Sunday, September 4, 2011

September 4- The Negative Nellie

September 4, 2011

Scripture Reading:
Ecclesiastes 7:1-9:18; 2 Corinthians 7:8-16;
Psalm 48:1-14; Proverbs 22:17-19

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things our of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the outflow of his heart his mouth speaks.  
~Luke 6:45

Ecclesiastes 7:1-9:18

The Internet is a great vehicle for interpreting what is in some one's heart.  Each day people post what they are thinking.  Some people create sunny posts about positive things like God, faith, and wisdom.  Other people use the Internet as a platform to complain endlessly about every little thing that goes wrong in their day.  It is quite fascinating.  Some people are Positive Polly's, while other people are Negative Nellies.  Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes, is a Negative Nellie.

Today, he opens with the thought that the day you die is better than the day you were born.  Wow.  Negative Nellie...  He goes on to expound that spending the day at a funeral is better than spending the day at a festival.  To him, sorrow trumps laughter because sorrow refines us. This is true!

Solomon has some good points in today's reading, like "There is not a single person in all the earth who is always good and never sins."  You got that right, dude.

Solomon has apparently been jaded by being married to 700 wives and having 300 concubines, because he has come to the conclusion that there are no upright women.  Now that is some kind of Negative Nellie! May I take a moment to remind you that this statement by Solomon that there are no upright women on earth is a perfect example of why you cannot just pull out any sentence from Scripture and declare it to be the thoughts of God. Each sentence must be put into context and understood according to the intent of the book. Ecclesiastes is the words of godless philosophy.  Saying the there are no upright women on earth is not the thoughts of God, but of a disillusioned man.

Depressed that we cannot prevent death or hold our spirit back from departing and discouraged at hypocrisy and mistreatment of the good, Solomon promotes the Epicurean philosophy that we should all just eat, drink and be merry, for soon we die.

As we keep reading, we see that Solomon shows that a fool believes that death is the end of all things and that there is only hope for the living.  More tragedy is lamented as Solomon ponders the reality that being educated does not necessarily lead to success and the fastest runner does not always win the race.  Solomon expounds the belief that everything is left to chance and that there is no rhyme or reason to the world. This again, is godless philosophy.

Do you find yourself being a Negative Nellie?  What wrong beliefs are causing these thoughts?

2 Corinthians 7:8-16

Unlike Solomon, Paul speaks of the kind of sorrow that God can use for a good purpose in our lives, rather than a meaningless sorrow.  Paul is referring to the letter of rebuke that he sent to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians.  He was seeking to confront them on corporate sins they were committing.  Thankfully, they listened to Paul and repented.  Sorrow can be designed to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation from the Lord. Sorrow is designed to promote sanctification. This has happened to the church in Corinth. Their sorrow has turned to joy as Paul is able to boast about the love and deep respect that the Corinthians are exhibiting.

Do you repent when confronted about sin?  Does your sorrow lead to repentant joy? Does your sorrow lead to bitterness or joy?

Psalm 48:1-14

God is our guide.

Proverbs 22:17-19

Apply your heart to good instruction.  This is good advice.

What did you see today?


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton

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