Week Six – Day 2 – Ecclesiastes 8:10-13
Those Who Fear God Will Do Well
10 Then I saw the wicked buried. They used to go in and out of the holy place and were praised in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity. 11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him. 13 But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days like a shadow, because he does not fear before God.
O – Solomon talks about the wicked, and how sometimes, they live “double lives.” They go in and out of the temple, and yet when they die and are buried, they aren’t remembered for their evil deeds, but were praised. Is this right? He also said that punishment for crimes should be carried out quickly, or else people are more apt to commit more crimes, knowing that they could “get away with it.” BUT – even though the wicked may continue his/her evil ways and seemingly get off scot free, Solomon KNEW that it would “BE WELL” with those who fear God. The end result for the wicked is death – and standing before God with their evil deeds.
A – I can hear Solomon cry out here – “It’s just not fair!” Yes, sometimes life is NOT fair. Or, at least what we think is “fair.” Why do the wicked go unpunished? Why do evil men prosper? Why does crime persist? I have to remember that God IS JUST – and He will be the final judge.
Isaiah 3:10 – Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.
Proverbs 21:1-3 – The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Ann Spangler’s blog stated this on 4/21/16: when it comes to the biggest disrupter of peace in the world—the power of evil. I don’t mean to imply that evil isn’t powerful, only that it is not as strong as we think it is. Paul told the Romans, who would soon suffer persecution, that they could not merely resist evil but overcome it. How? By doing good.
Miroslav Volf comments that “to triumph fully, evil needs two victories, not one. The first victory happens when an evil deed is perpetrated; the second victory, when evil is returned. After the first victory, evil would die if the second victory did not infuse it with new life.”1
In the world, we see this when one tribe or group of people commits an atrocity and the victims respond with retribution. The same cycle happens on an individual level, close to home. A husband lashes out, and his wife gives it back to him in spades. A child is disrespectful, and her mother goes on a rant about how vile and worthless her daughter is.
It takes strength to refrain from responding to evil with evil, but even greater strength to respond to it by doing good. If we want to enjoy God’s peace, we need to consider how we respond to the sins of others. Today let’s determine that instead of granting evil a second victory, we will deal it a decisive defeat.
Putting all this together, I think that:
- Life IS not fair. God did not promise fair. He promised justice – His justice.
- We will reap what we sow – in the end. If we sow to God’s kingdom, we will reap that just as well. It is the end result. I want to sow for eternal results!
- God knows our hearts – pure or not. He will weigh them in the balance in the end. He desires that we be just and righteous – no matter what the world does.
- Evil begats evil. I don’t want to perpetuate it! The Bible says to return evil for good, not what others do to us.
- I need to rest in God – no matter the circumstances. He WILL PREVAIL! Evil WILL NOT triumph! God is just. I need to have an eternal perspective, not only for my actions, but for others’ as well.
- It WILL BE WELL for those who fear God. It WILL BE WELL.
P – Father God, thank You for Your eternal plan, Your eternal perspective, and Your Justice. Father, help me learn to live in this world, shining Your light in the dark places. You have conquered the enemy, and have restrained his power. Father, give me the strength to resist the devil today. Don’t let him get a foothold in my life. Thank You for overcoming sin and death by sending Your Son to die on the cross for my sins. Help me rest in You when I see evil overcoming, and help me know when to stand for You in this world. Don’t let me give evil that second victory. Thank You for your promises and Your faithfulness – for I know IT IS WELL with my soul today. Amen.
It is Well With My Soul – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXbM8rgiIM4