Spiritually Short-sighted

OPENING PRAYER

Glorious King of Majesty, You dwell in beauty and inapproachable light. Open our eyes to You.

 

Read:ECCLESIASTES 1:12-18

[12] I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. [13] I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind! [14] I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. [15]What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted. [16] I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” [17] Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind. [18] For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.

 

Reflect: DO YOU KNOW THE FRUSTRATION THAT SOLOMON IS EXPRESSING?

The Teacher, drawing on his vast store of knowledge and experience, comes to a depressing conclusion: “What a heavy burden God has laid on men!” (13b). But is he correct?First, the Teacher’s data is incomplete, for he has only examined what is available “under the heavens” (13). Second, despite rating himself so highly (16a), the Teacher is afflicted by a crippling “I” disease–“I applied” (13), “I have seen” (14), “I thought to myself” (16a), “I have experienced” (16b), “I learned” (17b)–all of which leaves God out of the equation. Spiritual short-sightedness and tunnel vision give rise to the Teacher’s conclusion. From a purely human perspective, life is indeed an unhappy business. But why hasn’t the Teacher sought God’s perspective? If this is Solomon writing, it seems he has let slip from his heart the God-given wisdom of earlier years and slid into sinful dependence on human wisdom. Wisdom is no rare or elusive gift, reserved for some spiritual elite. All God’s children are assured, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all” (Jas. 1:5).

 

APPLY

Ask God to keep you attuned to his perspective in the circumstances, challenges and choices of your life.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

God, open the eyes of my understanding so that I may perceive that which has true worth and live for that alone.

 

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