Eccl 7-9; Psalm 46; 2 Tim 3
Discuss in the comments section.
The following text is from the English Standard Version.
A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth.
It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of face the heart is made glad.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools.
For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fools; this also is vanity.
Surely oppression drives the wise into madness, and a bribe corrupts the heart.
Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.
Say not, ”Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
Wisdom is good with an inheritance, an advantage to those who see the sun.
For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.
Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked?
In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.
In my vain life I have seen everything. There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing.
Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself?
Be not overly wicked, neither be a fool. Why should you die before your time?
It is good that you should take hold of this, and from that withhold not your hand, for the one who fears God shall come out from both of them.
Wisdom gives strength to the wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city.
Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.
Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you.
Your heart knows that many times you have yourself cursed others.
All this I have tested by wisdom. I said, ”I will be wise,” but it was far from me.
That which has been is far off, and deep, very deep; who can find it out?
I turned my heart to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the scheme of things, and to know the wickedness of folly and the foolishness that is madness.
And I find something more bitter than death: the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God escapes her, but the sinner is taken by her.
Behold, this is what I found, says the Preacher, while adding one thing to another to find the scheme of things–
which my soul has sought repeatedly, but I have not found. One man among a thousand I found, but a woman among all these I have not found.
See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.
Who is like the wise? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man’s wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his face is changed.
I say: Keep the king’s command, because of God’s oath to him.
Be not hasty to go from his presence. Do not take your stand in an evil cause, for he does whatever he pleases.
For the word of the king is supreme, and who may say to him, ”What are you doing?”
Whoever keeps a command will know no evil thing, and the wise heart will know the proper time and the just way.
For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him.
For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him how it will be?
No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. There is no discharge from war, nor will wickedness deliver those who are given to it.
All this I observed while applying my heart to all that is done under the sun, when man had power over man to his hurt.
Then I saw the wicked buried. They used to go in and out of the holy place and were praised in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity.
Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.
Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him.
But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days like a shadow, because he does not fear before God.
There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked, and there are wicked people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.
And I commend joy, for man has no good thing under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.
When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on earth, how neither day nor night do one’s eyes see sleep,
then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out.
But all this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God. Whether it is love or hate, man does not know; both are before him.
It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath.
This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.
Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.
Go, eat your bread in joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.
Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head.
Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.
For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.
I have also seen this example of wisdom under the sun, and it seemed great to me.
There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it.
But there was found in it a poor, wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man.
But I say that wisdom is better than might, though the poor man’s wisdom is despised and his words are not heard.
The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.
Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.
‘Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
2 Tim 3
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,
treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,
always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith.
But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.
You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,
my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra–which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it
and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
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!