Tag Archives: Ecclesiastes

Right Or Left?

Ecclesiastes 10:2 – A wise man’s heart is at his right hand, but a fool’s heart at his left.

This verse has a double meaning. 

The first is this: a wise man’s heart is at his right hand.  This means that he applies himself to his strength – he gets on and is active with what God has naturally given him.  He sows the seeds that God has already put into his hand.  But a fool’s heart is at his left – at his weak hand.  He’s continually trying to do something that he’s just not good at.  Maybe he’s trying to prove something or be something that he was never called to be! 

Another meaning can be found in Proverbs 3:16.  It says of Wisdom ‘Length of days is in her right hand.  In her left hand are riches and honour’.  The wise man is looking to the length of his days – ensuring that his life is spent well.  The fool on the other hand is always looking to riches and honour. 

When we look to the length of our days, it helps us to live in a way that honour and riches will be more attracted to!  But if we’re only looking to honour and riches, we can’t guarantee that it will bring us to the place of considering the days we have! 

Make sure your heart is at your right hand, and not at your left! 

A Sharp Instrument

Ecclesiastes 10:10 – If the ax is blunt, and one doesn’t sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but skill brings success.

Ever tried cutting wood with a blunt ax?  (Or cutting onions with a blunt knife?)  As this proverb says, it requires more force and strength to get the job done.  But a sharp ax slices and cuts well, and less strength is required. 

But skill will bring success.  Skill first of all ensures that it has the right tools ? ie a sharp and well prepared instrument.  Secondly, it knows where and what to cut in order to achieve success. 

In life there are two ways to get the job done.  Either you can continue working with a blunt ax, and work harder and harder.  Or you can use a sharp and powerful ax and hit your target with a few well aimed blows. 

Hebrews 4 says “The word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword?”.  When we approach our situations with His word, we’re using a sharp instrument.  When we pick that instrument up and aim it where God wants it, we’re using skill and wisdom. 

You can speak the Word of God to your situations, and see them change.  Pick up your offensive and sharp weapon today, and use it to bring about success for the kingdom of God!

The Good Old Days

Ecclesiastes 7:10 – Don’t say, "Why were the former days better than these?" For you do not ask wisely about this.

The Lord is not threatened by any question that we could ever bring to Him.  But there are some questions which are just not wise to ask.  This is one of them – “why were the old days better than these?”

The reason it’s not wise to ask this question is because the former days weren’t any better than today.  There is nothing new under the sun – what is happening today, was happening yesterday too.   It’s just likely that as we’ve grown in years we’ve become more aware and perceptive about what is happening around us. 

When people lose hope for their future they can become pre-occupied with their past – continually looking back to the “good old days”.  But God has adventures and journeys that He wants to take us on TODAY.  Today is a great day to walk forward with Him – to lean on Him and trust Him more!

Listen For Wisdom

Ecclesiastes 4:13 – Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who doesn’t know how to receive admonition any more.

Age and power are no substitute for wisdom. One who is young who possesses wisdom is better than one who has both experience and power, but doesn’t know how to listen.

Wisdom and the ability to listen are inextricably linked.  Wisdom cries out ‘Hear, for I will speak excellent things’ (Proverbs 8:6).

To enter into wisdom requires two steps. Firstly, it requires humility. A person must come to the place where they accept that they do not know everything that there is to know.

Secondly, it requires the ability to listen. Wisdom SPEAKS. We must be silent for long enough to listen to both God, and to listen the ones around us who speak wisdom into our situations.

Draw Near To Listen

Ecclesiastes 5:1 – Guard your steps when you go to God’s house; for to draw near to listen is better than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they don’t know that they do evil.

This verse calls us to ‘guard your steps’ when you go to God’s house. What this means is to pay attention to the reason WHY you are going to the house of the Lord. Why are you there? Is it to draw near to listen, or is it to give ‘the sacrifice of fools’?

For those who have come to draw near to listen – they will find wisdom – they will find God. Hebrews 4:16 exhorts us to ‘therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find Grace for timely help’. James 4:8 says ‘Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you’.

But there are those who give the sacrifice of fools. This verse explains them as ‘they don’t know that they do evil’. They display the outward signs, but there is no fear of God before their eyes.

This verse is excellently represented in Luke 18:9-14. Two men stood in the temple.  The Pharisee offered the sacrifice of a fool, the tax collector came humbly and drew near to listen. Only the tax collector went home justified.

Take your Christian life off ‘autopilot’ today – and consider your ways.  Draw near in humility to listen to God, and He will reveal Himself to you. 

Discovering Joy

Ecclesiastes 5:20 – For he shall not often reflect on the days of his life; because God occupies him with the joy of his heart.

It’s good for us to always remember that our lives are short and that we should make the most of our time here on earth.

But this verse brings another perspective.  The man who is under God’s blessing will “not often reflect on the days of his life – because God keeps him occupied with the joy of his heart”

Contrast this with the person who is continually thinking about what they have and haven’t achieved in their life.  They spend their time in reflection on what could have been, on opportunities missed, on where they would be now – ‘if only’.

It’s the will of God that we be occupied with the “joy of our heart”.  Psalms 119:111 says ‘I have taken your testimonies as a heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart’.  When we set our mind to remember the testimonies and faithfulness of God to us in the past, and look forward to a future with Him, we become occupied with the joy of our heart, rather than living a life of regrets. 

Time flies when you’re having fun!