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The Scriptorium

Once More – for Emphasis

Ecclesiastes 7.19-24

19Wisdom strengthens the wise
More than ten rulers of the city.

20For there isnot a just man on earth who does good
And does not sin.

21Also do not take to heart everything people say,
Lest you hear your servant cursing you.

22For many times, also, your own heart has known
That even you have cursed others.

23All this I have proved by wisdom.
I said, “I will be wise”:
But it was far from me.

24As for that which is far off, and exceedingly deep,
Who can find it out?

The Story:These verses cast into proverbs – telling it slant – the lesson Solomon outlined in the preceding section. Again, he counsels contentment, wisdom without pride, acceptance of (though not complacency about) our sin – and of the sins of those who transgress against us – and trusting in the infinite wisdom and goodness of God, which is far beyond what we can know, but in which we may rest. This is a realistic faith outlook. We must not allow ourselves to become utopian in our thinking, or we’ll think we have all the answers – pride leading to destruction. At the same time, we must not be complacent about the fact of sin – or else our folly will consume us. No, we can’t figure it all out, but we can know and trust the One Who has, and in Whom, by knowing Him, we can find true contentment in life.

The Structure:This and the preceding passage give us an important insight into God’s approach to communicating His truth. He tells us once, in a narrative based on life experience; then He tells us again, this time in the poetry of pithy proverbs. This is a measure of the grace of God, that He reaches out to us in a wide variety of ways to make sure we hear His truth and can make it our own. Just so we must labor to communicate with our generation by every available means (1 Cor. 9.19ff.). The message of truth is too important to entrust to one medium of communication alone. Christians must explore all the possibilities available to us for making the Good News of life “under the heavens” known to our “under the sun” contemporaries.

What have you found to be effective ways of interesting your unsaved friends and acquaintances in spiritual things?

Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Telling it Slant (2),” simply click here.

T. M. Moore

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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