Sermon Audio & Review
Pastor Tim Potter
- Category: The Book of Ecclesiastes
- December 1, 2019
Solomon has several concluding chapters as he shares wisdom on enduring the margin of mystery. The theme is similar to 1 Peter 4:19: When life is hard to understand, stay active doing good things.
Never underestimate the influence of foolishness. Sometimes it is easier to remember than wisdom. Much time can be invested in righteousness, but one act of foolishness can outlive a lifetime. Follow wise people even when there are few of them to be found. Titus 2:1-8 tells us to listen to the aged and treasure them while we have them.
People in leadership are also affected by sin. Remember that our leaders, especially in the political realm, are broken and flawed. Still, they are in their positions by divine appointment. Most believers through time lived under poor leadership. How we live positionally and dispositionally under poor leadership is a test of our spiritual condition.
Our reaction to conflicts with authority depends on our understanding of grace, first for ourselves and then for those we are in conflict with. Bitterness can make us become like the flawed leaders we disrespect. If grace transformed us, there is also hope of it transforming any flawed leader.
Wisdom doesn't prevent us from enduring danger or risk. We cannot let risk keep us from living responsibly. Spiritual rewards that come from persevering well are greater than any risk we may face.
Words have tremendous influence and power. We may choose to use words to endear ourselves to others or to alienate them. The less we talk, the less we need to apologize. Foolish words will bring their own shame. The person with a foolish mouth is spiritually clueless. They have no way to navigate the natural rhythms of life.
Recognizing the lack of wisdom of political leaders keeps us from being surprised at their actions and keep us living faithfully and responsibly. Leaders can be indulgent, incapable, indifferent, and lack discernment. If we cannot respect the person, we still respect the position (Exodus 22:28). God can use living under flawed leadership to grow us by grace. We are Gospel light wherever He puts us.
We should do good to the needy while we are able. This is a sign of our character. It is not wise to think and wait in idleness when we know a good thing to do. The more we are together in God's Word, the more aware we will be and ready to care for each other's needs.
Don't be idle in amazement or frustration. Guard against imbalance.
The next section contains wisdom for various stages of life. Life goes by quickly, so enjoy the simple things which are gifts from God. There will be times of darkness; store up joy to life off in those times of scarcity. This will create a person who is emotionally stable and joyfully undistracted from their eternal purpose.
- Do your words endear you more or less to the people with whom you live your daily life? Are you speaking division or healing and reconciliation?
- A wise response to flawed leadership focuses on God's grace in your own life. Pray for leaders. Don't let others' foolishness keep you from living faithfully.
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore
- Titus 3:1-3 – The only difference between you and pagan, flawed leadership is grace.
- James 1:26, Proverbs 18:6-7, 15:2, 14:3, 10:14 – Wisdom on words.
- 1 John 3:17, James 1:27, 4:17, 1 Timothy 5:3-16 – Do good when you have opportunity.