There is nothing better for people than to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment in their work. I also perceived that this ability to find enjoyment comes from God (Ecc. 2:24 NET).
Even though Qohelet (Ecclesiastes) is not intended to describe the life of faith per se, or specifically teach what the responsibilities of faith in God are, it does teach that we’re accountable to God and that we should avoid self-indulgence. It helps us develop a God-centered worldview by recognizing the dangers of essentially living for ourselves which often leads to dissipation and the exploitation of others for selfish gain. And in relation to work, Shlomo’s (Solomon’s) enigmatic but Spirit inspired realism, gives us a theocentric big-picture perspective that actually encourages healthy vocational passion resulting in genuine contentment.
So, all of that to say, health permitting, and barring any sudden game-changing eschatological events, I figure I got about another 20 years to do something for the Lord. And so with more behind me than in front of me, here’s where I’m at: Because I AM that I AM made me who I am, I embrace who I am while serving the Passover Lamb. With regard to my sovereignly ordained God-given ethnic ancestry, over the course of 50 plus years, I’ve gone from embarrassment, to enlightenment, to embracement. And at the risk of being redundant, as I said in my previous post, the work He’s given me to do is aligned with my divine design. And so comfortable in my own skin, I’m actually kind of jazzed about trying to reach a portion of the promised believing remnant of God’s covenant people (cf. Rom. 11:4-5). And, right alongside of that, I’ll continue to get excited about preaching and teaching God’s inerrant Word until my last heart-beat opens the door to my forever home. Here’s why:
1) The Gospel message is the power of salvation for everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile (Rom. 1:16).
2) The Jewish people were entrusted with the very words of God and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah who is God over all (Rom. 3:2, 9:4-5).
3) Paul writes passionately that he wishes himself accursed and cut off from Messiah for the sake of his fellow Jewish people according to the flesh (Rom. 9:3).
4) The only instance of prayer for the salvation of a lost people group is Romans 10:1 and it’s for the Jewish people.
5) Paul states that Israel has not been rejected by God because His gifts and calling are irrevocable (Rom.11:29).
6) Israel’s transgression (unbelief) has meant riches (spiritual blessing) for the Gentiles and opened the door to salvation in order that Gentiles might provoke Jewish people to spiritual jealousy and belief in Jesus (Rom.11:11).
7) In Romans 15:27, Paul tells us that since we share in the Jewish people’s spiritual blessing, we owe it to them to share with them in our material blessings.
8) If the Jewish people’s transgression (unbelief) means riches (spiritual blessing) for the world, just think how much greater riches (Messiah’s return) their fullness (salvation) will bring (Rom. 11:15)!
9) The Lord Himself came to the lost sheep of Israel (Matt.15:24), and Paul says He will come again to Zion, and on that momentous day, all Israel (physical survivors of the Tribulation period) will be saved (Rom. 11:26)!
10) The period of time between the complete uprooting and overthrowing of the present world order and the final eternal state will be an earthly one thousand year Jesus at the helm Messianic reign in direct, complete, and literal fulfillment of all the covenant/kingdom promises given to the Jewish people (cf. Rev. 20:1-6)!
Bottom Line: It’s nice to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. 🙂