~ Click here to read today's Scripture on Bible Gateway ~
~ Listen to today's Scripture with The ESV Bible ~
Our readings in Ecclesiastes today reminded me of Solomon's writings in Proverbs! (It was likely the same author of both books - well, most of the Proverbs - hence the connection) It seemed like a series of Proverbs in today's readings - albeit with a more pessimistic view than the typical Proverbs we read... but still, overall great teachings and great reminders of how empty and vain life is apart from God. I love Chapter 7 verse 20, which is something we all probably need to be reminded of: "There is not a single person in all the earth who is always good and never sins." And certainly that was true back then and now. Jesus was the only one ever to walk the earth who never sinned. Now, to go along with verse 20 we later read verse 28, which I'm thinking probably did not make women too happy to read: "Just one out of every thousand men I interviewed can be said to be upright, but not one woman!" Now, first and foremost, keep in mind this is the author of Ecclesiastes' opinion or experience - not God saying this. Scripture does not declare anywhere that women are morally inferior to men. The bottom line of this verse is that basically no one is upright - men or women. The next verse 29 then says: "I discovered that God created people to be upright, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path." This verse again reminds us that though we were created for righteousness, we are broken. We are sinners. We are in need of a Savior. How about you? Do you know anyone who is always good and never sins? Anyone who does not need a Savior to forgive and heal them of their brokenness? Do you believe God created people to be upright? Without God and Jesus in our lives, do you think we are in severe danger of following our own downward path...
Now, another verse that says "women" but that I think could just as well say "men" is chapter 7 verse 26 - "I discovered that a seductive woman is more bitter than death. Her passion is a trap, and her soft hands will bind you. Those who please God will escape from her, but sinners will be caught in her snare." This verse stood out to me as I read it, for one very modern and very dangerous reason: internet pornography. Now, I know I don't need to tell anyone reading this that internet pornography is an incredibly serious problem affecting far too many people. Many of whom are Christians. The reason this verse stood out to me was the reminder that internet pornography is literally a snare that so many people are caught in. They can't escape it. Well, they can, but it's not easy on their own. I have a hunch that someone reading this is addicted to internet pornography. Or, maybe isn't addicted - yet - but checks it out on occasion. Let me warn anyone who ever goes to an internet pornography site - it is a snare! A trap. Like chapter 9 verse 12 in Ecclesiastes today says: "Like fish in a net or birds in a snare, people are often caught by sudden tragedy." Visiting a pornography website even once is a sudden tragedy that has come to your doorstep. You will then be like a fish in a net or a bird in a snare. You will need much prayer and counseling to escape it's lure. I write this to warn folks too who have never visited an internet pornography site, but maybe someday in the future will be tempted to do so. Don't do it. Ever. Run from it. Flee. Actually, I've had to think about this because I know some of my friends (friends from many years ago - who I still try to witness to) watch pornographic movies on occasion. I know it happens at bachelor parties, etc. Honestly, I don't go to bachelor parties at all these days - unless I know for sure there won't be any of this nonsense. But, I have a hunch someday I may be surprised at some gathering where a porn movie will be shown. And guess what? I will run. Literally, I will flee that location of wherever that movie is being shown, and I won't look back. Why? I won't just sit there and let that stuff pollute my mind. Pollute my very soul. Pornography is exactly that - soul pollution. It pollutes your soul! I realize I've been typing way too long on this issue - but I do so because I know it's a major issue for our society today. It is a major issue for the church. Please let me encourage you in that if you are ever in a situation with friends that pornography or strippers or anything like that appears that you literally run. Flee. And don't look back. And don't fret about what your friends think. Your soul is so much more important. If anyone reading this is currently struggling with pornography, let me encourage you to talk to someone you trust about it immediately, and get help. Today. Go to counseling. You cannot get out of the snare on your own. You may succeed for short periods of time, but long-term you are going to need some help. But, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and his precious blood poured out on the Cross for our sins, yes, indeed you can be freed of the snare of pornography. You quickly need to run toward your freedom in Christ now; connect with pastors, friends & counselors who can keep you accountable and give you tools to beat this; and then please don't ever look back to that which pollutes your very soul. In Christ, my brothers and sisters, we are forgiven. And Forgiveness will heal us. If we will let Him.
If you are struggling with pornography or any other sexual sin, Bible.org has some good essays and Q&A related to temptation (scroll down to the bottom of the page for the Q&A) at this link. If anyone else has helpful resources (books, websites, etc.) that will help others be free of pornography addictions or other sexual sin, please share in the Comments section below? Thanks.
Worship Video: Today's readings remind me of Matt Redman's song "The Heart of Worship:"
Do you know the heart of worship? Click here and worship Him!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Who is like the wise? Who knows the explanation of things? Wisdom brightens the face and changes its hard appearance." Ecclesiastes 8:1 TNIV
Prayer Point: Pray for godly wisdom in your life today and forevermore.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. I would greatly appreciate it if you would pray for this Bible Blog ministry today! Please also consider partnering with us by financially supporting this ministry. Thank you!