WISDOM FOR LIFE
Heavenly Father, may Your love, peace and joy dwell within me today. To You, I bring my praise and thanksgiving.
Read ECCLESIASTES 11:1–10
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.
“A Christian administrative assistant in an office may have the opportunity to ‘pastor’ more people in a day than a traditional pastor” (Mark Greene).
Our Teacher is nothing if not practical. Wisdom, for him, is lived in the real world. Wisdom tells us how to invest (1) and where (2). It gives us understanding of the natural world (3). It guides us in our work within God’s world (4). These simple-sounding proverbs are packed with dynamite. They make two statements that are revolutionary in the world in which the Teacher lives and are still so in ours.
The first is that the world of work matters. God does not give us wisdom in order to improve our religious experience. He gives us wisdom for the whole of our lives. If you have slipped into the belief that God is only interested in Sunday, pray for his will to be done in all you undertake from Monday to Saturday. The second revolutionary idea is that God’s order can be found in the natural world. The conditions the Teacher describes, from the growth of an investment to the fall of a tree, would be attributed by many in his culture to the random acts of capricious and hostile gods. The actions of the gods were to be endured, not understood. Human beings were the victims, not the partners, of divinity.
The Teacher’s God, by contrast, is trustworthy and reliable. He has made a world we can safely live in. It remains true that we cannot grasp the breadth of his mystery (5), but we can rely on it. What we sow, we will reap (6). This is the God whose ways we can trust, whose rhythms we can live in. From the hope of youth (9) to the wisdom of age (8), God is faithful to us. We can trust him with the whole of our lives.
Do you feel that you are trusting God in your daily life? Why or why not? How does this passage help you develop your trust in God?
“What I pray matters, but so does what I eat. What I believe and what I buy… give me, God, a life-wide vision” (Gerard Kelly).