January 28: Carpe Diem
Genesis 44; Hebrews 8–9; Ecclesiastes 11:1–4
The Latin phrase Carpe Diem, means “seize the day.” Taking risks to make your life extraordinary is biblical, if done according to God’s plan and principles. The idea behind this comes from Ecclesiastes: “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days” (Eccl 11:1).
Bread acts as the symbol for substance in the ancient world; the author of Ecclesiastes is suggesting that we should follow God’s plan, even at the possible cost of our livelihood. He then suggests that what we give to God, He will return. This is opposite from a self-protection mentality. The “waters” in the proverb represent chaos, suggesting that in letting go of even the most chaotic circumstances, we learn about God’s ability to give what we need.
This is further illustrated when the author says, “Give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you know not what disaster may happen on earth.… He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap” (Eccl 11:2, 4). In other words, there is no real way to calculate the return on investment. Things can always go bad. But with God, that’s not the case. He honors the work of those who diligently follow Him and give of themselves.
In the eyes of the world, not everything will work out perfectly for those who willingly give to God. But it will work out in the spiritual long haul. So, when God calls us to something, the answer is Carpe Diem. And the question we should be asking Him is, “What can I do for you and your kingdom?”
What risks are you taking for God right now? Have you asked Him what risks He would like you to take?
JOHN D. BARRY
- Afterward he commanded his steward, saying, Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man’s money in his sack’s mouth. And put my cup, I mean, the silver cup, in the sack’s mouth of the youngest, and his corn money. And he did according to the commandment that Joseph gave him. And in the morning the men were sent away, they, and their asses. And when they went out of the city not far off, Joseph said to his steward, Up, follow after the men: and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good? Is not that the cup wherein my lord drinketh? and in the which he doth divine and prophesy? ye have done evil in so doing. And when he overtook them, he said these word sunto them. And they answered him, Wherefore saith my lord such words? God forbid that thy servants should do such a thing. Behold, the money which we found in our sacks’ mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land of Canaan: how then should we steal out of thy lord’s house silver or gold? With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, let him die, and we also will be my lord’s bondmen. And he said, now then let it be according unto your words: he with whom it is found, shall be my servant, and ye shall be blameless. Then at once every man took down his sack to the ground, and everyone opened his sack. And he searched, and began at the eldest, and left at the youngest: and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. Then they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and went again into the city. So Judah and his brethren came to Joseph’s house (for he was yet there) and they fell before him on the ground. Then Joseph said unto them, What act is this, which ye have done? know ye not that such a man as I, can divide and prophesy? Then said Judah, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? and how can we justify ourselves? God hath found out hte wickedness of thy servants : behold, we are servants to my lord, both we, and he, with whom the cup is found. But he answered, God forbid, that I should do so, but the man, with whom the cup is found, he shall be my servant, and go ye in peace unto your father. Then Judah drew near unto him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant now speak a word in my lord’s ears, and let not thy wrath be kindled against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh. My lord asked his servants, saying, Have ye a father, or a brother? And we answered my lord, We have a father that is old, and a young child, which he begat in his age: and his brother is dead, adn he alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him. Now thou saidest unto thy servants, Bring him unto me, that I may set mine eye upon him. And we answered my lord, The child cannot depart his father: for if he leave his father, his father would die. Then saidest thou unto thy servants, Except your younger brother come down with you, look in my face no more. So when we came unto thy servant our father, and showed him what my lord had said. And our father said unto us, Go again, buy ys a little food. Then we answered, We cannot go down, but if our youngest brother go with us, then will we go down: for we may not see the man’s face, except our youngest brother be with us. Then thy servant my father said unto us, Ye know that my wife bare me two sons. And the one went out from me, and I said, Of a surety he is torn in pieces, and I saw him not since. Now ye take this also away from me: if death take him, then ye shall bring down my gray head in sorrow to the grave. Now therefore, when I come to thy servant my father, and the child be not with us (seeing that his life dependeth on the child’s life.) Then when he shall see that the children is not come, he will die: so shall thy servants bring down the gray head of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave. Doubtless thy servant became surety for the child to my father, and, If I bring him not unto thee again, then I will bear the blame unto my fahter forever. Now therefore, I pray thee, let me thy servant abide for the child, as a servant to my lord, and let the child go up with his brethren. For how can I go up to my father: if the child be not with me, unless I would see the evil that shall come on my father. Genesis 44
- Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum, that we have such an high Priest, that sitteth at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heavens, And is a minister of the Sanctuary, and of that true Tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man. For every high Priest is ordained to offer both gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it was of necessity, that this man should have somewhat also to offer. For he were not a Priest, if he were on theearth, seeing there are Priests that according to the Law offer gifts, Who serve unto the pattern and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was warned by God when he wsa about to finish the Tabernacle. See, said he, that thou make all things according to the pattern, showed to thee in the mount. But now our high Priest hath obtained a more excellent office, inasmuch as he is the Mediator of a better Testament, which is established upon better promises. For if that first Testament had been unblameable, no place should have been sought for the second. For in rebuking them he saith, Behold, the days will come, saith the Lord, when I shall make with the house o fIsrael, and with the house of Judah a new Testament: Not like the Testament tha tI made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand, to lead them out of the land of Egypt: for they continued not in my Testament, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the Testament that I will make with the house of Israel, After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my Laws in their mind, and in their heart I will write them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and I will remember their sins and their iniquities no more. In that he saith a new Testament, he hath abrogated the old: now that which is disannulled and waxed old, is ready to vanish away. then the first Testament had also ordinances of religion, and a worldly Sanctuary. for the first Tabernacle was made, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread, which Tabernacle is called the Holy place. And after the second veil was the Tabernacle, which is called the Holiest of all, Which had the golden censer, and the Ark of the Testament overlaid round about with gold, wherein the golden pot, which had Manna, was, and Aaron’s rod that had budded,and the tables of the Testament. And over the Ark were the glorious Cherubims, shadowing the mercy seat:of which things we will not now speak particularly. Now when these things were thus ordained, the Priest went always into the first Tabernacle, and accomplished the service. But into the second went the high Priests alone, once every year, not without blood which he offered for himself, and for the ignorances of the people. Whereby the holy Ghost this signfied, that the way into hte Holiest of all was not yet opened, while as yet the first tabernacle was standing, Which was a figure for that present time, wherein were offered gifts and sacrifices that coul not make holy, concerning the conscience, him that did the service. Hebrews 8–9
- Cast thy bread upon the waters: for after many days thou shalt find it. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight: for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. If the clouds be full, they will pour fort rain upon the earth: and if the tree do fall toward the South, or toward the North, in the place that the tree falleth, there it shall be. He that observeth the wind shall not sow, and he that regardeth the clouds, shall not reap. Ecclesiastes 11:1–4