The Berean Expositor
Volume 12 - Page 53 of 160
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methods, which in reality vainly seek to do that which Christ alone can do. The new man
however looks beyond the present.
"If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and
justice in a province, marvel not at the matter (margin, will, or purpose): for He that is
higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they" (5: 8).
Let our indignation be modified by the fact that if we see, so also does He that is
higher than the highest. Moreover the "matter" is of "purpose". It is not a question of
indifference on the part of God; He knows, He regards, but the place of judgment is
THERE, not here (11: 9; 12: 14; see especially 3: 16, 17). Chapter 5: introduces us to
the sanctuary of God, and like Asaph we understand the end and cease to fret ourselves
because of evil-doers and of those wicked who prosper.
In our quotation of Chapter 7:, which appears above, we gave verses 7 & 9,
omitting verse 8. There is a helpful alternation which should be observed here:--
A | 7.  Oppression makes wise man mad.
B | 8.  Pause.--Better the end than the beginning,
and a patient spirit as a consequence.
A | 9.  Be not hasty; anger belongs to fools.
B | 10.  Pause.--Do not enquire petulantly concerning the former days.
The great corrective, when we view the inequalities of this life, is to remember that
there is a purpose which runs through the ages, that this world is out of joint by reason of
sin, and that to attempt to put crooked things straight apart from Redemption is the worst
vexation of all.  Pause and reflect; the end is the great thing; God is over-ruling
oppressions and inequalities and all shall subserve His end. Be "patient in spirit"; do not
be "hasty in spirit to be angry", for only fools are thus betrayed into impotent wrath.
Moreover, do not be tempted to adopt the general idea embodied in the term "the good
old days"; there have been no such good old days, for all days have been marked by the
presence and power of sin and death with their accompanying miseries. The days past
were no better than the present; all human nature runs in the same direction. The parent
assures his erring child that he was "never so naughty when he was a little boy". Old
people always deplore the awful sinfulness of the rising generation, but this is not
wisdom, it is feebleness of mind (Eccles. 7: 10). All generations have been wicked and
will be until the Lord comes and the new life begins.
Keep an even temper. Eccles. 7: 7-10 says in effect, "Let your moderation be
known unto all men: the Lord is near" (Phil. 4: 5).  "Wisdom is good like an
inheritance . . . . . the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life, to them that
have it" (Eccles. 7: 11, 12, see Volume X, pages 167 & 168 for fuller exposition).
Instead of allowing the limited horizon of this life to decide our actions, to arouse our
anger, to lead us in the vain attempt to improve the old nature, we remember "the Higher
than the highest", we reflect upon the purpose that is surely beneath all the happenings,
we remember the "end" and the "life" to which true wisdom points. So concludes