Thursday, 29 November 2007

Ecclesiastes 9:13-18

Did you realise that we're living in a world that has got it all upside-down?


Solomon notices that wisdom is better than strength and yet people celebrate the strong and forget the wise. People have got it upside-down.

The tragedy of the city Solomon observes is not an isolated one. We see this kind of thing repeating itself everywhere. The right things are not the popular things. The things that do us and others good are the last things we feel like doing - and they're the hardest things to do. We see this playing out in those around us and in our own lives too.

Solomon sees it in the city and spots how crazy it is that people don't remember wisdom but we know that Solomon himself forgot wisdom too as he married into other false religions and got himself compromised. So he sees the problem all too clearly but he's not exempt from it himself.

When we see others getting it wrong and upside-down, are we quick to judge or do we stay humble because we realise that we're pretty upside-down a lot of the time ourselves?

It's the root problem again - SIN.

It's not about slagging off a one-off city that's got it wrong. It's about recognising the sickness we all suffer from that makes us get things upside-down.

'Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Christ Jesus our Lord!' (Romans 7:24-25).

And Jesus is our only hope. And he's our world's only hope. Without him to show us the right way up, we're stuck in this hole without forgiveness.

O God, I need to feel that I have forgiveness from you. So often my good intentions do not become what I want them to be, and so often the good I want to do, I don’t do. It is hard to face up to the wrong that is in my life. When I feel your forgiveness, I feel clean and good inside and so free to be what you want me to be. Help me feel this goodness, and strengthen me to forgive those who have wronged me. I pray in the name of Christ who shows us the way to your forgiving presence. Amen.