One of the advantages of being a wise king with seemingly unlimited resources is that you have the opportunity to pursue all your desires. The Preacher from the book of Ecclesiastes (thought to be King Solomon) ended up concluding that no matter how much he pursued his heart’s desires, the result was vanity unless he correctly aligned himself with his Creator. Unlike us, he had ample resources to test all his theories of life, only to conclude that God was right all along and that everyone would do well to fear Him and keep His commandments.
Believe it or not, the Preacher has some good advice for Facebookers who are all too quick to take offense when social media does them wrong. He admonishes in Eccl. 7:21–22,
Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.
Imagine that! Even this king knew that being concerned about what others say, rather than what the Lord has to , amounts to vanity and vexation of spirit. What’s more, we do not always judge others the way we would wish to be judged!
Additionally, the Preacher instructs us how to use our time learning the ways of the Lord rather than focusing our day-to-day lives on foolish diversions and alarming reports from those who wish to immobilize us in our pursuit of the Kingdom of God.
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. (Eccl. 7:5-6)
I must admit, as a new believer in Jesus Christ, the book of Ecclesiastes seemed to be nothing more than a collection of random platitudes. Now, as one more seasoned in the faith, I can appreciate the Preacher’s conclusion of the whole matter (Eccl. 12:13) and come to a similar perspective. We must identify the noise of the world for what it is—fleeting nonsense and deliberate diversions to derail our pursuit of the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
With so many edifying resources at our disposal, let us listen to the Preacher:
Wisdom is good with an inheritance, an advantage to those who see the sun. For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it. (Eccl. 7:11-12)