Reading the Word
Ecclesiastes 7:7–10 (ESV)
7 Surely oppression drives the wise into madness, and a bribe corrupts the heart.
8 Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
9 Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.
10 Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
Understanding and Applying the Word
The four verses we read today tell us of the effects of four different types of trials. The first is oppression, which can cause even the wise to do things they normally would not, such as take a bribe. The second verse calls for patience, as the end of a thing is better than its beginning and patience is better than pride. The third tells us not to rush into anger. Doing so is the way of fools. And the fourth tells us not to wish for former days. To do so is unwise. Much like the Israelites who wished to be back in Egypt, pining for the past distracts us from living in the present and fulfilling the things we are called to do now.
Life is a constant challenge, but we must learn to live every day to the glory of God. Each day has its own set of difficulties and distractions, but with God’s help, we can live for him no matter what comes our way. We must always remember that God has placed us right where we are at this very time for his purposes. It is our proper response to live faithfully and proclaim the gospel so that Jesus Christ might be made known to the world. May we seek to live today and every day for the glory of God.
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