Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

Ecclesiastes 9:11-18

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Week  Seven – Day 2 – Ecclesiastes 9:11 – 18  SOAP v. 17, 18WK7D2

11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all. 12 For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.

13 I have also seen this example of wisdom under the sun, and it seemed great to me. 14 There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it and besieged it, building great siege works against it.15 But there was found in it a poor, wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man. 16 But I say that wisdom is better than might, though the poor man’s wisdom is despised and his words are not heard.

17 The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools. 18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.

O – Solomon JUST DOESN”T get it.   While he realizes that it is not the swift, or the strong, or the wise or the intelligent that “win” – he doesn’t realize that it is ONLY by God’s grace and strength is the battle won, or life well lived.  When I read this passage, my mind went immediately to the old hymn, “Victory Through Grace.”  “Not to the strong is the battle, not to the swift is the race, Yet to the true and the faithful vict’ry is promised through grace.”  Solomon’s view is so fatalistic….. so negative.  Was having TOO MUCH – too much wisdom, stuff, honor, prestige, wealth  – his downfall?  Was seeking “MORE” of everything what made him feel that he was chasing after the wind?  Everything he seeks brings a negative response, or the opposite of what he was really seeking.  The poor have wisdom, but no one listens.  Wisdom might be better than might – but no one listens to someone without wealth.  Man doesn’t have control of his destiny.  It seems that he sees God as the “puppetmaster” – pulling the strings of men’s actions, and finding great enjoyment in man’s pain.  NOT SO!

A – I am so glad to have a RELATIONSHIP with my heavenly Father.  I see Solomon seeking, and seeking, and not able to find meaning.   What happened to this wise man, who asked for wisdom?  What got in the way?  His pride?  His desire for MORE?  His feeling that he could go it alone, without help?  In his writings, I see “nuggets” of wisdom, but the bulk of this book is so sad.  His proverbs seem to make the most sense – speaking words of wisdom in quiet are better than shouting them by fools.  Words of wisdom are better than weapons of war – but it only takes one person to destroy peace and to undo what good may have been done.  Yes – those words are true.  But – we need to have God’s perspective.  The “true and the faithful” are promised victory through grace.   But, beyond success is the fact that God is with us.  He will never, ever, leave us.  He promises to be with us through all of life.  I cling to that.

P – Father God, thank You for Your presence in my life.  Thank You that You will never leave or forsake me.  Help me to cling to the Promiser, not just the promises.  Thank You for the hope that lies within me – the hope of eternal life, and the hope of being with You, forever.  In the meantime, help me to remain true and faithful to You – and to Your word.  Help it to continue to be living and active – change me, molding me, shaping me – to be the woman that You would have me to be.

“The words of wise men heard in quietness are better than the shouting of one who rules among fools.18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.” (v 17,18, AMP)

Victory Through Grace –

  1. Conquering now and still to conquer, rideth a King in His might;
    Leading the host of all the faithful into the midst of the fight;
    See them with courage advancing, clad in their brilliant array,
    Shouting the Name of their Leader, hear them exultingly say:

Not to the strong is the battle, not to the swift is the race,
Yet to the true and the faithful vict’ry is promised through grace.

  1. Conquering now and still to conquer, who is this wonderful King?
    Whence are the armies which He leadeth, while of His glory they sing?
    He is our Lord and Redeemer, Savior and Monarch divine;
    They are the stars that forever bright in His kingdom shall shine.
  2. Conquering now and still to conquer, Jesus, Thou Ruler of all,
    Thrones and their scepters all shall perish, crowns and their splendor shall fall,
    Yet shall the armies Thou leadest, faithful and true to the last,
    Find in Thy mansions eternal rest, when their warfare is past.

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