DON’T JUST READ—EAT!
Mighty God, accept my thanks for Your Word. May I speak the truth of Your Word in love and embody its truth with integrity.
Read ECCLESIASTES 9:13—10:9
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“You can memorize every bit of cereal box information about ingredients and nutritional value. But for that cereal to do you any good, you have to… eat it” (Eugene Peterson).
The difference between knowledge and wisdom has been a constant theme of the Teacher’s writing. Knowledge is known, wisdom is lived. You can carry knowledge in your head all your life and never benefit from it. It doesn’t become wisdom until you apply it. When you do, you might surprise everyone and save a city (15)! Poor though you may be, you never know when your wisdom might take you to the center of the action. The trick is to be ready.
If wisdom is not the same as knowledge, it is not the same, either, as fame and power. Even where you save others, you might never receive a public reward. Wisdom is a quiet art, a pursuit of quality rather than noise. The true pursuit of wisdom can never be the same as the pursuit of fame and recognition, but it is still a better road (17,18). To seek wisdom, to run from foolishness, is the best way to live, even if it doesn’t give you an immediate reward.
This same contrast of wise and foolish behavior is played out in chapter 10 in four aphorisms (a concise statement of a principle): the deathly impact of just a little foolishness (1), the capacity of a wise person to make good choices (2), the simple ways fools show their foolishness (3) and the practical advantage of a “calmness” (4). A picture is being painted here of the benefits of wisdom; of the quality of life offered to those who go beyond head-knowledge to live out right thinking. Here more than anywhere else in the book the stories of Jesus are anticipated. Chief among them the wise man, building his house on a foundation of rock: the rock of first hearing the words of Christ and then applying them (Matt. 7:24–27).
In what ways has something foolish you said hurt others and yourself? What steps can you take to avoid such foolish talk?
“I am a child of time; You are the timeless Christ. May I hear Your words today and live them out” (Gerard Kelly).
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