Daily Update #277

Today’s reading:

16 Woe to the land whose king was a servant
    and whose princes feast in the morning.
17 Blessed is the land whose king is of noble birth
    and whose princes eat at a proper time –
    for strength and not for drunkenness.

18 Through laziness, the rafters sag;
    because of idle hands, the house leaks.
19 A feast is made for laughter,
    wine makes life merry,
    and money is the answer for everything.

20 Do not revile the king even in your thoughts,
    or curse the rich in your bedroom,
    because a bird in the sky may carry your words,
    and a bird on the wing may report what you say.

Ecclesiastes 10:16-20

We’re in a section where the Teacher is looking at the benefits of wisdom and the drawbacks of folly.  The Teacher is sharing here the benefits of his careful investigation into leadership qualities, idleness, merrymaking, money and discretion.  In each situation it is clear that the person who is wise has an advantage over the fool.  

In connection with leadership, the impact on the whole nation of kings who are ill-prepared and unsuited (e.g. former servants more used to taking orders than giving them) as well as intemperate is profound.  Blessing comes to the people governed by kings (read also presidents, prime ministers, etc.) who have been well prepared for their responsibilities and who look after themselves and don’t use their power to over-indulge.  Few and far between are the politicians and leaders who have heard this wisdom from the Teacher and put it into practice!  

We read about the Teacher’s insights in this passage and they ring true, as he sets out the drawbacks of idleness, brings a practical approach to making merry and the right use of money and encourages discretion as we speak about leaders and the powerful.  

So when we hear of the kingdom of God coming near (Mark 1:15) we are expecting to hear of God’s king (Messiah or Christ) who will be perfectly suited to leading, whose rule will be exemplary and whose wisdom will surpass all who came before and who will come after him.  He is the one who knew how to feast (e.g. wedding at Cana) and who we need to be careful to respect and honour at all times (Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction – Psalm 2:12).  

This timeless wisdom from the Teacher leads us to recognise and acknowledge the wisdom and power of Jesus Christ and how he fulfilled and exemplified the role of the one who is ultimately and supremely wise, despite all the pitfalls and temptations of this world.  Our current leaders will stumble from crisis to crisis and will always be prone to failure.  Our spiritual leader and our Lord and saviour prevailed through all the trials and challenges and shines as a beacon to us and to all who want to know what true wisdom and meaning look like.  

Prayer:  

Heavenly Father, 
Thank you that your word is all about your Son, the Lord Jesus
Help us to see him more clearly, know him better and love him more deeply
Day by day.  

Amen

Tomorrow’s passage:  Ecclesiastes 11:1-4

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