1-4 | One moment of foolishness can destroy a life
5-7 | Things out of their expected place
8-20 | Shun foolish, long-winded prattling; Seek wise, industrious leaders; Don’t curse anyone, even in the privacy of your own home
This chapter might at first seem disjointed but the common theme is found at the end of verse 10 which I have used as the title, “Wisdom has the advantage of giving success.”
In the first section we find the Preacher listing a number of things that have been defiled or misdirected, each of which could have been avoided by having wisdom. In the second section, we see contrasts which could be attributed to having or not having wisdom. Then in the third and longest section, the Preacher starts by comparing various workers who, by way of attaining and applying wisdom, will make their work seem easier. Next he considers what a person says, or doesn’t, and how wisdom will aid a person in knowing when or when not to speak, especially those in positions of leadership.
Wisdom does have the advantage of giving success. So how does one gain wisdom in order to apply it to their lives. It can be accomplished in a couple of ways. First, by reading God’s word. Consider Proverbs 1:7.
Proverbs 1:7 NASB The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Note that is the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, not spiritual knowledge but knowledge. It is the beginning also. If you don’t start with the Creator of the universe and all of the “laws of nature” that He established first (see Proverbs 8), you will develop a distorted view of the universe and how to relate to it.
The next source of wisdom can be found in seeking out experts on whatever subject you are considering or wanting to learn more about, and seek to learn from them. Ideally, it would be someone who has the perspective of beginning with the Lord and then building on it as a solid foundation. While reading an experts books or articles, make sure that you have the attitude of the Bereans in Acts 17.
Acts 17:10-11 NASB The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
Additionally, we need to make sure that we don’t approach learning in a behavior driven, therapeutic manner, which place God somewhere outside of the center of the solution to whatever difficulty we may be trying to address and only call on Him when it is absolutely necessary. Since the fear of God is the beginning of knowledge, we need to include Him in every step of the process, knowing that we can’t truly understand anything, let alone attain salvation and restoration, apart from God.
Wisdom has the advantage of giving success.
Lord God, You established wisdom before You created the universe and from You we can an understanding of how to relate to and live in Your world. We pray that Your Spirit will help us discern the difference between those who would lead us to a knowledge of the truth beginning with You and those who would encourage us to seek human answers to eternally spiritual struggles. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
A devotional for Ecclesiastes 10.
|Date:||August 1, 2015|