-organized housekeeper, 28- dresses tasteful, 29- (verse 22); 30- an honor to her husband, 31- courteously popular, (verse 23); 32- dependable/industrious, 33- proficient, (verse 24); 34- respectful, 35- optimistic, 36- hopeful, (verse 25); 37- wise, 38- discreet, 39- kindhearted (verse 26); 40- practical, 41- energetic, 42- earnest stewardship of family resources (verse 27); 43- deserving of receiving respect from her children, 44- deserving of receiving awed respect from her husband, (verse 28); 45- has mastered godly virtues, 46- an honorable example to other women of God, (verse 29);  47-  God fearing/respecting, 48- praiseworthy lifestyle (verse 30); 49- her kindness is returned and rewarded back to her, 50- she is praised for her pure, virtuous actions (verse 31).

A virtuous woman radiates the qualities of Christ within, who is “the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (I Peter 3:4). “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband” (Proverbs 12:4).

These qualities are worthy of the price that is far above rubies! (See our study, titled: Ruth – Revealing Our Redeemer.)

Below is an Extended, Alternation Structure1; compare corresponding Roman letters A. with a., on down to E. with e.

Proverbs 31:10-31, Title: The Model Women.

A.| verses 10–12, Her Husband.

    B.| verses 13-19, Her occupation.
      C.| verse 20, Her character. Bounty.
        D.| verse 21, Her household.
          E.| verse 22, Herself. Without.

a.| verse 23, Her Husband.

    b.| verses 24–25, Her occupation.
      c.| verse 26, Her character. Wisdom.
        d.| verses 27–28, Her household.
          e.| verses 29–31, Herself. Within.

1 (Structures are found from Genesis 1:1 and all that way through the Bible to Revelation 22:21.For more on Structures, search keyword Structure on this website.)

Proverbs 31:10–31 (King James Version):
10: Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11: The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12: She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13: She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14: She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15: She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16: She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17: She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18: She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19: She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20: She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21: She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22: She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23: Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24: She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25: Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26: She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27: She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28: Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29: Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30: Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
31: Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 31:10–31 (The Amplified Bible*):
10: A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman ─ who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls.
11: The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil.
12:  She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her.
13:  She seeks out wool and flax and works with willing hands [to develop it].
14: She is like the merchant ships loaded with foodstuffs; she brings her household’s food from a far [country].
15:  She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks.
16: She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.
17: She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm.
18:  She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good; her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night [of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust].
19: She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20: She opens her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her filled hands to the needy [whether in body, mind, or spirit].
21: She fears not the snow for her family, for all her household are doubly clothed in scarlet.
22: She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry. Her clothing is of linen, pure and fine, and of purple [such as that of which the clothing of the priests and the hallowed cloths of the temple were made].
23: Her husband is known in the [city’s] gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.
24: She makes fine linen garments and leads others to buy them; she delivers to the merchants girdles [or sashes that free one up for service].
25: Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!
26: She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction].
27: She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat.
28: Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her, [saying],
29: Many daughters have done virtuously, nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you excel them all.
30: Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised!
31:  Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates [of the city]!

*Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE, Old Testament copyright (c) 1965, 1989 by the Zondervan Corporation.
Used by permission.

Send Now Prosperity!

Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity– Psalms 118:25. Save now is referring to this day that the LORD hath made, and in this day, the Psalmist is beseeching the LORD to send now prosperity. This passage is referring to the necessities that we need today, and thanking God for those things that we now have. Then, beyond the basics, what further abundance would bless our lives today? When we recognize that God indeed cares for us and we trust in Him, then the daily prosperity that we receive will cause our hearts to rejoice as it draws gladness out from our very souls.” ~LMJ~