Lord, help me to know when You are speaking to me through the wise words of others.
Read Ecclesiastes 9:13—10:9
Wisdom Better Than Folly
13 I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom that greatly impressed me: 14 There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siege works against it. 15 Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man. 16 So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.
17 The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded
than the shouts of a ruler of fools.
18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war,
but one sinner destroys much good.
10 As dead flies give perfume a bad smell,
so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
2 The heart of the wise inclines to the right,
but the heart of the fool to the left.
3 Even as fools walk along the road,
they lack sense
and show everyone how stupid they are.
4 If a ruler’s anger rises against you,
do not leave your post;
calmness can lay great offenses to rest.
5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun,
the sort of error that arises from a ruler:
6 Fools are put in many high positions,
while the rich occupy the low ones.
7 I have seen slaves on horseback,
while princes go on foot like slaves.
8 Whoever digs a pit may fall into it;
whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.
9 Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them;
whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psa. 119:105). Thank the Lord for guiding you through his Word.
The Teacher tells us a story about a poor man whose wisdom saves a city. While the outcome for the city is clearly positive, the Teacher mourns the fact that the poor man’s name will be forgotten (9:15). It seems that wisdom is not honored, and can even be undone by words of folly (9:18—10:1).
It is a sad reality that wealth and fame often speak louder than the voice of wisdom (9:17). There are so many voices around us, influencing us in our decisions. Wisdom may come through a whisper, hard to discern amid the noise that surrounds us.
The society in which we live shouts loudly through the media, often reinforced by the words of friends and colleagues. Even those closest to us may lack wisdom, being biased in their opinions because of their own desires for us. It can be hard to know who to listen to, whether to turn left or right (10:2). The wisest voice is not necessarily the loudest. We need people in our lives who can be trusted to speak wisdom even when they know it may offend or be unpleasant to us.
Who shows godly wisdom in your life? Is there anything you should be asking advice on? Have you acted on wise words they have spoken to you in the past?
Lord, thank You for the wise and supportive people in my life.