Solomon gives us “proverb-like” nuggets of wisdom here. However, I have to say that some of his tips don’t seem that wise to me. Keeping the perspective of when he was writing these thoughts down is helpful to me. Solomon had been exposed to countless false teachings from his many pagan wives. Plus, he didn’t have the promise of salvation we know in Jesus.
When we put our “redemption lens” on this passage, it’s easy for us to clear up some of Solomon’s concerns. I’d rather focus today on several of the observations Solomon got right. Having discussions on each of these points would be fun in a small group, don’t you think?
I can really identify with this point these days. Verse 10 says:
Don’t long for “the good old days.”
This is not wise.
We live in troubled times. Many generations before me would say the same thing! For some reason, society hasn’t learned and started doing the right things to get better. Our generation drifts only farther away from God. That’s what hurts the most in ministry–seeing people drift away from God, just like the people in Solomon’s day. Like Solomon himself.
Only thousands of years separate us from Solomon’s day, yet the likeness is remarkable. The idols of today happen to look a bit different, but the beings receiving worship remain similar. Be careful not to get caught up in those types of “woo woo” things. We’re warned in Scripture about worshiping any other gods. With all we see around us, dreaming of the “good old days” is a “happy place.”
When we spend time with God, we get to that same “happy place.” The good old days of our past that we so long for, will one day be replaced with even better days. The best is yet to come! Jesus gives us that lens to live by. Jesus came to rescue us and draw us to himself. So “wise” men are thinking of eternity, not some good times in the past.
Another point Solomon makes that I think will help us all.
Accept the way God does things,
for who can straighten what he has made crooked?
This sounds easy, but it can be so difficult. Especially when you disagree with something God allows. It helps me to imagine that God doesn’t want bad things to befall us, but he also wants us to accept when we run into roadblocks that he has put in our path. He knows best, after all. Don’t you agree that if God declares something wrong, evil, or sinful, we can’t make it right.
When we look around our world, past and present, where do we see God working? Don’t you just love it when you meet another Christian who is living their faith out loud who you can bond with? I always think of those encounters as God moments. Just when we need that word of encouragement, God sends the message.
Let’s pray. Father God, thank you for always being there when I need you most. There are times that I feel unsure and unworthy of your love, but then your mercy overwhelms me and that thought is gone. Forgive me for those times when I get distracted and my focus is not on you, Lord. I trust you with my life and call upon your strength today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.