Lets finish off chapter 11 – Eccl 11:6-10
v6: Do not withhold your hand: Don’t let your hand rest – we must not stop, we need to keep going.
Note: In the Rabbinical literature it talks about mixing studying with work. Working physically (in order to support ourselves) is done in the daylight (“morning”) and studying (learning Biblical truth) is done by candlelight (“evening”). This verse teaches us that it is wise to mix work with study – to balance our lives out with both things. Both can lead to good things – prosperous/fruitfulness. G-d often teaches us spiritual truth through work (labour), but through the study of G-d’s Word, we can learn principles of business, of workmanship etc. They are disciplines that often complement one another.
v7: Sweet: Could also be understood as “pleasant”.
- The eyes to behold the sun: Daylight is a time of opportunity (John 9:4). Are we taking advantage of the opportunities that G-d has given to us? Are we utilizing the time that He has given to us to serve Him?
v8: Although we are going to have bad days we need to focus on the good. Often, people get so caught up in negativity that when opportunities arise they don’t see them because they’re focusing on the wrong thing.
- Rejoices in them all: Rejoicing is praising G-d. When we praise G-d it focusses our thoughts on good things. We develop an attitude of gratitude. This will result in good outcomes for us.
- Vanity: Futility (which is how we feel when we focus on the darkness, negativity) comes from the enemy. Satan loves to see people fret, be worried, downcast etc. He does not want us praising G-d as he knows the power of praise.
v9: Rejoice …in your youth: The literal word here should be translated “childhood”. In our childhood we need our thoughts to be set on a proper foundation. We need to learn to have an attitude of rejoicing from when we are very young. Parents need to help their children by diligently and daily reading the Word of G-d to them. This helps to lay a good foundation for them for when they are older and need to make their own decisions.
- Heart: People think with their hearts (Prov 23:7). Our thoughts need to be good – they need to be thinking within the will of G-d.
- In the days of your youth: This is now correctly translated “youth” and it speaks of our late teenage years.
- Walk in the ways of your heart: The heart (thoughts) should be focussed on the will of G-d. Every thought leads to action. Our thoughts produce deeds. These deeds are going to be judged by G-d.
v10: Sorrow: This word is incorrectly translated. It is a word that has to do with anger. We need to remove anger from our hearts. This is not talking about righteous anger (Eph 4:26) but is talking about anger from a worldly standpoint. We don’t need to get emotional about the world when it rises up against us. We should not be surprised when we are persecuted by those in the world. Yeshua has warned us that we will be hated by the world.
- Put away evil from your flesh: Don’t do things that are in conflict to/opposite to the will of G-d. When we are angry we will not perceive what G-d’s will is.
- Childhood and youth are vanity: Although it is so important to have a good foundation, as a child and as a teenager, it is not how we start life but it is how we finish it that is of utmost importance. This chapter ends with an admonition. This is a very serious warning that reminds us that we need to finish well.