Fooling or Ruling?

November 7, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Posted in Ecclesiastes | 2 Comments
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For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.

Ecclesiastes 9:12

No one gets out of life alive. Trying to ignore the reality of death does not make it go away. It’s better to face it and then to live with passion and joy. However, you must not think that just because you’ve decided to “give it all you’ve got,” you can predict the outcome. Life is unpredictable. Remember the expression about “the best laid plans of mice and men…
Sometimes our opportunities to do something really, really good will be thwarted.

This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me:

Ecclesiastes 9:13

The writer of Ecclesiastes says here is an example:

There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:

Ecclesiastes 9:14

Have you ever had the opportunity to help someone who was overwhelmed?

Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.

Ecclesiastes 9:15

And you actually did it? You bailed someone out even when it was inconvenient for you to do it – or even though you couldn’t really afford it? And then the person you bailed out just forgot about it – didn’t really appreciate it at all?

Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

Ecclesiastes 9:16

Then the next time, when the person you had helped pulled another stunt, or maybe got right back into the same trouble again, instead of coming to you for your proven wisdom, he looked for somebody stronger and just kept ignoring you…

The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.

Ecclesiastes 9:17

Somebody who was louder and more boisterous than you took your opportunity to really help this person, but instead led him astray. My wife‘s family has an expression: “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” There are times when the person who is the loudest, most irritating, or even self-centered winds up taking attention away from those who really need just as much – or maybe even more – attention. Warren Wiersbe‘s way of describing this is to point out that “empty barrels make the most noise.”

Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.

Ecclesiastes 9:18

Life is unpredictable. Doing what’s right is not always rewarded in this life. One sin can destroy a great deal of good, the way one bad apple spoils the whole barrel. Adam’s one sin turned the whole universe to moral darkness and decay. Our job as Christians is not to be passive, but it’s also not to build up our hopes in short-term solutions. The Christian life is an endurance race. We get knocked down many times, but we get up and keep going, and if God gives us wisdom to run well, we had better help up others who have fallen along the way. Because we know that somehow we’re going to win in the end.


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