The Berean Expositor
Volume 13 - Page 11 of 159
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The wise man.
| Interpretation.
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Wisdom makes face to shine.
| Interpretation often, by lifting the veil of the future,
changes the strength of face and plunges one into sorrow.
A little further on in Eccles. 8: the writer returns to the same thought by saying, "A
wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment" (verse 5). So far this is wisdom
and will made the face to shine, but the Preacher continues:--
"Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is
great upon him. For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it
shall be?" (verses 6 and 7).
What is troubling the man? Verse 8 explains:--
"There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit, neither hath he
power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war."
Here we have an example of those who all their lifetime were held in bondage by the
fear of death. Resurrection we have already seen unlocks the teaching of Ecclesiastes.
"All this have I seen", said Ecclesiastes, "and applied my heart unto every work that is
done under the sun", and then he gives some examples. He sums up his observations in
verse 12:--
"Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I
know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before Him."
This is true, even though there be a vanity done upon the earth:--
"that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked;
again there be wicked man to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous"
(verse 14).
This in no wise alters the previous conclusion that it shall be well with them that fear
God. We now come to "that good", which is the object of search in this book:--
"Then I commended mirth (joy, gladness), because a man hath no better thing (see the
series of `better things' in chapter 7:) under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be
merry, for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth
him under the sun" (8: 15).
The question arises as one reads these words, Is this God's truth, or is it merely the
opinion of man? To arrive at a satisfactory conclusion necessitates a continuance of our
study into chapter 9: We will therefore suspend judgment and seek grace that we may
find the truth as we proceed. Meanwhile we may profit by what we have seen. Wisdom
may give us a child-like and simple faith. It will enable us to see all the baffling
perplexities of every-day life, the wicked prospering and the righteous suffering, and it
will keep ever before our minds the fact that:--