Friday, April 07, 2017

The Vision (4.7.17) The Contrast Between the Wise and Foolish Man

Image: Cherry blossoms, University of Washington

Note: Devotion taken from March 19 sermon on Ecclesiastes 10:1-5.

Ecclesiastes 10:2 A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left. 3 Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.

Solomon begins: “A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left” (v. 2). This is not an anatomy lesson but a figure of speech. Sorry to all the left-handed people, but from ancient times the right has been associated with what is true, just, and right, and the left with what is false, unjust, and corrupt. The English word “sinister” comes from the Latin for “left-handed.”

In the Bible, the heart is the seat of one’s affections. What do you love? What excites your interest and passions? Is it the things of God or the things of man?

Paul wrote:

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Where is your heart? On the right or the left?

Added in v. 3 is the description of the fool. As he walks by the way, his wisdom fails him, and he declares, “that he is a fool.” Here is John Currid’s explanation:

The idea here is that he really does not know where he is going. In addition, at every turn on the road he proclaims his own folly and exposes himself as godless. He cannot conceal it, and he is not ashamed of it. This is the one who tries to find meaning and significance apart from God, and thus he wallows in his own folly (Ecclesiastes, p. 128).

Solomon urges his hearers to reject foolishness and to be godly men whose hearts are set on Biblical wisdom. Will we be wise or foolish?

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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