Better to Be Wise Than Foolish

“Men wiser and more learned than I have discovered in history a plot, a rhythm, a predetermined pattern. But these harmonies are concealed from me. I can see only one emergency following another, as wave follows upon wave–there can be no generalization. There is only one sa … More


In continuing with key words we find:

4. Determination (vv. 11-12) - The writer says that everything is really predetermined. We expect the fastest and the strongest to win the battle but often this does not happen. Neither do the wise always earn a living, gain food, get rich or acquire a great reputation. The reason for such failures is that all people are subject to times of misfortune.

Either not having enough time, or being in the wrong place at the right time or the right place at the wrong time, we become victims of the whims of chance. Time and chance attack us all and nothing happens as we expect. No man knows when his hour will come (v. 12).

5. Despising (vv.13-18) - Finally in the last part of this chapter the author tells us a parable. An example is given of a poor wise man who delivers a small poorly defended city from a siege by a powerful king. However, the poor man’s accomplishments went unrewarded because nobody remembered him.

6. The basic idea is that man’s destiny leads to death. Therefore, we might as well enjoy the desires of this life while we have them because determinism will eventually catch up with us. All things are controlled and even the good and wise will not be remembered.


I need to remember that all of this is the thinking of the natural man and that through Christ the Christian can rise above this.

Ecclesiastes 9:11-18 (English Standard Version)

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