Monday, October 13, 2014

Righteousness And Wisdom

Ecclesiastes 2:20-3:8

“Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.
For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.  For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?  For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.” (Eccleaiastes 2-20-23)

Realizing that everything he had accomplished didn’t produce a lasting sense of worth or Solomon got even more depressed.  It was even worse when he looked around and saw how often people who had worked their whole lives to accomplish something ended up turning it over to someone who had nothing invested and didn’t appreciate the work they had done.  All their sacrifices and struggles just become meaningless in such a case.
“There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.  For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?” (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25)

God has designed the world so that the best thing a man can have in this life is to enjoy doing things he can feel good about and provide what he needs every day.  Solomon had accomplished more than anyone of his time in a very short time, and he realized that all the pleasure he could be sure of getting was what he was experiencing while he did it. 
“For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit,” (Ecclesiastes 2:26)

God rewards those who do what pleases him with both knowledge and wisdom, the ability to learn things easily, and the ability to think about how to use what he learns to accomplish things effectively, resulting in pleasure or joy in what he has done.  Man was created to please God and it is what will provide him the greatest level of pleasure.  Revelation 4:11 says, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”  

Those who choose to focus on pleasing themselves rather than God, heaping up things for themselves miss out on the joy, and ultimately God will give what they have accumulated to those who have pleased him.  All their efforts will ultimately result in depression and frustration.  The level of frustration can be increased by impatience of procrastination.

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. “ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

There is a proper time for everything.  An action taken at the right time can make one’s life immeasurably better, while the same action at a different time can be a disaster.   The wisdom to know when to take an action or when not too is invaluable.  Without it a person finds themselves constantly having to redo or work around things because they did them at the wrong time.  It is really frustrating and depressing to find out your efforts just made things harder.    The wisdom comes from God.

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