On to Eccl 7:8-14
v8: The end…is better than its beginning: When we are walking in wisdom and doing the right things then it is at the end of the matter that we receive the fulfilment/result/reward.
- Patient in spirit: This has to do with endurance, with suffering – but suffering for a reason (ie not futile suffering but suffering for righteousness/persecuted for truth). Persecution brings about a change in people, a change in their character. It also gives power to that individual to overcome. When we suffer for righteousness, when we endure persecution for the will of G-d, it is going to have a positive outcome on us
- Proud in spirit: Behaving in a prideful way. Trying to set ourselves up over others so as to exalt ourselves. Pride brings down. Humility exalts.
v9: Do not hasten…to be angry: We need to guard ourselves against being quickly angry with someone, as this kind of anger does not lead to anything positive. If we act in haste we are going to act with the wrong behaviour.
- Rests: Lodges. When someone does not have the wisdom of G-d and they get angry, it is going to be deposited in their inner beings and it will be very hard to get anger out of that person.
v10: Do not say: This is a commandment mainly concerning older people. Older people need to be focussing in the right direction – moving forward and not looking back. Maybe those times in the past were good, but the future can be better. We should build upon the past, but as we continue to live we need to be mindful of the fact that we are moving closer to the Kingdom of G-d. The former days were the start (Eccl 7:8) and they are not better than the future (the end of the matter) when we are IN Messiah.
v11: Inheritance: The receiving of money and/or possessions. Those who receive an inheritance shouldn’t sit back (become lazy) and think that they no longer need to work.
- Profitable to those who see the sun: In Hebrew this is an idiom for those who get up early in the morning in order to pray. This inheritance needs to be mixed with prayer and with work if it is going to go further to accomplish more and to bless others.
v12: When we behave wisely G-d bestows greater resources upon us. We can have a great stream of resources but if we do not utilise wisdom in regard to them we are not going to be blessed by them (“wisdom(not wealth) gives life”).
v13: Crooked: Twisted, not straight. G-d is at work. As He moves: If we are in the position to receive His workmanship in our lives we are going to be blessed, but if we are not in the position to receive His work (we are unsubmissive, not in His Word, not praying etc..) His work will have an adverse/twisting effect in our lives (broken, scarred and damaged vessels).
- Who can make straight what He has made crooked? Only G-d can! (Matt 19:26). Only with G-d is there a hope of restoration, healing, new beginnings etc for those who have previously rejected His Word.
v14: In the day of prosperity be joyful: When things are going well go with it – participate in it, rejoice in it, experience it etc.
- In the day of adversity (evilness): This is the day when the will of G-d is not being accomplished, a day when things are going against His plans and purposes. Because of free will (obedience demands a choice) G-d allows both good and evil to flourish in this world.
- Consider: Take notice of it. We need to discern when the days are good and when the days are evil (evil days are in contrast to what G-d has made – Gen 1:18).
- Man can find nothing…after him: We don’t know the outcome/consequences of these days (we don’t know the future), therefore do the right thing (be an instrument for goodness).