Friday, April 25, 2008

Gleanings from Ecclesiastes Ten

"If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences." (v.4)

I consider this to be wonderful advice for wives. “How so?” you may ask. Well, think with me a minute: In the home, may we assume the "ruler" to be the husband, according to Ephesians five, etc.? And would it be too politically incorrect to consider "thy place" to be the much maligned place of submission, also found in Ephesians? Using these designations, how about this for a homespun, “S.J.S.” paraphrase: "When your hubby gets huffy, don't huff back, and things will blow over a whole lot quicker!"

"If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength..." (v.10)

There's nothing worse than trying to cut with a dull knife. You always end up having to work twice as hard with less satisfying results. The Spirit of God in our lives will give us that sharp edge which will make all the difference in our service to God, and our effectiveness with others. That's why it's imperative that our relationship with Him be jealously guarded (Eph.4:30). Otherwise, you and I are going to end up having to work twice as hard with less satisfying results.

"...[M]oney answereth all things." (v.19)

Or, as the old saying goes, "Money talks." This cynical statement may be the theme of today's society, but here are a few things money won't tell you:

It won't tell you that loving it is the root of all evil; nor will it tell you that it was the price Judas paid to betray the Son of God. Money won't tell you that it was used to pay off the soldiers to lie, and say that Jesus' body was stolen; and it won't tell you that it can buy everything but a friend, happiness, and eternal life. Oh, yes, money can talk, but it won't tell you the most important things.

"[F]or a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter." (v.20)

Here’s another old saying. When someone wants to relate something for which he or she is hesitant to divulge the source, this individual may simply say, "A little bird told me." Well, here are some things a few birds told me, and I don’t mind at all sharing my source: A dove told me that Jesus was the beloved Son of God (Matt.3:16-17); an eagle told me that if I would wait on the Lord, I can mount up with wings like his own (Isa.40:31); a swallow told me that the altar of God is the best place to take my children (Psl.84:3); and a sparrow told me that although my Heavenly Father cares enough for all of them to attend each one of their funerals, He still values me much more (Matt.10:29-31).

Now that we've finished our gleaning, we can bundle up our treasure and go home, content to have needed nourishment for the journey. And rest assured, my friend, there's more where that came from!

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