ECCLESIASTES

Chapter 7

"Man. In Himself."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location
is provided by
http://www.theseason.org/ 

Ecclesiastes 7:1 "A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than a day of one's birth."

Long after you die, and your flesh has been disposed of in the ground, your name will be around. In the Hebrew text the sentence starts and begins the same word, "good", which is rendered "precious". It is comparing as an equal your good name and a precious ointment.

Ecclesiastes 7:2 "It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart."

It is saying here that it is better to go to the funeral parlor, then to a place of great feasting, and stuffing yourself with food and drink. There is no one that has ever gone to a funeral of a loved on, that they didn't learn something. That you didn't see the power of God, and learn more about what life is all about. That is reality, and it is better that you learn from death, then spend all your life living it up. This is called comparing wisdom to folly.

It is not to say that you can not have a good time, but it is asking, where can you learn the most as far as finding peace of mind is concerned. Solomon is telling us that we will learn more in the house of mourning then in the house of pleasure. Why? Because it causes you to think and concentrate.

Ecclesiastes 7:3 "Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better."

A sad face can still be worn by a cheerful soul, when one has peace of mind. Sorrow makes you think and learn for the future. It makes you be very careful, and concentrate on the things of God, whereas the things in the houses of folly, you may feel good, but you will not learn of the things that give peace of mind, and are lasting.

Ecclesiastes 7:4 "The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth."

The heart is the mind, and the mind of the wise learns while in the house of mourning, as will all those that are there. Likewise the minds of all those in that house of mirth, or pleasure are also focused on the same thing, finding pleasures that are temporary, and flighty like what is flying through the fools mind at the time. Again God has nothing against happiness, but we are comparing wisdom with folly, while in the flesh, in this chapter.

Ecclesiastes 7:5 "It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools."

What would you rather listen to, the words of wisdom that you can understand and learn something from, or the rattling on by the vanity and emptiness of a fool?

Ecclesiastes 7:6 "For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity."

Again we find a play on words in the Hebrew text; The word for "crackling" and "voice" are the same, as we see in Genesis 3:8. God is comparing the crackling noise of thorns burning under a pot to that of the constant laughter of fools. Both are empty and just don't make any sense. There is a great deal of difference between being happy and having peace of mind, than one who is a fool and never seeking wisdom in anything. When you listen to a fool, it's like listen to the crackling of the thorn chips under a fire.

It's sort of like sitting around all day listen to your breakfast food, "snap crackle and pop" over and over, and you learn nothing from the noise.

Ecclesiastes 7:7 "Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad: and a gift destroyeth the heart.

"Oppression" as used here is "unjust gain", then translate the word "gift" to "bribe". Don't offer the wise man a bribe, for if he takes the bribe it will destroy his mind. It destroys the mind through guilt. You just don't bribe a wise man and get away with it, for he will not stand for it.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit."

The patient in spirit is a good spirit, and the proud in spirit is a wicked spirit. It is much better to be around a person that has a good spirit than a sour deceitful spirit. Those that have discernment of spirits are fortunate for they can tell the person with a wicked spirit right at the beginning of their meeting. They learn to keep their distance from those of a wicked and proud spirit.

When the fool opens his mouth, his spirit as well as his words come forth, and you can tell the fool and his spirit as his words flow. The spirit of an individual reflects the intelligence of his soul, and what he is inside his flesh body.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 "Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools."

This is saying, "Don't get mad easy." Don't let anger and resentment build up within you. This is saying that when you do get angry, you are a fool if you allow that anger stay there in your mind. Let that anger out for there is nothing wrong with righteous indignation. The true man of God will not let the world run over him, but will hold his ground and take a stand, that is righteous indignation. You take a stand where the Scriptures dictate that something is wrong, and for the love of God, you show mercy for the sake of showing others the love and joy that we have in Christ.

If some nut tries to push his Sodomy off on you, or tries to cheat you, then it is time to take a stand. When something is promoted that which goes against God's Word, and the laws that God set forth, you just don't sit back and say nothing, but it is time to speak out, and call the sin a sin. However, when you are telling someone of the love of God, and What Christ did on the cross, and the person is offended by the gospel of Christ and slaps you, then this is the time to turn the other cheek, for the person is ignorant to the love of God, and by your turning your cheek, he may come to know Christ and be saved.

In the name of Christ, be gentle, but don't allow others to walk all over you. There is a time to fight back, and there is a time to turn the other cheek. Know the difference between the anger of fools, and righteous indignation. When you have some anger tied up within you, don't keep it there but let it out, for it is a release that is built into the flesh man, and if you don't release that anger, it can even destroy you, and bring you to a nervous breakdown.

Ecclesiastes 7:10 "Say not thou, `What is the cause that the former days were better than these?' for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this."

This is in reference to the flesh man, the man that walks under the sun. This saying that the end is better then the beginning, is true because the flesh man has his tour of duty of this flesh life finish, and completed. It is not wise to say, "If I had it to do over, I would have done such and such differently, for if you lived it all over in the same set of circumstances, you would have done the same thing.

You were tested by God in the flesh, and what you did, you did. From what you did may require your repentance, or thanks for the blessings received. Once you have lived your life in the flesh, it is not finished and if you have peace of mind, you know the rest of what is coming upon the earth, as well as to your soul. There is nothing to compare what you can call the "good old days", that will compare to what is in the future for those that love the Lord, and it angers God to compare those days of the past with the joy of being with our heavenly Father. Being with God finds only happiness and peace of mind.

Ecclesiastes 7:11 "Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun."

Remember this chapter is comparing wisdom with folly to find out what makes a person happiest in this flesh body, the man that walks under the sun. This is saying that wisdom is good as your inheritance, for with wisdom you benefit in all matters on living your life, and earning profits from what you have. If you are wise in the ways of God, you are wealthy in the ways of this flesh body.

Ecclesiastes 7:12 "For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it."

Both wisdom and money protect you while you live in the flesh body, but in wisdom and knowledge that you have in God's Word, it gives you the eternal life that His Word offers to you. Wisdom gives you a good quality of life, that will keep you out of trouble, and progress in whatever direction you are going. In the word, "defense", we see that the Hebrew word is "shade", meaning that in wisdom and money offers a shade from the trouble that comes your way in the flesh body, but the Excellency of the knowledge of God's Word, doesn't just shade you but gives life eternal to those that seek that knowledge of God.

The shade of that wisdom comes from above, it is given to everyone that seeks that shade. That shade that God gives by His Spirit, gives us protection from the troubles of this life.

Ecclesiastes 7:13 "Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which He hath made crooked?"

God made man, and placed him on this earth in the flesh body. God didn't just place us here but He put challenges before us in our everyday lives. Living in the flesh itself is a challenge for us. So as we continue on in this chapter, we will look at those things that God placed before us to challenge us as we live our fleshly lives.

Ecclesiastes 7:14 "In the days of prosperity be joyful, but in the days of adversity consider God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him."

God is saying that when you have the prosperity and blessings that He gives you, be happy in them, but when the problems come, that is the time to think and consider what God is trying to show you. Use that wisdom that you learn from the knowledge of His Word, and learn from those tests in your life. God has so placed nature so that man doesn't know exactly what the future is. This alone is a good challenge for man to prepare himself for that future. God is telling you that He put those road blocks in your path, to strengthen you so that you will learn to endure to the end.

We see that many times when children grow up in a surroundings of great wealth, they turn away from God, and seek only pleasures. But when God places trials and testings before them, it strengthens them, and turns their minds to Him. Wisdom will not allow you to forget about God, and through wisdom in God, we gain eternal life.

Ecclesiastes 7:15 "All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness."

Solomon is saying that he has seen all things in this flesh life, as he was the king, and denied himself nothing in the flesh. In all those things that he saw, he was unsatisfied with them all. The righteous man turn to himself, and the vexation of his own spirit, and through his own righteousness tries to find fulfillment, and he can't. Then the wicked man learns nothing from what goes on around him. He has forgotten the man that has died, and learned nothing from that death, and he carries on his life seeking only the pleasures of the wicked in this world. In the end, both are the same, the righteous man that looks only to his only righteousness, and the wicked man that seeks only outwardly to the lusts of the world. The both perish in the end.

While living in the flesh, we are to learn from history and what is going on around us, for everything that is happening is a type of what has happened before, and what will also happen in the future. The wise man will learn from what has happened.

Ecclesiastes 7:16 "Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself."

Don't be over righteous, or self righteous, which we call a self-righteous hypocrite. As you study to become wise, it is necessary that you mix patience with the wisdom that you have received. As you gain in wisdom and knowledge, use that knowledge to benefit yourself, and not work against you, for if you went around spouting off knowledge that no one is prepared to understand, they would think of you as a nut, and a bit off your rocker. When you talk to people talk on the level of understanding of the person that you are talking to, and never talk down to people. It is an insult to them, and nothing is gained by your utterings. For if you already know something, and those around you refuse to listen to your mutterings, what good is it to say anything. When you speak, speak with understanding or be still.

What ever wisdom God has allowed you to have, it was given that it should be shared with another, and not just for self. So learn to share wisdom in a manner that others will accept it, and not be offended by what you have to say.

Ecclesiastes 7:17 "Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldst thou die before thy time?"

Remember we are talking to the man that walks under the sun, meaning to each of us that live our lives in the flesh body. When we walk under the sun, we just have some wicked thoughts from time to time, that are not edifying to the spiritual side of us. Many times we do things that we are not proud of, for we may lose our tempers, and do things that we know we are not to day, yet in weakness, we do them. Solomon is saying for us to try to find an even balance there, even in our times of weakness. This is what Paul talks about when he tells us to get our flesh man under control and submitting to our spirit. In our mind we know what is required of us, and it takes discipline of the flesh to get the flesh under the control of our spirit.

The flesh will always try to reason with us, because it has its own nature, and our soul and spirit must bring the desires of the flesh under control. When you do not, then your become foolish, and do foolish things.

Ecclesiastes 7:18 "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."

When you love the heavenly Father, and learn to bring both the flesh and the spiritual under control, and well disciplined, you will find success both in the flesh and the spirit.

Ecclesiastes 7:19 "Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than then mighty men which are in the city."

When you have the wisdom of God's Word, and the knowledge that comes from that wisdom, then you will be better off then having the think tank of ten mighty thinkers which gather in the city to pool their knowledge of the ways of the world. When God is left out of their thinking process, what ever the wise men think, it just isn't right, regardless what is thought, if God's wisdom of His Word is not there.

Ecclesiastes 7:20 "For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not."

There is not one man in all the world, of any time period that is good and sinneth not. That is that nature of this flesh body, to sin and transgress against God and His Wisdom. We are addressing God's work here, for God created all mankind in their flesh body. It just doesn't matter how wise you think your are, or how much good you do, you are going to sin some, and fall short of God's ways.

Many Christians get tied up with this thought, for when we sin and come short of the glory of God, I Peter tells us how we should live and keep from sinning. However, in the flesh we all do fall. That is when we repent and purify our souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in love for one another with a pure heart. Though we sin, the point is that we do not sin habitually, but strive to correct ourselves from our fall, and learn by it. There is forgiveness when we repent, and in the flesh that is the freedom that we have in Christ, when the flesh falls short, through Christ and in His name, we repent to the heavenly Father, and that sin is then blotted out from the heavenly books, and before Him.

Go back and re-read this verse. "For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not." It is just not possible to live in the flesh without sinning, and don't try to fool yourself into thinking otherwise. That is what our salvation is all about, and why we must continually repent when we fall short of the will of God. Our standard is God's Word, and not man's word. Don't let someone tell you that because you are saved you will never sin again, that is a lie, for as long as you are in the flesh, the flesh nature is in you, and with you as a part of you.

Ecclesiastes 7:21 "Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:"

So, because we know that no man is perfect, when someone utters something bad about you and your character, don't hold it against him. Assume that this person speaking those words are weak to the flesh nature within him, and don't let his sin cause you to sin against him. He may be a very good person, and something is rubbing him the wrong way, remember that each of us have done likewise from time to time, and we stand s guilty of this sin as they. It is time to forgive him, brush the words off, and go your way.

Ecclesiastes 7:22 "For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others."

Friend, what ever you have heard others say about you, there are times that you have committed the same sins against others also. That is the nature of the flesh, and that nature will be with us as long as you live in your flesh body. Why? There is just no perfect man, and when you get to understand that, and adjust to it, your life will be far better.

Christ is the only perfect man that lived in the flesh. God is telling us not to drive away a good man, just because they have criticized you, and said something that may not be true. You could drive away a true lasting friend by a harsh judgment of the moment. Especially when they may have not meant what was said, but talking in jest.

Ecclesiastes 7:23 "All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, "I will be wise;" but it was far from me."

Solomon is saying that all this, the wisdom and folly, he has proven in his own life. Just because you make a statement, it may not be so because of your own words. When you say, "I am wise", does it make it so, of course not. To be wise, you must learn from God's Word, obtain the knowledge, then use that knowledge of wisdom in your life. You become wise by practicing what you know to be true and wise.

Solomon practiced all sorts of foolishness, and folly to see if he could obtain wisdom through experience, folly, knowledge, and what ever else the world had to offer, and he found that there was no wisdom of the flesh, that is what the prior six chapter were all about. In the flesh there is no wisdom, only by the Spirit of God with our spirit comes wisdom while in the flesh bodies. Flesh man can only find wisdom in God's Word and from above, and applying it to his own life.

Ecclesiastes 7:24 "That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?"

The realities of God's truths that are in His holy Word, are deeper then man can understand, without the help from God's Spirit, above. Get the tools to study His Word, and do the best you can with what you have in studying His Word, and ask God's Holy Spirit to open your mind to the truths that are there. Ask Him to help you understand the deeper things, and rely on what He has shown you to be true. Rely on your studies from His word.

Ecclesiastes 7:25 "I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:"

Solomon is saying that He set forth directly to understand all things both of this world and of the truths of God, only to find out that the wickedness of folly, brings foolishness and madness. In the Hebrew text, both "of" and "and" should read "brings", and this changes the whole understanding of this verse.

Ecclesiastes 7:26 "And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whose pleaseth God shall escape; but the sinner shall be taken by her."

The next verse starts to explain what Solomon means by this verse.

Ecclesiastes 7:27 "Behold, this have I found," saith the preacher, "counting one by one, to find out the account:"

Another words the answer is here if you take it one by one. Who is talking here? It is the preacher talking here, and he is not separating gender of the sexes here in a physical sense here, to down play on either the man or the woman. Applying to either the man or the wife.

But what about the word "Preacher" here, it is # 6953 in the Strong's Hebrew dictionary, and reads; "A female assembler, or teacher", This is in reference to a woman preacher. So in that this is talking something awful about woman, from the mouth of a woman preacher, what is the message given here. Now let me ask, Who is the only one that Solomon found that was perfect, in that Jesus had not been born yet? That is right, it was Jesus the Messiah, and Solomon one thousand years before Jesus was ever born, is telling you that only Christ would be perfect, among both men and women.

Now put this in the spiritual realm, the husband is the only one that is found perfect, and He is Christ, while, the woman is the bride and wife of Christ, all of us regardless of what time we lived in, not one is perfect like the husband of the bride of Christ. You can count them one by one, every man that walks under the sun, and in the flesh will fall short, with their hearts as snares and nets, seeking after their own pleasures, only in Christ can one be found without sin. Why; Because it is in His blood that we have righteousness, and our forgiveness can only come through repentance in His name. Are you starting to get the meaning of this verse?

We are talking about all mankind, in the feminine sense, therefore even the preacher to mankind is also given in the feminine, that he or she is speaking as part of the wife or bride of God. This is part of the bride that is promised speaking to the rest of the bride that is part of her. It is given as a figure of speech to help us understand that there is no perfect of mankind, except for Christ the Messiah.

Ecclesiastes 7:28 "Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found."

Here again we see that the one man amongst all the rest that is perfect is the husband, Jesus Christ, and the woman mentioned here is the make up of all the people that are within the bride of Christ, or the wife, which is the elect of God, that were judged in that first earth age, and also make up the bride of Christ. Solomon has search in all mankind and only our Lord Jesus Christ is found to be perfect in every way in the flesh.

Ecclesiastes 7:29 "Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions."

Mankind is always trying to seek out an easier way, because God's way is just not good enough for flesh man, that walks under the sun. This is where man goes bad, when they turn to the inventions of their own hands to find their peace of mind, and satisfaction. Among all mankind there is no satisfaction and peace of mind, unless you are in God's Word, and the wisdom and knowledge you have and follow is within the will of God.

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