Dependency

What are you dependent on? For some of us, it's a job, others, family, and still, though many of us are loath to admit it, substance, porn, entertainment, busyness, or any other things that draw our attention away from our family, our friends, our lives, and, especially, almighty God. Most of the things on which we're dependent are not bad things. HOWEVER, any dependency apart from Christ Jesus separates us from Him. The substance abuse, porn, entertainment, and busyness are easy fixes (at least easy in that we know what they are, and can find ways to get them out of our lives), but what about those other dependencies? Dependency on a person is toxic, even in a healthy relationship. Dependency on a job is toxic, even if the job is good. Dependency on Family is toxic even if the family life is healthy; why? Aren't all these things that are good? Didn't God ordain marriage, say be fruitful and multiply, and ordain man to work 6 days? Yes, he did, which is why I said all of these things are good. However, they become toxic when they are our dependency. Here's what I mean: anything that we come to depend on that will eventually fail is toxic to us. Our jobs won't last forever; someday we'll retire, or get fired, or quit with ire (It rhymed...). Our relationships won't last forever, someday my wife and I will be separated by death, and I've seen all too often people who pledge undying love get divorced quick as you can say "Jack Robinson" (I don't know why you'd say that, but that's the expression). Sometimes, we place our hope in our kids and our families, but my kids will move on some day (I hope they will, independent of my wife and I, becoming men of God in their own right), and time, distance, and death will divide me from the rest of my family, even for a season (and, as Major Payne said, "Families split up all the time, don't you watch Oprah?"). The point is, we can't be dependent on the real estate here in this life. It's all perishing. This world is temporary, and is fading fast. The author of Ecclesiastes states "Vanity of vanities" (the Hebrew word is hevel, meaning grasping at smoke or vapor). All we can depend on in this life, and indeed forever, is God almighty. He does not change, He does not grow weary, He will not faint. God is the same Yesterday as He is today as He will be tomorrow. On that, and especially on Him you can depend.

Ecclesiastes 5 English Standard Version (ESV)


Fear God


[a] Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. [b] Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool's voice with many words.


When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Let not your mouth lead you[c] into sin, and do not say before the messenger[d] that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity;[e] but[f] God is the one you must fear.


The Vanity of Wealth and Honor


If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and righteousness, do not be amazed at the matter, for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them.But this is gain for a land in every way: a king committed to cultivated fields.[g]

10 He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. 11 When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? 12 Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.


13 There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, 14 and those riches were lost in a bad venture. And he is father of a son, but he has nothing in his hand. 15 As he came from his mother's womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand.16 This also is a grievous evil: just as he came, so shall he go, and what gain is there to him who toils for the wind? 17 Moreover, all his days he eats in darkness in much vexation and sickness and anger.


18 Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment[h] in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. 19 Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God.20 For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.


Footnotes:

a. Ecclesiastes 5:1 Ch 4:17 in Hebrew

b. Ecclesiastes 5:2 Ch 5:1 in Hebrew

c. Ecclesiastes 5:6 Hebrew your flesh

d. Ecclesiastes 5:6 Or angel

e. Ecclesiastes 5:7 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath”; also verse 10 (see note on 1:2)

f. Ecclesiastes 5:7 Or For when dreams and vanities increase, words also grow many; but

g. Ecclesiastes 5:9 The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain

h. Ecclesiastes 5:18 Or and see good


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