Ecclesiastes 7 (5)
Pray Psalm 49.1-3.
Hear this, all peoples;
Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
Both low and high,
Rich and poor together.
My mouth shall speak wisdom,
And the meditation of my heart shall give understanding.
Read Ecclesiastes 7.11.
1. Why is wisdom good as part of what one leaves for others?
2. How do unbelievers benefit from the wisdom of God?
This verse, while spoken to Rehoboam, seems almost like a concession on Solomon’s part. He is leaving his son a vast inheritance; he also wants very much to leave him the benefits of wisdom, in the hope that Rehoboam will be wise and leave wisdom as well as an inheritance for his own children.
But – and we can almost hear Solomon sighing – even though his son seems bent on living “under the sun”, he will leave him wisdom anyway. For the wisdom of the wise benefits even those who do not believe in absolute truth or transcendent values. They who are wise – who live “under heaven” – must always strive to leave wisdom behind, even though that wisdom may not be appreciated, and even though it may be squandered by those who use it without acknowledging its source.
In a secular age such as ours, when people seem, not merely indifferent, but hostile to the things of the Lord, we might feel inclined to withhold His blessings from those who scorn His Name. But we do not have this option. Those who know the redemption which is in Christ Jesus must reflect the love of God to a lost and dying world, to whatever extent we may give them, and not withhold any of His blessings (Matt. 5.43-48).
Here again Solomon’s wisdom previews the grace of God in Jesus Christ, Who, when He departed this earth, left no material inheritance for the generations to come, but the greatest blessing of all: “Father, forgive them.”
1. What is wisdom? How would you explain the concept of wisdom, and why it is so important, to an unbelieving friend?
2. Give some examples of the many ways Christian wisdom benefits even the unbelieving world. What are the implications of this for you, in your Personal Mission Field?
3. How might we use the wisdom God gives us to open a door for talking to someone about Jesus?
Wisdom is as good as an inheritance, yea better. It shelters from the storms and scorching heat of trouble. Wealth will not lengthen out the natural life; but true wisdom will give spiritual life, and strengthen men for services under their sufferings. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Ecclesiastes 7.11-22
I know, Lord, that Your wisdom reaches to all of life. Help me to be wise today, especially as I…
Pray Psalm 49.1-12.
People who are lost need to know that they cannot redeem themselves, and that they are on a course for judgment unless they turn to Christ. Pray for wisdom to live a life of hope before your unbelieving friends, so that they might ask you for a reason for that hope.
Sing Psalm 49.1-12, 15.
Psalm 49.1-12, 15 (Sagina: And Can It Be, That I Should Gain)
Hear this, you peoples, low and high; give ear as wisdom I proclaim:
My heart with understanding fills to hear and sing my Savior’s fame.
Why should I fear when foes arise, who trust in wealth and boast in lies?
Refrain v. 15
My God redeems my soul from hell!
His grace and mercy let me tell!
No man his brother can redeem, or give a ransom for his soul.
Let him leave off the vain attempt to gather redemption’s priceless toll.
Vainly he longs for eternal day, that he may not endure decay.
Refrain v. 15
See how the wise and senseless die, and leave to others all their gold.
Vainly forever they longed and hoped to have their names and glories told.
Man in his pomp will not endure; like any beast his end is sure.
Refrain v. 15
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).