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The Scriptorium

Folly in High Places

Ecclesiastes 10.4-7

4If the spirit of the ruler rises against you,
Do not leave your post;
For conciliation pacifies great offenses.

5There is an evil I have seen under the sun,
As an error proceeding from the ruler:

6Folly is set in great dignity,
While the rich sit in a lowly place.

7I have seen servants on horses,
While princes walk on the ground like servants.

The Story:I think the point of this bit of wisdom is fairly simple: being ruler doesn’t protect one from being a fool. Witness Solomon. The ruler who blows up and plots revenge against those who oppose him, or the one who plays the fool from his throne – both are “evils” that ought not be. However, “under the sun,” they are all too common. As ridiculous as it is to consider a king walking while his servant rides the horse, it is just as ridiculous to believe that a fool on the throne is anything other than a fool. If Rehoboam is thinking that being king will protect him from being “found out” for his folly, he should think again.

The Structure:In a secular age, when faith in God seems to be (in many places) on the decline, folly and fools are cropping up everywhere (cf. Ps. 12). But since folly, like a spiritual virus, is infecting more and more people, it’s becoming difficult to discern the idiocy and evil that everywhere are on the rise. Insipidity and violence pervade pop culture; corruption and self-aggrandizement stalk the halls of legislatures and sit in the seats of corporate executives; babies are slain – and their body parts sold, we now know – by the millions in the name of “pro-choice” anti-ethics. Rehoboam was blinded byhis folly and tohis folly; the same can be said of our own generation. Nevertheless, as Solomon persevered with his son, so must we with the lost and blind people of our day.

Is there any folly in your life making you blind to the folly of your life? Meditate on Psalm 139.23, 24. Then listen while the Lord searches your heart and mind.

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, “It’s Common Sense! Ecclesiastes 10,” 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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