Ecclesiastes 7 has Solomon continuing in his pain and sense of meaninglessness. “A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth”. He starts out reminding us how important it is to have a good name – which likely means a name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Which could explain the second half of his statement, that the day of death is a better day that the day of one’s birth. It is true for those of us who know Christ – our death will be a glorious day that will provide entry into eternity through the shed blood of the Savior.
Solomon continues by reminding us that we learn much through the hard times in life. “It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools”. God often teaches us wisdom as we face adversity and suffering. We don’t learn much while enjoying ease and comfort. While we never like rebuke and being told what is wrong in our life, that is an important thing for us to hear. He compares the song of fools to the ‘crackling of thorns under a pot’ which refers to a very short lived fire that lasts for but a moment. We need to to hear words that can change us long term for the future – the wisdom of a wise rebuke.
Solomon reminds us of the place we fit in God’s creation. It is His plan, done His way, in His time. “Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked”? We may not like what God has chosen to do. We may question God’s choices and decisions. But we need to remember where we fit in all of Creation – we were created by God for a purpose. We are His creation, not the Creator. We need to learn to accept His decisions around what He has chosen to do and quit trying to take His place as the one who made it all. God alone decides what is straight and what is crooked. It is not our place to question that.
Solomon makes it clear that we have a problem as man on this earth. “Wisdom gives strength to the wise man….Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins”. Wisdom is a fantastic gift from God. It is a blessing from God that we need to seek, learn, and make a part of our life. God has shared it in His Word. We can learn it from wise people in our patch. It is powerful and extremely valuable in living life. But it won’t keep us from making bad choices – we’ll still fall short of God’s standards – and that is called sin which carries a very big price. Solomon says it clearly, just like many other places in scripture. None of us will live life without sin. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. God provided that Savior through the death of His Son on the Cross. Jesus paid the price for our sin – we merely need to receive that gift of grace to be set free!