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Have you ever heard people say that there's a Bible verse for any and every situation? Although at face value I believe this to be true, I also believe that the converse is also accurate. After reading through the book of Ecclesiastes this week, I concluded that for every occasion, there is a verse not to pass along.
Imagine this. You're a high school graduate, and your youth leader gives you an inspirational Daysprings card with Ecclesiastes 12:1 inscribed in beautiful calligraphy on the front: "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth." Encouraging, no? And great advice! But not quite so cheery when you open up the card and inside read the rest of the passage: "...before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark ... when men are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags himself along ..." (In other words, enjoy God now because life sure is going to suck once you make your way into the real world.)
Somehow I doubt Solomon was invited to speak at too many commencements in his day.
Here's a great one to not pass along to newlyweds: "Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love..." Great so far, right? But keep reading: "...all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun - all your meaningless days" (9:9). Basically, Solomon is saying you better enjoy life with her now, because love, marriage, family ... it's all meaningless anyway. I'm glad no one included that one in our card basket eight years ago.
Is someone you know celebrating a job promotion? If you point them to Eccleasiastes 9:10 for inspiration, make sure you only quote the first half of the verse ("Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might...") because the second half isn't quite as encouraging: "...for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom."
Not exactly the Zig Zigler motivational quote they might have expected.
Now we all love hearing about new babies arriving into the world. In fact, my friend is about to deliver twins in the next 24 hours or so and I'm sitting expectantly by my Facebook feed waiting for pictures! But I doubt I'll be sending her husband a card with Ecclesiastes 6:2 inside once the babies are safely delivered: "A man may have a hundred children and live many years; yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity ... I say that a stillborn child is better off than he."
I do believe that the Bible does have a verse for "every activity under heaven." I just don't suggest spending too much time in Ecclesiastes looking for them.
Random Fact #14: When I was a kid I had at least 100 Adventures in Odyssey tapes completely memorized.
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