Ecclesiastes 10

I find it a bit less than ironic that God is a conservative:

The heart of the wise inclines to the right,
    but the heart of the fool to the left.

I have to see God’s providence in the radical Jacobins of the French Revolution taking up the seats on the left in the National Assembly, while the defenders of religion and the regime sat on the right. Ever since, radicals, revolutionaries, socialists/communists, liberals/progressives have been referred to as the left on the political/cultural spectrum, and conservatives on the right. Something about the nature of reality is just . . . right.

This is another chapter that is Proverbs like. I could comment on every verse, but I’ll pick a few.

10 If the ax is dull
    and its edge unsharpened,
more strength is needed,
    but skill will bring success.

Sharpen the ax is a common saying that refers to someone working on their skills so whatever they are trying to accomplish comes easier. Yet another saying that comes from the Bible, and this book. It isn’t practice that makes perfect, but perfect practice. How about this:

19 A feast is made for laughter,
    wine makes life merry,
    and money is the answer for everything.

This is so not true, but how those of us having limited amounts think it is. No doubt it certainly makes things easier, but it is no panacea. And the final verses speak to the wisdom of thinking right thoughts, and not assuming just because we haven’t said them out loud that they will not have consequences:

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.

Something to keep in mind as we walk through life as fallen creatures in a fallen world.

 

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