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Volume 13 - Page 12 of 159 Index | Zoom | |
"It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine
hand; for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all" (7: 18).
"I know that it shall be well with them that fear God" (8: 12).
This is wisdom, it causes the face to shine. To probe and worry about all the
mysteries of Providence however, to ignore the fact that "Though a wise man think to
know it, yet shall he not be able to find it out", this is seeking trouble, vexation, misery.
Wisdom believes God, and the only persons who can really "enjoy life" are those who
have thus realized practically, as well as theoretically:--
"that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are IN THE HAND OF GOD" (9: 1).
We must pursue the subject further in our next paper.
Contentment (8:, 9:).
pp. 55 - 57
We arrived in our last article at the point where the Preacher commended mirth
saying, "A man hath nothing better than to eat, and to drink, and be merry". It must be
admitted that these words are associated in some parts of Scripture with worldly unbelief,
e.g., Luke 12: 19, but we must see whether this is the only context of these words before
we judge the passage in Ecclesiastes. Prov. 17: 22 says:--
"A merry heart doeth food like a medicine."
Of Boaz it is written:--
"And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at
the end of the heap of corn" (Ruth 3: 7),
but there is no suggestion that Boaz was anything but a proper and God-fearing man in so
doing. The Scripture describes the peace and prosperity of Israel under the reign of
Solomon with these words:--
"Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and
drinking, and making merry" (I Kings 4: 20).
It is rather unfortunate that the present-day conception of the word "merry" dissociates
it rather from spiritual things. While however the occasions are few where the word is
translated "merry", it is rendered many times "rejoice", "joy", "glad". Such passages as
"In Thy presence is fullness of joy", "Serve the Lord with gladness", will shew that the
word carries a wider and deeper meaning than merely that of merriment.
Mirth may be very wrong, as Eccles. 2: shews, but like many things mirth,
merriment, joy, gladness, may also be very right. Many there are who can walk by a hard
and fast rule, few there are who can rise to the height of the apostle who can say