Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

Ecclesiastes 7:1 – 6

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Week Five Day 1 –Ecclesiastes 7:1 – 7  SOAP v. 1WK5D1

A good name is better than precious ointment,
and the day of death than the day of birth.
It is better to go to the house of mourning
than to go to the house of feasting,
for this is the end of all mankind,
and the living will lay it to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
for by sadness of face the heart is made glad.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise
than to hear the song of fools.
For as the crackling of thorns under a pot,
so is the laughter of the fools;
this also is vanity.

O – Solomon breaks into a form of proverbs, similar to the book of proverbs.  This is done in the form of comparison – one thing is better than another.

  • A good name is better than precious ointment – Our reputation can’t be bought. It is earned by what we say and what we do.
  • The day of death is better than the day of birth – We can’t choose our birth circumstances, our family, our environment – but we CAN choose how we live our lives and the legacy that we leave behind
  • It is better to go to the house of mourning than the house of feasting – From The Message – “You learn more at a funeral than at a feast— After all, that’s where we’ll end up. “ – Now, that’s a profound thought…
  • Sorrow is better than laughter – Do we also learn more from difficult times than from easy ones?
  • It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than the song of fools – be careful to whom you listen – who should help guide our lives – the wise or fools?

There are also two other kinds of comparisons:

  • The heart of the wise is in the house or mourning – the heart of fools is in the house of mirth – Whose heart will I listen to, and learn from?
  • The laughter of fools is like the fire tinder under a cooking pot – crackle, crackle, crackle….. gone!

A – I thought of more random things as I pondered this passage today as well.  I think it’s the proverbs aspect of the passage – it gives a number of different perspectives on life….. J

  • A good name – Wow – our reputation defines what we leave with people around us. What do they think about us when we leave, or die?   Will they remember us as a “good person”, a “Christ-follower” – or something else?  I was so glad, and humbled, when my former principal told me “You are going to be greatly missed around here, Karen”, on one of my last few days working at Bennett.  We forged a great relationship during my three years there, and it has been interesting to keep in touch with some of my fellow workers there.  The facebook community really helps us to define who we are – and share some of our beliefs, even those we couldn’t share in the workplace!   May my comments be wise – and point to Him!
  • Legacy – what do I want to leave behind in my family? Or friends?  The song “May all who come behind us find us faithful” is the song on my heart today.  I am so fortunate to have had a godly heritage laid out for me – and I pray the same is true for our children and grandchildren, some of whom I’ve only been “related to” for less than a year.  May the time that we have now – and the time that they have later – reflect our love for the Lord, and for them.
  • I learned a lot about my dad at his funeral – from family and friends and his acquaintances. From my mom.  What will people learn about me?   Will it be my love for my Lord, my integrity, my faith – or something else?
  • I have learned so much from the difficult times in my life. My divorce.  My years of single parenting.  My parents’ accident, along with Dad’s death.  The closing of Brockton Christian School and the year of unemployment that followed.  My mom’s cancer journey.  God brings us along in His care, teaching us about His faithfulness, and His ability to provide in WHATEVER circumstance.  My mom’s latest Facebook quote struck me….” Sometimes we go through what we go through to help others go through what we went through.”  So true – and I have seen her minister to others through her pain, her recovery, and her faith.
  • The rebuke of the wise….. Yes, that’s happened too! One of my friends commented to me as I walked through the hallways of the school – “Karen – you just walked by me – and didn’t see me!! Are you THAT busy?”  Ouch!   And, it stuck.  It still stings.  But – it made me think – and still does today.

P – Father God – I see here so many things that make me think.  What is my legacy?  What is my reputation?  How will I be remembered?  What do YOU want to teach me in difficult (or not-so-difficult) times?  Do I need the rebuke of the wise – still??  Father – impress on my heart YOUR teachings, and may I live them out today.  Keep me faithful, so that I can be an example of Your love, Your faithfulness, and Your teachings to those around me.

Find Us Faithful –

We’re pilgrims on the journey
Of the narrow road
And those who’ve gone before us line the way
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary
Their lives a stirring testament to God’s sustaining grace

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who’ve gone before us
Let us leave to those behind us
The heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift through all we’ve left behind
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find


Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful


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