Psalm 127 The Voice (VOICE)
A song of Solomon for those journeying to worship.
Psalm 127 is attributed to Solomon, underscoring the futility of human endeavor apart from God. It is similar in tone and theme to other wisdom literature.
1 Unless the Eternal builds the house,
3 Know this: children are a gift from the Eternal;
Ecclesiastes 2:1-17 The Voice (VOICE)
2 Teacher: I said to myself, “Let me dabble and test you in pleasure and see if there is any good in that.” But look, that, too, was fleeting. 2 Of laughter I said, “Foolishness.” Of pleasure, “And in the end what is accomplished?” 3 So I thought about drinking wine, for it soothes the flesh. But all the while my mind was filled with thoughts of wisdom—about how to rein in foolishness—until I might understand the best way for us to live out our brief lives and number of days under heaven. 4 Next, I began some enormous projects, building my own houses and planting my own vineyards. 5 I designed impressive gardens and parks and planted them with all kinds of fruit trees. 6 I installed pools of water to irrigate the forests of young saplings. 7 I acquired male and female servants; I even had servants born into my household. I had herds of cattle, flocks of sheep and goats—more than anyone who had ever lived in Jerusalem before me. 8 I amassed a fortune in silver and gold, and I stockpiled the treasures of kings and provinces. I hired men and women to sing and entertain me, and I pampered myself with what every man desires—many women. 9 I surrounded myself with all this and became great, far greater than anyone who had ever lived in Jerusalem before me. And still, my wisdom never left my side. 10 Throughout this experiment, I let myself have anything my eyes desired, and I did not withhold from my mind any pleasure. What was the conclusion? My mind found joy in all the work I did—my work was its own reward! 11 As I continued musing over all I had accomplished and the hard work it took, I concluded that all this, too, was fleeting, like trying to embrace the wind. Is there any real gain by all our hard work under the sun?
12 I turned my attention to the ways of wisdom and folly and madness. I asked, “What is left for those who come after the king to do? They can only repeat what he has already done.”[a] 13 I realized that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness. 14 As the old saying goes:
The wise have eyes in their heads,
Yet I knew deep down that the same fate comes to both of them. 15 I said to myself, “Why do I try to be wise when my fate is the same as that of the fool? This pursuit is fleeting too.” 16 Neither the wise nor the fool will be remembered for very long once they are gone. The wise dies, and the fool alike. All are forgotten in the future. 17 So I began to hate life itself because all that is done under the sun is so harsh and difficult. Life—everything about it—is fleeting; it’s like trying to pursue the wind.
Colossians 3:18-4:1 The Voice (VOICE)
For Paul it isn’t enough just to believe the right things. Right belief always produces right living. The gift of salvation demands that we put into practice the character of our King. Just as we take off and throw away old, worn-out clothes, we must strip off certain attitudes and actions of our old selves. Since our lives have been made new in Him, things like sexual immorality, greed, anger, lies, and the rest must find no place in us. But it is not enough to strip off the old; we must put on the new. And that new creation has many qualities of Jesus: compassion, gentleness, and humility; putting up with each other, forgiving each other, and above all, loving each other. These are the ways of Jesus, so they must be our ways too.
18 Wives: be submitted to your husbands as is appropriate in the Lord. 19 Husbands: love your wives, and don’t treat them harshly or respond with bitterness toward them.
20 Children: obey your parents in every way. The Lord is well pleased by it. 21 Fathers: don’t infuriate your children, so their hearts won’t harbor resentment and become discouraged. 22 Slaves: obey your earthly masters in all things. Don’t just act earnest in your service only when they are watching. Serve with a sincere heart (even when others aren’t watching), fearing the Lord who is always watching! 23 So no matter what your task is, work hard. Always do your best as the Lord’s servant, not as man’s, 24 because you know your reward is the Lord’s inheritance. You serve the Lord, the Anointed One, and 25 anyone who does wrong will be paid his due because He doesn’t play favorites.
4 And to you masters: treat your slaves fairly and do what is right, knowing that you, too, have a Master in heaven.