September 30, 2019

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Devotions written by Missy Iley

Monday
Ecclesiastes 6:1-12

Watch where you step!
In March we got a puppy. She is an adorable Shih Tzu named Sassy. Before we got her, we could walk through our front and back yard without thinking. But now that our yard has essentially become Sassy’s toilet, we vigilantly watch our step in order to avoid stumbling into a “mess.” Now, if someone comes over to our home to go swimming, and we fail to warn them about the fact that Sassy-deposits are all over the backyard, we most likely will end up with a very unhappy and disgusted guest asking, “Why didn’t you warn me to watch where I stepped!?!”

This week we will sink our teeth into the sixth chapter of Ecclesiastes. First of all, Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books in the Old Testament. I read and studied it in its entirety when I was a freshman in college, and it had an immense impact on the direction of my life. I love how Solomon’s God-given wisdom, along with the hindsight of being a very old man, essentially provides a roadmap of all the landmines every human will stumble upon throughout their lifetime if their focus and priorities are on anything other than God.

I do have to admit though, if read in isolation, Ecclesiastes 6 reads an awful lot like a suicide note, especially when you get to 6:3 in the NIV, “I say that a stillborn child is better off than he.” Seriously, what are we supposed to do with that!?! This chapter alone demonstrates that Ecclesiastes is a book which definitely has to be read in context.

King Solomon had everything an earthly man could possess. Sadly, however, his focus and priorities shifted to earthly desires, and as a result, his life became a dreadful mess. It is in this regret-filled memoir, especially in chapter 6, that he emphatically implores us all to learn from his mistakes and to “watch where you step.”

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