Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Musings on Ecclesiastes: Wisdom and Folly

Hello All,
King Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes, was the wisest man that ever lived.
In the course of writing this book, he noted down his observations and thoughts on wisdom and folly.
God had given him unparalleled wisdom to rule the kingdom of Israel and yet he acknowledged the limitations of his wisdom.

Musings on Ecclesiastes: Wisdom and Folly
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (28th Dec 2013)
The wise man walks steadily with light on his path
He is cautious in his dealings and avoids wrath
The sound counsel of others, he does not despise
He in turn offers to others his good advice

However, the foolish man lunges recklessly
Without looking at what lies ahead, he thoughtlessly
Allows his whims and fancies to steer his actions
To the changing winds, he abandons all caution

Vanity of vanities! All is vanity!
What is the meaning of wisdom? What is folly?
Death befalls both the wise as well as the foolish
Both will come to the end of their lives and perish

So the wisdom and folly of mere mortal men
Will cease to be after death and come to an end
But true wisdom has found its immortality
In Jesus, the Word and Light for humanity

Would you receive the true wisdom that Christ offers?
Or would you mock and sneer at it like the scoffers
Who dismissed and condemned him to death on the cross?
Scorn not but trust the Saviour who died for the lost

Points for Reflection:
Wisdom gives strength to the wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city.
(Ecclesiastes 7:19)
·         It is better to live wisely than foolishly on this earth. Wisdom is good for it keeps us safe.
·         A wise person is careful in handling his inheritance, unlike a foolish man who squanders his possessions. Earthly wisdom is able to preserve the life of a person while he is alive although it is unable to attain eternal life. It provides a sense of security, like money does, for life on this earth.
Wisdom is good with an inheritance, an advantage to those who see the sun. For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.
(Ecclesiastes 7:11-12)
·         A fool loses his temper often, making no effort to control it; but a wise person practices self-control.
Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.
(Ecclesiastes 7:9)
·         A wise person deals cautiously with people of authority, such as a king, by obeying them and not storming off in anger from their presence no matter how unreasonable they might be. However, that does not mean that we are to follow a king blindly in his evil cause although we should show them respect.
I say: Keep the king's command, because of God's oath to him. Be not hasty to go from his presence.             
(Ecclesiastes 8:2-3a)
Do not take your stand in an evil cause, for he [the king] does whatever he pleases.
(Ecclesiastes 8:3b)
Whoever keeps a command will know no evil thing, and the wise heart will know the proper time and the just way.
(Ecclesiastes 8:5)
·         True wisdom, being as wise as God is, is unattainable. No matter how wise you are, you can never fathom the depths of God’s wisdom.
All this I have tested by wisdom. I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me. That which has been is far off, and deep, very deep; who can find it out?
(Ecclesiastes 7:23-24)
·         Have you been living wisely? Have you been prudent in the way you spend your money, relate to others and make decisions? In what areas are you lacking wisdom? How could you learn to be wiser?

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
(Proverbs 9:10)
·         Earthly wisdom is temporal and it cannot save you for eternity. Yes, it is able to secure your well-being while you are living in this physical world; but it cannot save your soul.
·         True wisdom is found in God, the creator of the universe. Who are we, mere mortals, to boast of our finite wisdom and have no regard for the infinite wisdom of our Creator?
·         Have you received the true wisdom that Christ offers? Have you put your trust in his death on the cross for your sin? What is preventing you from accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour?
·         Those of us who trust in him can place our confidence in his wisdom for our salvation. Our loving God who keeps the earth spinning within its orbit without colliding with other planets will surely keep us trusting in him until we enter our heavenly abode with him. Isn’t that comforting to know? If you are feeling discouraged today, find comfort in the love and wisdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
(1 Corinthians 1:18)

·         How are you tempted at times to rely on your own wisdom in making decisions instead of seeking guidance from God’s Word? Are you submitting to Christ in the way you live or do you run life your own way?