“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13
Theme: Man’s reasoning
Date of Writing: 10th Century B.C
Key Words: Man – Used 47 times
Labor – 36 times
Under the sun – 30 times
Vanity – 37 times
The title of this book is in Hebrew Koheleth, signifying one who speaks publicly in an assembly. Koheleth is the name by which Solomon speaks of himself throughout the book. The book professes to be, --the confession of a man of wide experience looking back upon his past life and looking out upon the disorders and calamities which surround him. The writer is a man who has sinned in giving way to selfishness and sensuality, who has paid the penalty of that sin in satiety (a “had enough or too much” state), and weariness of life, but who has through all this been under the discipline of a divine education, and has learned from it the lesson which God meant to teach him.
As I began to study our Ecclesiastes portion of the reading, God seemed to direct me in the path of wisdom. During the path of reading, I circled every verse that mentioned “wise” or “wisdom” and took God’s knowledge, and began to “Mind-Map” a course for myself. This was so enjoyable to me personally, and what lay before me was a list of “Why I Want Wisdom.”
The “Why I Want Wisdom” List
1. It will make my face shine; your countenance will have strength, and you will possess a tranquil conscience.
“…a man's wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed.” 8:1
2. I will become a discerner of time and judgment. It is important to know the right time and appropriate way of doing things isn’t it? And, when to know we must obey, regardless of how we feel in the matter.
“…a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment.” 8:5b
3. I will fear God; realizing his continual presence, and serving Him with reverence.
“…I know that it shall be well with them that fear God” 8:12b
4. I will learn to apply my heart and see God’s work; God’s judgments are unsearchable, and his ways go beyond our understanding or ability to ever find out why. There needs to be a cheerful resignation of ourselves to His will – with a believing, loving , and obedient spirit.
“…Then I beheld all the work of God,” 8:16, 17
5. I will learn to trust God more; I can’t discern who God loves and hates more by my/their prosperity or adversity.
“For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God:” 9:1
6. I will overcome and conquer areas in my life that most people are not aware of .
“…and he by his wisdom delivered the city;” 9:15
7. I will be a woman of strength rather than a strong woman.
“…Wisdom is better than strength:” 9:16
8. Your words will improve.
“The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.” 9:17
9. I will be equipped for the potholes of life; if God is for us, who can be against us? There is a commanding power and force in wisdom.
“…Wisdom is better than weapons of war:” 9:18
10. I will feel God’s presence with me and I will be more on guard than a sinner.
“A wise man's heart is at his right hand...” 10:2
11. My steps in life will be clear and I will not yield to pride and revenge; decisions will be made without haste, considering the difficulties and the consequences of the decisions I make.
“…but wisdom is profitable to direct.” 10:10
12. I will grow in grace; taking precaution against hurt and misjudgment, thus avoiding personal setbacks through an injured spirit.
“The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious…” 10:12
13. I will learn knowledge and my life will be in order; having an upright life, basing our life on truth rather than feelings. God’s inspired wisdom equips us for any task!
“And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.” 12:9
I love solutions, and the pinnacle throughout Ecclesiastes was learning the solution for life!
1. It is best if man finds God early in his life – Chapter 11:9, 10; 12:1, 2 “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes…”
2. It is best if man fears God throughout his life – Chapter 12:13, 14 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
The Bible says that the fear of God is the “beginning of wisdom.” And to fear God is the antidote to following creature idols, and "vanities;"
Self-righteousness (Ec 7:16, 18)
Wicked oppression and other evils (Ec 8:12-13)
Mad mirth (entertainment), (Ec 2:2; 7:2-5)
Self-mortifying avarice (greediness or covetousness), (Ec 8:13,17)
Youth spent without God (Ec 11:9; 12:1).
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