Six short lessons from Ecclesiastes chapter 4
Vs 1-3, Evil and oppression are in this world and those who oppress seem to have more power on their side to oppress. The only ones that are free from oppression are those that are dead but the most privileged are those that have never exited (not born). Why because even those that are dead only just had rest from the evil and oppression in this world but they that have not exited had neither experienced evil nor oppression. But for us alive today, in this world we would experience oppression and evil, don’t be part of those that oppress others.
1. Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed— and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors — and they have no comforter.
2. And I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive.
3. But better than both is the one who has never been born, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun.
Vs 4, Your labor should not be as a result of envy. It’s not a compitition, the labor that is motivated by envy has no joy; it is exhausting and empty.
4. And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Vs 5-6, it’s only a fool that folds his hands and destroys himself with laziness and idleness. Work hard but it’s very important that you learn how to rest and be patient than running around with too much work and no rest in pursuit of success. All the toiling and business is not worth it at last,
5. Fools fold their hands and ruin themselves.
6. Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.
Vs 7-8, Work hard but learn to enjoy what you have also labored for, don’t be carried away with gathering riches without end. Let us take time to ask ourselves who we are gathering for because at the end it is all emptiness with no one to share it with. Wealth is sweeter when we share it with others.
7. Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:
8. There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with is wealth. “For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?” This too is meaningless — a miserable business!
Vs 9-12, Life without a true friend or companion is not satisfying. Two are better than one. Learn to connect with others and build good relationships because life is sweeter with friends; success is fulfilling when you have someone to share it with. The advantage of togetherness cannot be overemphasized; remember, one broom stick can be broken without stress but a stack of broom sticks cannot be easily broken.
9. Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
10. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
11. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
12. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Vs 13, Be open to receive instructions and friendly rebuke or warning, for a young one who listens to advise is wiser and better than an old foolish person who will not listen to advise or warning. Wisdom involves learning and listening to others, it involves humility to listen to the warning and rebuke of others. If you are wise to listen to others it will bring you riches and the position of a foolish king will be yours. Shalom!
13 Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to heed a warning. 14 The youth may have come from prison to the kingship, or he may have been born in poverty within his kingdom. 15 I saw that all who lived and walked under the sun followed the youth, the king’s successor. 16 There was no end to all the people who were before them. But those who came later were not pleased with the successor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
The namw “Ecclesiastes” comes from a Greek word indicating a person who calls an assembly, so it makes sense that the author identified himself in Ecclesiastes 1:1 by the Hebrew word qoheleth, translated as “Preacher. King Solomon wrote the book and it holds so many lessons. Lessons that can guide us through the struggle of this world. Today we will be focusing on Ecclesiastes 3.
There is time for everything vs 1-8. God has made everything beautiful in it’s time.
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2. a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3. a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4. a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5. a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6. a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7. a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8. a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
No one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. We cannot know everything about God or what He does. vs 9-11
9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Rejoice, and do good with what you have and with your life. Enjoy the fruit of your ‘good’ labor_it is the Gift of God. Vs 12-13.
12. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.
Vs 14, whatever God does stands forever, we cannot add to what God has already made, neither can we subtract from it.
14. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
Vs 15, what we see today has been in existence; and what we would see in the future had already been in existence. In essence, there is nothing really new in this world. What we call new and futuristic is what we modify from what God has already created. That’s why He demands us to give account of everything.
15. Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.
Vs 16-17, wickedness may overcome righteousness, but God will judge the righteous and the wicked. There is a set time for (to judge ) every purpose and every work (what we do).
16 And I saw something else under the sun: In the place of judgment—wickedness was there, in the place of justice — wickedness was there.
17 I said to myself,“God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.”
Vs 18-21, after all, there is no difference between us and the animals when it comes to death. We all die and return to the dust from where we were taken. The only difference is that our breath goes back to the source (goes up) God. And that of the animals goes down to the earth since God did not breath into their nostrils the breath of life. But the bottom line is we all breath, so we all die.
18 I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. 19 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath[c]; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”
Vs22, so in conclusion, nothing is better than rejoicing in the work of your hand and the delighting yourself in the good of your labor which is a gift from God; this is your heritage and only reward here on earth, to use very well what God has blessed you with to do good. Because when you die, you cannot come back to see how those who inherited all you have acquired will use it. So do the best that you can now that you are alive. We only have one life, live it to the fullest in glory to God. May God bless and keep us to His Glory. Amen.
22 So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?
Rape has a history that almost equaled the history of man’s creation. It is on record that the first recorded incidence of rape in the Bible was in the Book of Genesis.
In Nigeria, the offense of rape is a heinous crime and the drafters of the Criminal Code deemed it fit for life imprisonment upon conviction.
Despite all these, rape in Nigeria seems to be on the increase and the question on every lip is, what is the way forward.
First of all, thieves, rapists, and other psychos will always be there. What will should focus on is how to avoid them.
We live in a world where we have a lot of psychos and they will be around till Christ comes. For example, I live in Warri, Delta state, for me to stay safe, I have to avoid night movements. The only time I have encountered armed robbers in Warri was when I was out till 9pm.
What I am trying to say is that no matter how we preach, rapists will always be there and they are criminals just like armed robbers.
The best thing is to know your environment and know how to avoid them. You as a girl, try to avoid soft spots like lonely roads, nights and meeting up unknown guys in hotels. Don’t also move alone in a quiet/dark place.
Parents with female children should be careful the way guys (uncles, pastors, friends etc) play with their daughter and also do well to educate their male children as well.
And you guys raping girls, you will reap what you sow one day.
Hurray! Sabbath is here. Are you excited? Are you ready for it? Do you know that going to church late is both contempt and insult on GOD? Do you also know that going to church late is a habit which you can determine to stop?
Why not begin to plan for tomorrow service now?
Here are some tips on how to overcome going late to church
- Iron all your outfits before you sleep.
- Polish/ clean footwear before you sleep.
- Get your Bible/Jotter/ tablet/ bags etc ready at one place.
- Get your Tithe/ offering also ready
- Sleep early
- Wake up on time
- “Even when I get there early, I won’t meet anyone”
Avoid the above saying. Get there early and let someone come and meet you. Don’t forget you are also someone.
- Washing on Sabbath before church is not encouraged. It may delay you.
- If it takes you 15 minutes to drive/walk to the church, always make allowance for extra time in case of anything. For instance, if service is 8am and it takes you 10 minutes to drive/walk to church, it’s always better to leave home 7:40.
- Plan to get to church at least 10 minutes before service starts.
- Don’t give room for friends and relatives to visit you few hours to fellowship. If they come when you are preparing to church, take them along or make them wait until you are back. They are not more important than God.
NB: going to church early ignites the blessing of the Lord upon your life. Don’t be a habitual late comer to church, it’s a dishonour to your God.
Lateness to service is unfaithfulness.
See you in church … Maranatha
Sometimes we ignore the little things that can save our lives simply because they are cheap and easy to get. Today we will be looking at the wonders of charcoal.
My Favourite book says “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.” 1 Cor. 1:27 (NKJV)
What is charcoal?
According to Collins English Dictionary, charcoal is a black amorphous form of carbon made by heating wood or other organic matter in the absence of air: used as a fuel, in smelting metal ores, in explosives, and as an absorbent. Many people use charcoal to make fires, for cooking, and for heating up water.
How to get Activated Charcoal
Charcoal is very easy to get. First heat the wood, then break the charred wood into smaller sizes and then grind it into fine powder.
Can any wood be used?
For effectiveness, we recommend you get your activated charcoal from coconut shell or any other specific wood with ultra-fine grains.
How can I store my Activated Charcoal?
You don’t need any special device or container to store your charcoal powder, store it in a dry, tightly covered container; this will keep it fresh for a very long time.
Can I get Charcoal from a chemist or pharmacy?
If you cannot go through the stress of burning and grinding charcoal, you can get charcoal in small round tablets from a pharmacy or chemist, but look for the ones from coconut shell or any specific wood with ultra-fine grains and avoid the ones with sweetener.
Does it have taste?
Charcoal has no smell or taste. It is completely safe.
Can burnt food be used as charcoal?
The answer is NO, burned food is not charcoal. Burned food is very bad for the body and should be avoided.
Benefits of charcoal
- It is very easy to get or make
- Very cheap
- It is very simple to use (both inside and outside of the body)
- Very safe to use
- Works well for many diseases
Uses of charcoal
Charcoal can be used to help treat the inside of our body: Gas, Diarrhea, Vomiting, and even Poisoning
Outside the body: Infections or inflammation of the skin and joints, Eye and ear infections, Wounds from poisonous plants, Bee stings and other insect bites, Spider and snake bites
Dosage for simple ailments
Adult: Mix 1 to 2 large spoonful of charcoal powder with a small amount of water.
Then fill the glass with more water and stir well.
Drink the mixture and then drink some clean water afterwards.
Repeat the charcoal dose after each loose or watery stool, and after each vomiting experience.
Children: one half of the amount that we would give a grown person.
If they have a lot of stooling and vomiting, you must give them other liquids like rice water or water with a little bit of sugar and take them to the health worker quickly.
Note: Charcoal can be taken any time it is needed but it is best taken between meals, like 2 hours after eating or drinking medicine.
If someone has taken poison or taken too much medicine, the best thing to do is to quickly give that person some charcoal (within 30 minutes) and then take the person to the clinic.
Dosage for poisoning
Immediately drink 4 to 10 large spoonful of charcoal powder mixed with a small amount of water. (Take the larger amount if the person has eaten in the past 2 hours)
Then refill the same glass with water and drink it down.
Repeat the charcoal dosage in 10 minutes, and any time later if the person starts feeling worse.
Note: Do not give charcoal by mouth if the person is sleepy, unconscious, or may be unable to swallow. In such cases, take the person to the clinic or hospital immediately.
Important: Always keep charcoal powder ready to use at home
Using charcoal on the skin
Charcoal can be used as a bath or applied as a plaster.
- To treat large areas of the body
- It is simple to prepare
- Useful for skin disease
Add 2 cups of charcoal powder to a tub of water.
You can put the whole body in the charcoal water.
- For treating specific part of the body
- For treating poisonous bites
- Mix charcoal powder and a little water and make a wet charcoal paste.
- Spread the paste on one half of a thin, folded clean piece of cloth. Then cover the paste with the other half of
- the cloth.
- Place the charcoal plaster on the affected body part— making sure it completely covers the area.
- Wrap the charcoal plaster with plastic—to keep it from drying out.
- Bandage or tape the plaster securely in place.
Note: Before applying a plaster we should wash the skin very well with soap and water.
- Then apply the charcoal plaster and leave it on for several hours or overnight.
- In the morning, remove and throw away the plaster.
- Prepare a new plaster and put it on the skin. You can continue this for several days or until all of the swelling is gone.
How to Treat Poisonous Bites
If someone has been bitten by a poisonous snake or spider, stung by a scorpion or many bees, they must be treated immediately.
Important: Always keep charcoal powder ready to use at home
- Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water immediately.
- Apply a large charcoal plaster directly over the bitten area (or the entire area).
- Cover the plaster with plastic—to keep it moist.
- Change the charcoal plaster every 10 to 15 minutes—until the pain and swelling are gone.
Also, take charcoal by mouth
2 large spoonful of charcoal in 1/2 glass of water every 2 hours.
Do this 3 times.
Then take 1 small spoonful every 4 hours for the next day (24 hours).
Every time you take charcoal, you must drink 2 glasses of water.
Note: Some snakes are very dangerous and can kill people. You must act fast when you treat snakebite. If the snakebite is poisonous, pain and swelling will come within 10 minutes. Charcoal works best when it is applied to the snakebite before much swelling comes.
- With snakebites, remember to: Make the person stay very quiet and still.
- Send someone to get medical help quickly.
- Apply a large charcoal plaster as soon as possible, while you are waiting for medical help or while you are on your way to the clinic or hospital.
- Give 2 tablespoons of charcoal mixed with water, for the person to drink if he or she is not sleepy or unconscious.
- If available, put some ice on the wound, both above and below the charcoal plaster. If it becomes too painful remove the ice.
Do you know that a wise use of charcoal has saved many people with poisonous snakebites? Isn’t it wonderful that such a simple medicine from nature can help treat so many diseases, and save so many lives?
Note: they are other uses of charcoal-whiten of teeth, mold cleansing, water filtration etc.
When used properly, the simple remedies of nature are often more effective than many modern medicines. Get your charcoal now without delay
Like I said before “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.” 1 Cor. 1:27 (NKJV)
May God bless you with good health as you seek to make a wise use of the simple remedies He has provided.
Don’t forget to use the comment box for questions and testimonies.
“Alcohol is a very effective dissolving agent. It dissolves families, marriages, friendships, jobs, bank accounts, and neurons, but never problem.” Yet, the practice of social drinking has become such a widespread habit in society that the total abstainer almost finds himself in the position of a heretic!
With the lack of explicit scriptural restriction from alcohol, theologians have controversial positions toward this practice. The Seventh – day Adventist understanding of the Word of God emphasizes on pure abstinence from all toxic substances including alcohol for our “body are the temple of the Holy Spirit”(1Cor 3:16-17).
Promoting health ministry principles that will prevent alcoholism is of a great importance to the church. In the present paper, attention will be paid to necessary measures to discourage alcohol intake, and to recover alcoholic addicted ones. To arrive at this goal, lines will be allotted to highlighting alcohol in Scriptures, and its effects on individuals and society.
Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a broad term for any drinking of alcohol that results in problems. It was previously divided into two types: alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence (Jill, 2014). In a medical context, alcoholism is said to exist when two or more of the following conditions is present: a person drinks large amounts over a long time period, has difficulty cutting down, acquiring and drinking alcohol takes up a great deal of time, alcohol is strongly desired, usage results in not fulfilling responsibilities, usage results in social problems, usage results in health problems, usage results in risky situations, withdrawal occurs when stopping, and alcohol tolerance has occurred with use. Risky situations include drinking and driving or having unsafe sex among others. Alcohol use can affect all parts of the body but particularly affects the brain, heart, liver, pancreas, and immune system. This can result in mental illness, Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome, an irregular heart-beat, liver failure, and an increase in the risk of cancer, among other diseases.
Alcohol use disorder (which includes a level that’s sometimes called alcoholism) is a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect, or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking.
The word alcohol is probably derived from the Arabic “al kohl” meaning a fine powder, probably antimony sulfide, used then in making cosmetics. In time it came to mean the essence of something. Still, much later, in the 16th century AD, an early chemist, Paracelsus, defined it as the most subtle part of anything” and in this sense spoke of it as “alcool-vini”. Gradually the “vini” was dropped but it was not until the 19th century that the term “alcohol” came to be used generally for wine-spirits”.
Now, in chemistry, the word alcohol denotes a branch of the hydro-carbon family. It is a group of liquids containing the elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. There are 59 varieties of alcohol, the most important for our consideration being ethyl alcohol, fruit or grain spirit. Alcoholic beverages contain ethyl alcohol only, of which the chemical formula is C2H5OH.
Pure alcohol is a colorless fluid: it boils at 173 F and freezes solid at 200 F below zero. Absolute alcohol, 99% ethyl alcohol, is used in scientific and laboratory procedures. methylated spirit is ethyl alcohol to which 5% of methyl alcohol has been added to make it unpalatable. Both ethyl and methyl alcohol are highly toxic. Ethyl alcohol taken in excess can cause acute alcoholic poisoning which may be fatal.
Alcoholic beverages fall into three main categories according to the manner of their manufacture and the percentage of alcohol in them.
1. The brewed beverages are made from grain such as barley, oats, and maize. They include ale, beer, porter and stout. They are made by the conversion of starch in the cereals into sugar by the action of enzymes and the subsequent fermentation of the sugar. The conversion of the starch is effected by malt, which is usually sprouted barley. The enzyme formed during the sprouting converts the starch into sugar and then yeast is added which converts some of the sugar into alcohol.
2. Wines are made from fruits, usually grapes, by the direct fermentation of the sugar in the fruit Juice.
3. Distilled spirits include whisky, gin, rum, brandy, vodka. They are produced by fractional distillation of wines or brewed beverages to concentrate the alcohol in the distillate.
The active agent in fermentation is yeast which is a microscopically small plant usually present in the air or in dust. It produces an enzyme which is capable of breaking down sugars and finally converting the sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
PLACE OF ALCOHOLISM IN SCRIPTURES
The issue of alcohol is an old one. It can be traced from Old Testament time through New Testament. Some people use Bible to argue that alcohol intake has nothing wrong. Throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, references to wine and strong drink occur frequently, sometimes in terms of appreciation, sometimes of strong condemnation. Thus in Isaiah we read, “As the new wine is found in the cluster … destroy it not for a blessing is in it.” (Isaiah 65:8). But in an earlier chapter we find a solemn warning against it, “Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that tarry late into the night, till wine inflame them” (5:11). This leads to the question on Biblical support to temperance and abstinence from alcoholic beverages.
Alcohol in the Old Testament
The first mention in the Old Testament of alcoholic beverages occurs in Genesis 9:21where Noah planted a vineyard and drank of the wine and was drunk. The writer had offered his explanation, in an earlier chapter (Genesis 4:21, 22), of the origin of institutions and inventions. Here he returns to his theories of beginnings, and sees in the forsaking, by the Hebrews, of their former nomadic way of life for that of settlement and cultivation of the soil, the curse laid on Canaan, the son of Ham.
Other OT texts relating to alcohol include Numbers6:3; Judges 13:7; Jeremiah 32:1-10; Amos 2:11.
Alcohol in the New Testament
In the New Testament references to what are clearly intoxicating beverages occur for the most part in connection with those groups of people who had been brought into the Christian faith in Asia-Minor, Greece and Rome, at a time when morals were low and indulgence in alcoholic drinks excessive.
In the Gospels there are only two definite allusions to intoxicating beverage. The first is surely significant. It occurs in the opening chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke in the announcement made to Zacharias of the coming birth of the forerunner of the Messiah. “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and he shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Luke 1:15).
The second reference is in the parable of the faithless servant, who begins to eat and to drink and be drunken” (Luke 7:33).
References in the Epistles to inebriety are numerous and explicit. St. Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles and he was frequently confronted with excessive drinking even within the young Christian congregations where the converts were either Jews living in non-Jewish environments or Gentiles brought in from paganism with its bacchanalian feasts (e.g., 1 Corinthians 11:21).
True, there is no absolute prohibition given of the use of wine, but St. Paul had on a number of occasions to rebuke his listeners in no uncertain terms: “Let us walk becomingly . . . not in reveling and drunkenness” (Romans 13:13). Among the offenses which will exclude men from the Kingdom of God, he warns them, is drunkenness: “Make no mistake … no drunkards . . . will possess the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:10). Again he points out the right course to the Ephesians, “Do not give way to drunkenness and the dissipation that goes with it, but let the Holy Spirit fill you” (Ephesians 5:18). The Galatians, too, need the warning that those who indulge in “drinking bouts, orgies and the like”, will never inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:20, 21).
PROBLEM OF ALCOHOLISM