Eccl 4-6; Psalm 125; 2 Tim 2
Discuss in the comments section.
The following text is from the English Standard Version.
Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them.
And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive.
But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.
Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh.
Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.
Again, I saw vanity under the sun:
one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, ”For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.
For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?
And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him–a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Better was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice.
For he went from prison to the throne, though in his own kingdom he had been born poor.
I saw all the living who move about under the sun, along with that youth who was to stand in the king’s place.
There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil.
Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.
For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words.
When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow.
It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.
Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands?
For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear.
If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and righteousness, do not be amazed at the matter, for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them.
But this is gain for a land in every way: a king committed to cultivated fields.
He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.
When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes?
Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.
There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt,
and those riches were lost in a bad venture. And he is father of a son, but he has nothing in his hand.
As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand.
This also is a grievous evil: just as he came, so shall he go, and what gain is there to him who toils for the wind?
Moreover, all his days he eats in darkness in much vexation and sickness and anger.
Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot.
Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil–this is the gift of God.
For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.
There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind:
a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous evil.
If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life’s good things, and he also has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he.
For it comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered.
Moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything, yet it finds rest rather than he.
Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good–do not all go to the one place?
All the toil of man is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied.
For what advantage has the wise man over the fool? And what does the poor man have who knows how to conduct himself before the living?
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the appetite: this also is vanity and a striving after wind.
Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what man is, and that he is not able to dispute with one stronger than he.
The more words, the more vanity, and what is the advantage to man?
For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?
Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore.
For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous, lest the righteous stretch out their hands to do wrong.
Do good, O LORD, to those who are good, and to those who are upright in their hearts!
But those who turn aside to their crooked ways the LORD will lead away with evildoers! Peace be upon Israel!
2 Tim 2
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,
and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.
An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.
Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel,
for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!
Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful–for he cannot deny himself.
Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness,
and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,
who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.
But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ”The Lord knows those who are his,” and, ”Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”
Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable.
Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,
correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,
and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
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!