Chapter 10 of Ecclesiastes introduces us to the foolish person. Like dumb sheep, we are susceptible to making foolish choices that can destroy a good reputation, and being careless with our choices in this life is evidence that we are not prepared for the next. Alistair Begg explains that a foolish person can only be transformed by the wisdom of the Cross.
1Dead flies make the perfumer's ointment give off a stench;
so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
2A wise man's heart inclines him to the right,
but a fool's heart to the left.
3Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense,
and he says to everyone that he is a fool.
4If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place,
for calmness1 will lay great offenses to rest.
5There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were an error proceeding from the ruler: 6folly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place. 7I have seen slaves on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves.
8He who digs a pit will fall into it,
and a serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall.
9He who quarries stones is hurt by them,
and he who splits logs is endangered by them.
10If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge,
he must use more strength,
but wisdom helps one to succeed.2
11If the serpent bites before it is charmed,
there is no advantage to the charmer.
12The words of a wise man's mouth win him favor,3
but the lips of a fool consume him.
13The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness,
and the end of his talk is evil madness.
14A fool multiplies words,
though no man knows what is to be,
and who can tell him what will be after him?
15The toil of a fool wearies him,
for he does not know the way to the city.
16Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child,
and your princes feast in the morning!
17Happy are you, O land, when your king is the son of the nobility,
and your princes feast at the proper time,
for strength, and not for drunkenness!
18Through sloth the roof sinks in,
and through indolence the house leaks.
19Bread is made for laughter,
and wine gladdens life,
and money answers everything.
20Even in your thoughts, do not curse the king,
nor in your bedroom curse the rich,
for a bird of the air will carry your voice,
or some winged creature tell the matter.
Trapped in a dark world without God, the writer of Ecclesiastes searches frantically for some light on the path. Indulging in everything this world has to offer leaves him empty and unfulfilled. After climbing high on the ladder of life, he makes the tragic discovery that it was propped against the wrong wall. Growing cynical about life’s achievements, he begins to question the rationale behind everything. These studies touch the pulse of a generation caught between material prosperity and spiritual poverty. Alistair Begg helps us make sense of this relevant book, so that we can live life with purpose and meaning. In order to do this, we must first discover what it means to fear God, which is the beginning of true wisdom.
|A Word to the Wise||Ecclesiastes 1:1-18|
|The Search for Satisfaction||Ecclesiastes 2:1-26|
|Eternity on My Mind||Ecclesiastes 3:1-15|
|All Those Lonely People||Ecclesiastes 4:1-16|
|Concerning Worship||Ecclesiastes 5:1-7|
|In Search of Meaning||Ecclesiastes 5:8-7:29|
|The Case Against Self-Sufficiency||Ecclesiastes 8:1-17 Ecclesiastes 9:1-18|
|Dead Flies and Little Birds||Ecclesiastes 10:1-20|
|Celebrate Life!||Ecclesiastes 11:1-10|
|Remember Your Creator||Ecclesiastes 12:1-8|
|A Surprising Punch Line||Ecclesiastes 12:9-14|