"The Dangerous Duty of Delight"
Passage: Ecclesiastes 11:7–12:14
1. Don't forget your chief duty: fear God and keep His commandments, Ecclesiastes 12:9-14.
2. Keep His commandments joyfully, Ecclesiastes 11:8- 9; 12:1; Deuteronomy 28:47; Matthew 5:12; John 3:29; 15:11; 17:13; Philippians 3:1; 4:4.
3. Don't live pretentiously, Ecclesiastes 11:7-8.
4. Make wise plans to keep His commandments joyfully, Ecclesiastes 11:9; Matthew 4:19; Mark 10:45.
5. Get rid of anxiety producing vexations: bad friends, unnecessary entanglements, excessive and improper flat- screening, too much alcohol, debt, conflict, over-eating, phariseeism, Ecclesiastes 11:10; Philippians 4; James 4:11-12.
When God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by;
Let us (said he) pour on him all we can:
Let the world's riches, which dispersed lie,
Contract into a span.
So strength first made a way;
The beauty flow'd, then wisdom, honour, pleasure:
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that alone of all his treasure
Rest in the bottom lay.
For if I should (said he)
Bestow this jewel also on my creature,
He would adore my gifts instead of me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:
So both should losers be.
Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness:
Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to my breast.
- George Herbert