The Story:It would be pretty hard for Rehoboam to miss the point of these words. The life of folly is exhausting – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Solomon himself is testimony to this (“all things are wearying”). But there is more than just one foolish kid at stake here; the nation must be served. Fools in office think of themselves first and the people they serve last. Rehoboam will weary and ruin the nation if he persists in his folly. Alas, that would actually be the case, but only because Solomon himself had incurred the wrath of God for his own folly. We can imagine that these are words as much an indictment of Solomon himself and a confession of his sin as an admonition to his son.
The Structure:We never sin alone. Our foolishness and rebellion impact others, and the more people there are in our sphere of influence, the more people there are to hurt with our sin. Love of neighbor requires that we eradicate folly and sin from our lives as much as possible. Wisdom – following in the footsteps of Jesus – is the way to bring blessing to others. Folly and sin may bring momentary gratification, but they can come back to bite us, and they always leave a bruise on someone else. In our day, the Church is not wise to be following a policy of downplaying sin. Church leaders seem to think they can promote the Gospel of Christ without confronting the folly of their members – don’t want to offend anyone, you know. But this “tolerance” only promotes more sin, more damage, and more of the wrath of God that Solomon brought on his own nation.
Who are the people most likely to be hurt by your sins? Does love for them motivate you to want to put aside the ways of folly and pursue the path of wisdom?
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.