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April 7, 2021 12:00 am
Solomon is essentially saying that even in the lives of those who have everything they cannot get away from the battles of life. Even a person that seems to be the top that individual is seems that there way you get by. You know the current you'll discover there facing the battles of life. That's good to remember when that supervisor unloads on you. It may be nothing more than dictation battles or fail times the workplace is hostile to wisdom. Sometimes the culture of the business is based on a worldly form of wisdom. God gives practical wisdom for the workplace and helps you navigate your work and work relationships well. He gives you wisdom to respond to those in authority over and the wisdom to know that whatever happens, God has his reasons which will actually lead you to new depths of wisdom today on wisdom for the heart.
Stephen baby has a message for you called bringing wisdom to work. Years ago the devotional magazine, our daily bread illustrated the need for the believer to face their problems and their challenges with greater deepening trust in the Lord's provision who was at work behind the scenes during World War II which is where the illustration comes from a family in Sussex, England send some money to a missionary society and enclosed the letter that they would like it to have been more but the harvest on their farm was being threatened by the lack of rain water. Unable to irrigate their farm and they were fearful of German bombs adding to the problem being dropped in their area putting their farm. There crops at risk, not to mention their own lives. They asked the staff of this mission to pray specifically that no bombs would fall on their land.
The director of the missionary society wrote back and wisely responded while they didn't believe they could pray that exact prayer. They would indeed pray that this family would trust the Lord as his will unfolded in their lives. When you know it. Shortly thereafter, a German bomb landed on the property exploding no family member was hurt livestock refined the barn still standing but that bombshell created such a crater in the ground that it liberated an underground stream and that stream yielded enough water to irrigate their entire property, and the other farms in their area. The daily bread ended the illustration by writing sometimes even bombs are blessings. Yes, they seem to fall from heaven and make a lot of noise in create confusion and chaos, but ultimately they liberate within us a new stream of trust and faith in the provision of God.as a way of using inconveniences and trials and difficulties to draw us to trust him even more. Perhaps one of the more difficult areas of life in which we trust him and we have to carefully navigate through life is on the job even working from home.
Perhaps there are still challenges with staffing or authority baby coming here with some rather explosive problems. Combustible unreasonable demands, difficult assignments individuals in your world may have authority over you trouble you make life difficult for you to take wisdom to work with you as wisdom work so to speak, from 9 to 5. How do you respond to those in authority over you will got through Solomon is going to address the issue. So let's go back in our study to Ecclesiastes the writings of King Solomon were in chapter 8 and in verse two is will we pick up our study the Bible reads that verse two. I say keep the king's command because of God's oath to him now since Solomon is a king. He's going to illustrate the principle of responding to authority to this kind of level of authority easy to start with the king and move on down. He started the top is the highest power in the land. And that's really a great place to draw insight from because of you not to respond to a higher authority of the land.
You'll know how to respond to all the lesser authority in your life and everyone of course is at any time surrounded by authority. It might be a teacher. It might be a parents might be some governing official might be a coach might be a supervisor or a CEO in the first principle, he lays down here for us is this it's the principle of obedience to authority. Solomon raises this fundamental issue that the king's command, you could translate that Hebrew phrase from the mouth of the King, the word of the king is to be obeyed. Solomon writes this on account of God's oath to him. That's why, in other words, the king's authority happens to be delegated to them by God were obeying the king's commands. Because ultimately God is commanding the king might not look like it might look like the King isn't representing God and he might not immediately but indirectly were told that God is moving the heart of the king proffers 21 in verse one is where Solomon reminds us that the heart of the king is in the hand of God. It might seem like you're obeying an earthly supervisor, but ultimately you're obeying God that Paul will reinforce this to the Colossians's is why you're serving earthly masters. Earthly supervisors earthly authorities know that you are serving your actually serving the Lord Christ that make it easy. By the way, that doesn't mean it's going to be convenient, especially as it relates to your Christianity at work but just as an ordinary individual.
You might be summoned for jury duty and you plan vacation. You might have to pay more taxes than you wanted, you might have to submit to some zoning authority or ordinance. That's costly and inconvenient and you might even argue unnecessary war meeting here today on this campus because were evaluated annually by the fire department and we received the permit.
Those doors have to be a certain thickness or we can be in here all of those windows in our facility have to be a certain with or they don't passcode. They have to have glass with a certain thickness hallway doors have to be expensively wired so that they automatically shuts there's a fire classrooms on the second floor cannot be used for children under the age of two. Expensive.
That makes children's ministries parking spaces have to be a certain wit a certain wit if you're up to me that he about this why, but you gotta make them wide enough to get in and out of which is a good thing and every so often in the parking lot they require that you put in an island in any of the plan greenery.
Gotta plant trees along the road. Those are demands on ordinances of our authority that church sign out front could only be so tall and so wide. Which is why that sign is absolutely useless. People think there were some university or college. Paul writes, let every person be subject to the ordinances of governing authority and then he adds in Romans 13, 14.
There is no authority except from God, it might look like. Governing authority is in charge. He calls believers to go one step further. This is Jesus before Pilate and pilots is wired you answering these questions I'm asking you because don't you know I have authority to put you to death that Jesus speaks of these is the only authority you have is the authority delegated from above.
You might think all of these are terrible days I've heard believers talking about will now's the time to stop paying taxes. I'll visit you were not one of the early church was 1900 years ago were believers were covered with tar and used his torches to light the garden parties, Nero were not worthy Anabaptists were 500 years ago who said you know what were going to follow the Scriptures and the Scripture says that baptism is for babies.
It is for believers and the word means to immerse as in Jesus died, was buried, and rose gives a warning to be baptizing again and the governing officials said well if you love water that much will put you ended and they drowned many of the Anabaptists for doing what we do here without any thought of their some countries to this day were being a Christian is a matter of life and death. What are problems. I believe as is believers, especially to free country is that we forget were in exile here. We think were home were trying to get comfortable on the wrong living room were citizens of heaven, assigned to the embassy of earth, for the time being there's a second principle here is the principle of patience in the process noticed the first phrase of verse three be not hasty. They go from his presence. Stop here Solomon is referring more than likely to a culture of respect and that will change from culture to culture. It's patients being shown by the subordinate is the indoors. His authority, he says here. Do not be hasty to leave his presence. He's not telling you how fast you're supposed to leave that place of authority, if they call you in your supervisor called UNR that authority in your life. Demands that your audience is not telling the Internet on out of there only so fast. Should you walk saying you saying stick it out. Be respectful by your time is not telling me how fast you walk away from the White House. Be careful, be respectful, wait for an opportunity to speak with wisdom so he isn't talking about physically moving slowly he's talking about. Respectfully, responding slowly.
Thirdly, there is this principle of loyalty to the office on his last believers. Do not take your stand in an evil cause for he that is the authority does whatever he pleases. The word of the king is supreme, who may say to him what are you doing Solomon is essentially reminding us here that a very practical level. If you don't like the word of the king you might be tempted to talk back. You might be dead to disable what you think you're doing you think you are, show respect for the office of that authority that coach that teacher that governing official notice he says here at the beginning don't take up an evil cause when he's telling you to do is in in whatever way you choose to respond to the authority it's not going to be right to strike back by taking up evil. You don't strike back at sin by doing sin you don't strike back at evil by doing evil, your supervisor says or does something unkind, you will look for an opportunity give it back to your neighbor yells at you.
That doesn't mean you get to yell back. Somebody throws money at you. That doesn't give you the right to from my that's the point.
By the way, this is the way the powerbrokers of the world launch their agendas. This is the way the world works. This is the way you demonstrate power you're able yell louder, you're just a little higher on the food chain. Solomon reinforces his comments about a wise person responding to authority any and I'm sure you're wondering what about this. What about that was I can answer all the questions but he does give a couple of prohibitions are helpful. Number one is the prohibition of sinning against God.
Verse five whoever keeps the command will know no evil thing you can be related evil. He reinforces this is sort of a fundamental principle here of obedience to the commands of your authority.
There is a boundary line.
There is a line you will not cross and that is you will not obey the command of your authority.
If there command requires you to disobey the command of God. This is where you will be like those early apostles in acts chapter 5, where they said that their leaders, we will obey God rather than relationships of ended careers dissolved because a believer would not violate the Scriptures. There is this principle. This prohibition of not sinning against God. Secondly, Solomon reinforces what he said earlier.
Now the prohibition of speaking out of turn. Notice verse five and and moving forward. Says the Wisehart will know the proper time in the just way the right way the right time for there is a time and a way for everything.
Although man's trouble lies heavily on for he does not know what is to be for you can tell and how it will be. In other words, you, you're in the middle of the dilemma hereunder authority you need to say something but what you pray about it.
This is where you ask God for wisdom. There's got to be the right time and the rights message in the right motive. You have the right spirits is ultimately representing a higher authority representing God and analyze heart ought to know that you probably are to choose at that moment's silence and then remain that way. Asking the Lord for the right moment and the right message in the right manner to deliver and this comes really from an understanding of the trust statement of faith of what Solomon says are verse seven we do know we do not know what God is planning in the future. We don't know what he's doing. We know it was like right now but we don't know what he's doing. I live don't you with an anticipation of I wonder what God is doing now look around. Wonder why what God is. How is he setting the table for ministry doing for the gospel say how is he moving along his purpose.
There is the sense of patience based on trust.
We have no idea of the Lord is preparing us for the days to come, and you might think right now, Lord, you know the worst thing that could ever happen is for bomb to fall on my farm and it falls in a stream of water emerges which guided planned alone. Solomon now ends this discussion is to remind us that there are limitations to power and for those of you who are in authority. These are good reminders for those of you are under authority. These are also good reminders. There are limitations to power. And Solomon rattles off four of them fairly quickly. Each of them in the Hebrew language begin with a little negative. No or not.
So we know that they are progressing proverb so to speak. Here's the first limitation number one. No one can control the wind. Notice the first phrase in verse eight, no, no man has power to retain the spirit, which I think ought to be translated when context decides that Hebrew word for wind and spirit is the same word rule, since many assume that this phrase goes with the next phrase about death, then it must be a reference to someone's inability to control their death will that will be true and he's good to talk about that in the second one that was not missed the impact of this one. Hebrew scholars refer to these progressive Proverbs and one of them says more than likely Solomon is simply referring to the weather pieces no matter how powerful that person is in your life. Guess why they can't move one cloud in the sky they cannot make it rain. They can't make it call they can make it hot.
They they can't do anything as it relates to the letter except reported in other words, the most powerful person on earth can't make the breeze blow can't make that hurricane stop they look powerful. They can even change that little breeze out there is the second limitation no one can determine their lifespan. Next raise rates. No one has power over the day of death, no matter how powerful, no matter how authoritative, no matter how many people bow the word or command of this individual death does not bow to their command.
Death is in the hand of God. He determines life and breath thought it was interesting in my study to come across the illustration of King Louis XIV two powerful king, but on his deathbed he called his son into the room at his last words to him were these listen son profit by my errors and remember kings die like every other man is 1/3 reminder of the limitation of power. No one can get away from the battles of life you right here in verse eight there is no discharge from war or you can render from the midst of the middle of battle. This can refer to a war or battle. You might think of in the traditional sense market refer to something broader which I think would be correct in this context, Solomon is essentially saying that even in the lives of those who have everything they cannot they just cannot get away from the battles of life. Even the person that seems to be at the top of the food chain even that individual is seems that there way you get by.
Do you know the curtain you'll discover there facing the battles of life that that's good to remember when that supervisor unloads on you.
It might be nothing more than an indication that they have other battles are failing and are taking it out on their is in any way you can get around or away from the battles of life. Fourthly, no one can get around the consequences of sin matter how powerfully verse eight.
The last part nor will wickedness deliver those who are given to you are given over to it.
It's Woodley translated wickedness will not deliver its masters. Those who master evil.
Those who master sin. Those that seem to control everything by the dictate of their power and people in power often become masters at wickedness. Nobody steps up. Nobody seems ever speak they live unaccountable lives. They have their way.
Solomon saying the even day face the day of judgment coming. By the way, the only hope for any of us is the forgiveness of our sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ right. The only hope many of us out because all of us have heard other all of us have probably had at some point in times of authority within news righteously or wisely or kindly we after reading something like this. Let's make sure we just don't point fingers.
Our hope is in the grace of God through Christ who pays for our crimes and sin not only gives us the gift of salvation which we could never earn James chapter 1 tells us he gives us the gift of wisdom to know how to live. Now that you belong to him. This is wisdom you take to work. This is wisdom blinded by this is wisdom in responding to those in authority over you.
This is wisdom to know that even if a bomb falls on your farm, your life, God might just be opening new streams of deep water depths of character and your greatest statement of faith will be to trust him to continue to honor walk with and who knows maybe that supervisor may be that coach may be that parents may be a teacher will see in your response, something so distinctively different.
They will have to set person has something they know I got I got give us wisdom. I hope that as you go about your everyday life. This, you'll find ample opportunity to pursue God's wisdom. Thanks for joining us today. This is wisdom for the heart.
The Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey. Today's message is entitled bringing wisdom to work. It's part of Stephen series called pursuing wisdom under the sun. You can listen to this message again or learn more about our firstname.lastname@example.org you'll be able to access the complete archive of Stephen's Bible teaching ministry as well as each days broadcast wisdom for the heart, publishes a monthly magazine called heart-to-heart. Each issue features articles written to help you grow in your faith and a daily devotional guide to keep you rooted in God's word, we send this as a gift to all of our wisdom partners and would be happy to send you the next three issues absolutely free.
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