Devotion – Tuesday 9 February 2021, by Rev Craig Morrison

Good morning, People of God, I adapted this from a friend’s devotion today.

Listen with me for the word of God, as we find it in:
*Ecclesiastes 9: 7-10* from the New Revised Standard Version, (NRSVA)

“7 Go, eat your bread with enjoyment, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has long ago approved what you do.

8 Let your garments always be white; do not let oil be lacking on your head.

9 Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that are given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.
10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do with your might; for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.” >

Here we encounter the Wisdom literature of Scripture. “*Wisdom*” is an Ancient Near East genre. (A ‘genre’ is a category, in this case, of literature.) The Bible comprises many genres of writing. The word “Bible” actually means ‘library’ – a collection of books.

Each genre has specific rules for interpretation. Knowing this aids our understanding of the Scriptures.

Wisdom writing in Scripture includes books like Ecclesiastes, Job, Proverbs, Psalms, etc. The OT view is that having “Wisdom” means living a godly life in covenant with God.

In Ecclesiastes, the unknown author reflects on Wisdom, in dialogue with us. The “Teacher/Preacher” shares Wisdom (ie how to live life) with the reader. This kind of writing is sometimes referred to as “Instruction”. Thus, it is Wisdom instructing us how to live.

Here in *9:7-10* is the longest piece of “Instruction” in the book, where imperative verbs visibly dominate the text – (Go… eat…drink… enjoy).

Note that each imperative is given a reason, e.g. for God has long ago approved… because that is your portion in life… for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol; this is a reasonable way to live!

If we could provide a theme for this Instruction, it would be something like, “though life is brief and death is certain, life is a gift to be enjoyed.”

– As you go through life, look around and take in the scenery; do not be anxious about taking a misstep; enjoy the present;

– Rest in God’s goodness; life is not a trick to trip you up nor a test to trap you; relax and enjoy what God has provided for you;

– Stop trying to make yourself feel better by guilting yourself; that will only make you feel worse; trust that God is Love – and God loves you;

– “Whatever your hand finds to do, do with all your might”; do what you do to the best of your ability; with passion and enjoyment.

*Let’s pray*:
God, thank you for all you provide. I am grateful. Lord, help me to be able to enjoy my life, help me to see the open doors that you have prepared for me, and give me the courage to move forward with passion.

Have a blessed Tuesday.
Rev. Craig

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