Chapter 10 of Ecclesiastes has quite a few insights on how to live. I have highlighted some verses and expounded on them a bit, then split them up into two posts. The first post can be found here.
``If the serpent bites before it is charmed, there is no use for a charmer.`` The damage is already done. Basically this tells us that whatever the situation may be, we need to find help before it is too late.
``The words of a wise mans` heart are gracious and win him favour, but the lips of a fool consume him.`` Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Well, not according to this scripture. Words have weight, direction and influence for good or bad. One simple word can lead to devastation, like a spark can light a whole forest ablaze. Do not be mistaken, words are powerful.
Secondly, a fool multiplies words. This is one of my pet peeves. I really dislike listening to someone who multiplies words. It becomes a plethora of words devoid of meaning. It`s maddening and boring all at the same time--and worse, you lose the direction of the conversation and go round and round going nowhere. It's almost as if he just enjoys listening to himself/herself speak. It's best to think about what you`re saying before you say it and keep it clear and concise.
``The labor of fools wearies them, because he does not even know how to get to town.`` Honestly, I think we`ve all been here. Everywhere we turn there is emptiness and futility. We don`t know where to go or what to do and we become confused. The answer is simple really. It is to look for guidance in the right place. We can`t make it on our own, we need help. God shows us which step to take, and one step leads to many. Consider Him in all you do.
``Through indolence the rafters decay and the roof sinks in, and through idleness of the hands the house leaks.`` This one is rather self explanatory. I think that most people want a life of ease, but here we are told that industriousness is a good thing. Hard work is its own reward. Not only does it make us feel good when we accomplish things, but on a larger scale it strengthens a nation when its people are industrious and informed.
Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life, and money answers everything. This certainly seems true under the sun. Almost everything we can have is gained by money. Money comes through hard work. So in this version we are told once again that hard work is its own reward. Remember though that this is "under the sun." There is still more to life than money, but we do need money to live.
However, my Amplified version reads like this: ``(Instead of repairing the breaches, the officials) make a feast for laughter, serve wine to cheer life and (depend on tax) money to answer all of it.`` This speaks of a corrupt system that burdens its people and relies on everyone else's money for their own pleasures. It speaks of a system that is not responsible with the power they wield.
``Curse not the king, not even in your thoughts, curse not the rich in your bedchamber, for a bird of the air will carry the voice, and a winged creature will tell the matter.`` How often we have heard people say, ``a little birdie told me,`` or, ``the walls have ears.`` Words have a way of getting to the wrong ears, and usually they have been magnified. It is better to keep your complaints to yourself. If you don`t want to work to change something that is wrong, than keep quiet. We should all learn this lesson, because it can have grave consequences for us. Truly in today`s world, the walls do have ears and there are eyes everywhere. You can walk outside and be photographed at every corner. Privacy is truly a thing of the past, so take heed to this verse.
Well, that`s the end of chapter 10.
Here it is in a nutshell:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2 (Ephesians 4:23,24 says virtually the same thing).
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