(Lesson # 11 in the series on Ecclesiastes)
The Bible is a very practical book. It gives advice on countless topics and can be applied in some way to every situation. God designed the Bible to be practical. Psalm 19:7-9, Romans 15:4, 2 Timothy 3:16-17
The passage before us contains practical advice from Solomon that we should consider.
PRACTICAL ADVICE CONCERNING REPUTATION - Vss. 1-3
Vs. 1 - Dead flies (The Fly in the ointment") can ruin Sweet perfume. Flies aren't large, but they can ruin the smell!
In the same way, just a little folly, a little foolishness, a little evil, can destroy the reputation of a person who is otherwise known for his wisdom and honor.
Vs. 2 - The majority of people were right-handed. I think that the right hand would have been considered the strong hand. The left hand was the weaker hand. The wise man's heart is strong.
The foolish man's heart is weak. We are not talking about the physical heart, but a man's spiritual heart.
Vs. 3 - A fool demonstrates his foolishness by his behavior. "His wisdom faileth him."
PRACTICAL ADVICE CONCERNING RULERS - Vss. 4-7, 16-17
Vs. 4 - It is possible to run from or resist authority. It is best to yield.
Vss. 5-7 - The wrong people are often honored or given responsibility when they do not deserve it. God has his reasons for this. Romans 13:1-2
Vss. 16-17 - A nation is cursed when it has immature leadership and blessed when it has mature leadership.
PRACTICAL ADVICE CONCERNING RESPONSIBILITY - Vss. 8-10, 18-19
Vss. 8-9 - Every job has its hazards, even preaching! :-) We are to be careful in our jobs and be aware of the dangers.
Vs. 10 - Don't work harder. Work smarter! .
Vs. 18 - We should not be lazy!
Vs. 19 - As it has been said, "Money talks!"
PRACTICAL ADVICE CONCERNING REMARKS (WORDS) - Vss. 11-14, 20
Vss. 11-14 - Words can be dangerous, and a fool reveals himself by the things that he says.
Vs. 20 - We must be careful of critical words, and be aware that people have a way of finding out what we have said.