After taking a break from Ecclesiastes for two weeks to focus on missions-related passages (leading up to and during Missions Conference here at Faith), I’m ready to jump back into this book. I left off at Ecclesiastes 7:4, so I will pick up right where I stopped…
Today I’m focusing on verses 5 and 7: “It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song of fools…Surely oppression destroys a wise man’s reason, and a bribe debases the heart.”
“The rebuke of the wise man” holds more value than “than the song of fools” even though the latter sounds more pleasant. The former knows how to talk about what is good, whereas the latter knows how to make whatever he talks about sound good. Sometimes it may be difficult to tell the two apart, but the results could be significant.
As for oppression and bribes…they are self-explanatory. The root of both of these problems is selfishness. Self-seeking desires lead to the oppression of others to attain one’s own ends and the receiving of bribes from others to further oneself. Selfishness destroys the good sense of the wise and corrupts the heart of the same. Self is man’s biggest hindrance to worshiping God and loving others and living a life that glorifies God. I need to guard myself against doing things with selfish motives and thinking only of myself.
If you want a good way to mess up your life,
Try putting others and God on a shelf.
Make your own desires important and rife,
Think about nothing but only yourself.
This method has worked to destroy the wise,
To pull down the great, to ruin the strong.
When a person becomes the best in his eyes,
His destruction is sure and his downfall headlong.