Lent Devotional: Ecclesiastes 10
by Jonathan Haefs
Ecclesiastes 10 (click here)
The words of a wise man’s mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him. 13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is evil madness. 14 A fool multiplies words, though no man knows what is to be, and who can tell him what will be after him? (Ecclesiastes 10:12-14)
A proverb is a shorty, pithy saying that is meant to express a general truth for life. Of course there are exceptions, but a proverb points you toward wise living. Solomon passed on much of his wisdom through proverbs and there have been a few already stated throughout Ecclesiastes and chapter 10 is full of them.
Among all his wise advice, Solomon warns us about the power and powerlessness of our words. What we say has the power to create and destroy relationships…the power to build up or to tear down…the power to affirm or deny. Our words are powerful.
Yet, for all our wise words we must admit that at the end of the day our knowledge is dashed against the rock of God’s sovereignty. We cannot really predict anything that will “be after us.” The more we try to espouse wisdom about life, the more we are shown to be fools who aren’t really in control. For all our wise words, we ultimately find that they are powerless to control anything. Our words are powerless.
This is why true wisdom…truly wise words…point us to trust the one who is in control. No matter what happens, the one who is truly wise will speak of the trustworthiness of the Lord and trust in his word! His word is never powerless…it is always powerful and permanent.
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.