Wisdom of Marion Vol 1.30 (Ecclesiastes 7:1-29)

7th Study: Ecclesiastes 7:1-29

Well, it seems like the deeper I’ve gotten into the study of Ecclesiastes, the more life has started to happen to keep me from doing it.

I was sick most of this week and even had to visit the hospital.  Everything is much better now.  Let’s get started.

If Chapter 6 was considered the most poignant in the study so far, then Chapter 7 is my personal favorite in Ecclesiastes.

I will start with my favorite scripture in all the Bible:

Consider the work of God 

who can make straight what he has made crooked?

In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider:

God has made the one as well as the other,

so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.

(Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 ESV)

I know we have to be careful and not make a verse of scripture(s) stand on all fours. We do that a lot in Christianity. But, when I was at the lowest point in my life, I discovered those verses of scripture and the book of Ecclesiastes. Moreover, the wisdom from Ecclesiastes has given me a greater appreciation for the Bible and Christianity. As a result, Ecclesiastes has become my favorite book.

Here’s what Pastor Meyers has to write about my favorite verses of scripture:

Solomon admonishes us especially to meditate on God’s control over every detail of our lives during times of calamity and suffering and distress. He tells us to “consider” what God does. It’s easy to attribute one’s good times to God; unbelievers do it all the time. The true test of faith is found in how you understand the times of trouble and disaster. Will you recognize their origin in God’s will even if this means confessing that God’s ways are inexorably enigmatic to you?

Your future is hidden in God’s secret will. It is unavailable to you. God answers to no one but himself. He shares his power with no one. He has not relinquished his control to the forces of nature or the randomness of chance or the whimsical nature of the human will. The Christian who genuinely fears God will repudiate any attempt to manipulate God’s disposition of his future.   {pp 147-149}

Unfortunately, there is a “candy store theology” that has infected modern Christianity. If I live right, God will bless me beyond anything I could imagine.  Or if I follow some secret formula attached to scripture (out of context), God will bless me as well.

Well, that candy store theology is unbiblical and flies right in the face of what Solomon writes about here in chapter 7 of Ecclesiastes.

Let me write, God will and does blesses his people.  But to think of God as some kind of Cosmic Santa or Spiritual Sugardaddy is flat-out wrong.  Yes, he wants his followers to be blessed and righteous…but more than anything He wants us to trust him and obey even if we don’t understand why he is doing it.

Read the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50 or the Book of Job and see how God let both of these righteous men go through the valley before he ultimately blessed them.

I have to write that maybe this is one of the reasons that Ecclesiastes is not popular in modern Christianity. Solomon has been put through a lot by God (because he asked for wisdom) and we can see the frustration and angst of receiving this gift of wisdom.

Well if you continue to live life, you will experience your own frustration and angst. We must understand that God handles it all.  Not just joy or blessings…but heartbreak or tough times or dark places.  He handles it all.

And reading those verses in Chapter 7 gave me tremendous comfort that God really does control everything and there isn’t anything he can’t handle.

See you next week!

Here are a couple of questions for you to think about from this study:

1) Why do we treat God like he’s a Cosmic Santa or Spiritual Sugardaddy?

2) How do you feel that God is not safe? He is not manageable? Does this change your perspective on how you view God?

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