Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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ENTERED: May 27, 2015
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Scripture Passage



        Ecclesiastes - Chapter 07 (Contemporary English Version)
      1. A good reputation at the time of death is better than loving care at the time of birth.
      2. It's better to go to a funeral than to attend a feast; funerals remind us that we all must die.
      3. Choose sorrow over laughter because a sad face may hide a happy heart.
      4. A sensible person mourns, but fools always laugh.
      5. Harsh correction is better than the songs of a fool.
      6. Foolish laughter is stupid. It sounds like thorns crackling in a fire.
      7. Corruption makes fools of sensible people, and bribes can ruin you.
      8. Something completed is better than something just begun; patience is better than too much pride.
      9. Only fools get angry quickly and hold a grudge.
      10. It isn't wise to ask, "Why is everything worse than it used to be?"
      11. Having wisdom is better than an inheritance.
      12. Wisdom will protect you just like money; knowledge with good sense will lead you to life.
      13. Think of what God has done! If God makes something crooked, can you make it straight?
      14. When times are good, you should be cheerful; when times are bad, think what it means. God makes them both to keep us from knowing what will happen next.
      15. I have seen everything during this senseless life of mine. I have seen good citizens die for doing the right thing, and I have seen criminals live to a ripe old age.
      16. So don't destroy yourself by being too good or acting too smart!
      17. Don't die before your time by being too evil or acting like a fool.
      18. Keep to the middle of the road. You can do this if you truly respect God.
      19. Wisdom will make you stronger than the ten most powerful leaders in your city.
      20. No one in this world always does right.
      21. Don't listen to everything that everyone says, or you might hear your servant cursing you.
      22. Haven't you cursed many others?
      23. I told myself that I would be smart and try to understand all of this, but it was too much for me.
      24. The truth is beyond us. It's far too deep.
      25. So I decided to learn everything I could and become wise enough to discover what life is all about. At the same time, I wanted to understand why it's stupid and senseless to be an evil fool.
      26. Here is what I discovered: A bad woman is worse than death. She is a trap, reaching out with body and soul to catch you. But if you obey God, you can escape. If you don't obey, you are done for.
      27. With all my wisdom I have tried to find out how everything fits together,
      28. but so far I have not been able to. I do know there is one good man in a thousand, but never have I found a good woman.
      29. I did learn one thing: We were completely honest when God created us, but now we have twisted minds.

Reflections



Ecclesiastes - Chapter 07

Entered: May 27, 2015

Maintaining a good name until one's death is of great value. Much more so than being born with a great heritage and great expectation. But to maintain a good name one must consider more than simply having a good time. While pleasure has its place, as a pursuit it is futile, for it brings only momentary benefit but is not lasting. When the moment of pleasure is past life returns as usual, no better as a result of pleasure. The wise recognize that there is more to be learned from mourning than from laughter and that listening to the rebuke of a wise person, while unpleasant at the time, can bring lasting benefit.

The wise also live life in the present not always desiring what they don't have or looking back on how things used to be. This wanting what one does not have leads to such activity as extortion and bribery which then sets one on a path from which there is no return. Once such activity is set in motion one's motives and actions are designed to perpetuate that action and protect oneself from discovery.

The wise person recognizes God's sovereignty in all matters. He gladly receives prosperity, often without question, but when adversity comes he also accepts it as from God and learns from it. One cannot straighten what God has made crooked nor will he discover why adversity has occurred or what his future will hold. All that can be known is that God is in control and to recognize the wisdom of aligning ourselves with Him.

Wisdom can provide what military strength alone cannot, and will make up for what is lacking in righteousness. We all have gaps in our righteousness from time to time, as can be recognized by simply listening to what others may have to say about us. But alas, wisdom, too, is inadequate and elusive. True wisdom is beyond us, for who can discover all that exists?

Foolishness traps people as an ellicit woman traps a man, but only those who please God escape its grasp and take hold of wisdom. These people are rare, though. This is not God's doing, however, but man's. Though God made people upright, they are prone to pursue schemes.



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