Looking For Love
A daily devotion for February 16th
23 All this I tested by wisdom and I said,
"I am determined to be wise"—
but this was beyond me.
24 Whatever wisdom may be,
it is far off and most profound—
who can discover it?
25 So I turned my mind to understand,
to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things
and to understand the stupidity of wickedness
and the madness of folly.
26 I find more bitter than death
the woman who is a snare,
whose heart is a trap
and whose hands are chains.
The man who pleases God will escape her,
but the sinner she will ensnare.
27 "Look," says the Teacher, "this is what I have discovered:
"Adding one thing to another to discover the scheme of things-
28 while I was still searching
but not finding—
I found one upright man among a thousand,
but not one upright woman among them all.
I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare. (Ecclesiastes 7:26)
Verse 26 states a remarkable revelation of what a keenly intelligent and resourceful man found out about life. We must remember, Solomon is honestly recording his own experience.
He found that he was trapped by sexual seductions. Many men or women can echo what he is saying; He went looking for love and thought he would find it in a relationship with a woman. He went looking for that which would support him, strengthen him, and make him feel life was worth living, but what he found was nothing but a fleeting thrill. He found himself involved with a woman who did not give him what he was looking for at all; he still felt the same empty loneliness as before.
I read an article by a young woman who told about how she sought the answer to the hungers of her life in one relationship after another with men. She said she woke up one morning lying in bed with a man she had met just the night before. As she looked at this male sleeping beside her, she said she felt the most intense loneliness she had ever experienced. She realized then that her lifestyle was compounding, not solving, the emptiness and loneliness of her life. She went on to talk about how she found a relationship with God through the Lord Jesus and became a Christian and testified to the fullness she found in that relationship. What a confirmation her record is of what we have here in this passage.
The Searcher also honestly records the way of escape:
The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare (Ecclesiastes 7:26b). We must remember that this is the man who had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines; he was involved with one thousand women. In all that experience, he found nothing to satisfy the searchings of his heart. But he did come to realize that the person who fears God, who understands God, whose eyes are opened and whose heart is taught by the Word of God, would escape this.
One of the most important lessons we must learn about life is that sex outside of marriage arrests the mutual process of discovery. I have seen this happen many times with young couples who were obviously growing in the Lord, who began to know one another, to love one another, to discover things they liked and disliked, and then suddenly the relationship soured, a weirdness set in, things went wrong, and they began to quarrel and fight. Invariably it turned out that they gave way to their temptations, canceling out every attempt to discover who the other one was.
Lord You know how easy it is for me to search for love in places that I have no business being. Teach me to heed Your warnings and keep my heart pure.
Life Application: The billion dollar industry of internet pornography is a snare today for many. Devoid of any relationship, it takes one away from the only relationship that truly satisfies.
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Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.