Ecclesiastes 1-3; Psalm 45; 2 Tim 1
Discuss in the comments section.
The following text is from the English Standard Version.
The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises.
The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; around and around goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns.
All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again.
All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said, ”See, this is new”? It has been already in the ages before us.
There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after.
I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem.
And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.
I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.
What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted.
I said in my heart, ”I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.”
And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.
For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
I said in my heart, ”Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity.
I said of laughter, ”It is mad,” and of pleasure, ”What use is it?”
I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine–my heart still guiding me with wisdom–and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life.
I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself.
I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees.
I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees.
I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem.
I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the children of man.
So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me.
And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil.
Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.
So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly. For what can the man do who comes after the king? Only what has already been done.
Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness.
The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them.
Then I said in my heart, ”What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity.
For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool!
So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind.
I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me,
and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity.
So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun,
because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.
What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun?
For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God,
for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?
For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
What gain has the worker from his toil?
I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live;
also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil–this is God’s gift to man.
I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.
That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.
Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness.
I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.
I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts.
For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.
All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.
Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?
So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?
My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
You are the most handsome of the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever.
Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one, in your splendor and majesty!
In your majesty ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!
Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; the peoples fall under you.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;
you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor; at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father’s house,
and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him.
The people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts, the richest of the people.
All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold.
In many-colored robes she is led to the king, with her virgin companions following behind her.
With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king.
In place of your fathers shall be your sons; you will make them princes in all the earth.
I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.
2 Tim 1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,
To Timothy, my beloved child:Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.
As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy.
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands,
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,
who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher,
which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.
Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.
May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains,
but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me–
may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day!–and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.
The reading plan I’ve chosen is from Bible Class Material and it’s a 5 day plan, with weekend days to catch up or get ahead or just take a break!