Thursday, 6 December 2007

Ecclesiastes 10:1-4

Solomon breaks into lists of wise ponderings now and again and the first part of chapter 10 seems to be one of these times...

Ecclesiastes 10:1-4




  • It only takes a little stupidity to overthrow, undo or wreck the hard work of wisdom (v1). Breaking a window is easier than repairing it. Saying harsh things is easier that building someone up (especially when harsh things are funny)! Foolishness is like sewage. Add a drop of it to a gallon of water and you get a gallon of sewage! Foolishness is easy. Wrecking things is easy.
  • Wisdom is opposite of stupidity and so wise people will inevitably live and behave very differently from people who are being stupid (v2). Stupidity is obvious but wisdom is less so (v3). It's harder to see the work of wisdom and even harder to see the impact it has. It takes time. On the other hand the work and impact of stupidity is often quick and obvious straight away.
  • Staying calm while others get angry will help make things right (v4). In the next section, Solomon will talk about when authorities establish things upside-down and put idiots in charge of the wise. He knows how easy it is to get caught up in the anger of people being rash and stupid. He knows it's possible and much better to stay calm knowing that God is in charge and no matter who's angry at us, we can still trust him and be calm. This will help us to set matters right if there's an opportunity. Getting angry like an idiot will only make matters worse.
Solomon speaks very plainly about wise people and stupid people but the truth is that we're a mixture. I know I can be wise at times but that I can also do and say things that are stupid. I think it's about what the mix is like. Am I more stupid than wise? Am I learning not to repeat the same stupid mistakes? Am I developing wisdom in reacting to certain situations? These are the kind of questions I think Solomon wants us to ask ourselves as he has done. He knows we're all a mixture of wisdom and foolishness and he wants for us to be changing. Most importantly of all, he knows that in order for us to become wise or to have any clue as to what it means to be wise - we must know God.

A prayer - Lord, thank you for showing me something of who you are. Thank you that I can know you for myself. But I don't want to stop knowing you more and more. There's so much of you that I haven't even seen or heard of or experienced and I want to know you more. I want to know your character and to have more of it as my own. I want to be like you, to be wise like you. Please guide me and show me more of you and your wisdom. Amen!