Not As We Would Expect

Reading the Word

Ecclesiastes 10:5–7 (ESV)
5 There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were an error proceeding from the ruler:
6 folly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place.
7 I have seen slaves on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In wisdom literature, we read about how the wise enjoy advantages and successes in life that the foolish do not. However, today we read that the world does not always go as we would expect it to. Sometimes, and we have all seen this at different levels, it is the fool who rises to high places while the rich sit in low places. Verse 7 repeats the same message with different imagery. We read of slaves or servants seated on horses while princes walk. It is the opposite of what we would expect.

We live in a world that does not always follow the rules, so we end up with situations and results that are unexpected. Sometimes, the wise fails and the fool succeeds. All of this in Ecclesiastes is to once again show us the vanity of seeking meaning and fulfillment in this life through the pursuit of wisdom. Wisdom is no guarantee, as we can see in the world around us. There is nothing in this life that can truly fulfill us or make life meaningful. There has to be something more and outside. There is only meaning in God.


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