Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ecclesiastes, chapter 7

One of the hardest things to deal with in life is knowing that God is in control even when things are going poorly. It is hard to accept this , but it is true because god created the darkness as well as the light. The notes in my study Bible pointed this out today when I was reading for Ecclesiastes 7. It stated that God is sovereign over everything, and that includes disaster. My Bible pointed us to Job 2:10 in this, where Job states that we must accept the bad from god, as well as the good. That is where we are linked to Ecclesiastes today.

13 Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?
14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future. Ecclesiastes 7:13-14

There are two ways of looking at this. The first way is a hopeless way. In that way, we resign ourselves tot eh fate that we control nothing. It’s like a Puritan “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” view where we cannot do anything for ourselves. The other view is one that can bring us joy in this life. In that view, we still accept that we control things, but we are relieved that we don’t have to worry about that control. Think about it. Would you really want total control of the weather? A city? Pretty much anything beyond yourself? It seems like the more we try to control, the more chaos follows. This was the downfall of several dictators. This relates to our next verse somewhat.

20 There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins. – Ecclesiastes 7:20

To me, this is proof that God is all powerful. This is a connection to the salvation that we find in Christ’s death on the Cross. If not for that death, we would we be lost. The fact that we need that salvation comes from not being perfect. That is very simply mentioned right here. None of us are perfect. If we were perfect, we would be totally righteous in our own right. True righteousness only comes through Christ.

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. – Ecclesiastes 7:24-25

This is why I am a student of life long learning. Wisdom is fleeting. It is even more difficult to obtain if we are not constantly seeking it. Sometimes we must simply take a step back and ask, “okay, what is god trying to tell me here? What can I learn from this?” We also can gain wisdom by listening to others. Assuming we always have the answers is the worst thing we can do. I know if I did that, I would really be in trouble. It is our folly when we don’t seek after more wisdom as long as we are breathing.

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