Dave Burnette's Commentary

Ecclesiastes Chapter 7

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Solomon
Date Penned: (935 BC)
Overview: Wisdom's Lessons from Experience (c 1-12)
Theme: Solomon's Practical Counsel (c 6-8)
Message: Wise Advice for Living (v 1-29)

Ecclesiastes 7 Commentary 

(7:1) Adversity - This seems to contradict Solomon's previous advice to eat, drink, and find satisfaction in one's work--to enjoy what God has given. We are to enjoy what we have while we can but also realize that adversity strikes. Adversity reminds us that life is short, teaches us to live wisely, and refines our character. Christianity and Judaism see value in suffering and sorrow. The Greeks and Romans despised it; Eastern religions seek to live above it; but Christians and Jews see it as a refining fire. Most would agree that we learn more about God from difficult times than from happy times. Do you try to avoid sorrow and suffering at all costs? See your struggles as great opportunities to learn from God. 

(7:2) Avoiding Death - Many people avoid thinking about death, refuse to face it, and are reluctant to attend funerals. Solomon is not encouraging us to think morbidly, but he knows that it is helpful to think clearly about death. It reminds us that we still have time to change, time to examine the direction of our lives, and time to confess our sins and find forgiveness from God. Because everyone will eventually die, it makes sense to plan ahead to experience God's mercy rather than his justice. 

(7:7) Bribes - Money talks, and the prospect of gaining it can distract those who would otherwise judge fairly. We hear about bribes given to judges, police officers, and witnesses. Bribes are given to hurt those who tell the truth and help those who oppose it. People who are involved in extortion or take bribes are indeed fools, no matter how wise they think they are in doing so. It is said that everyone has a price, but those who are truly wise cannot be bought at any price. 

(7:8) Persistence - To finish what we start takes hard work, wisdom, self-discipline, and patience. Anyone with vision can begin a big project. But vision without wisdom will result in unfinished projects and unmet goals. 

(7:10) Living in the Now - The "good old days" are easy and nostalgic to talk about, but they may never have existed. Sometimes we remember only the good things about the past, forgetting that those days also had problems and challenges. Instead of living in the past, decide to live for today. Live in such a way that you will look back on today as one of the "good old days." 

(7:14) Blaming God - God allows both good and bad times to come to everyone. He blends them in our lives in such a way that we can't predict the future or count on human wisdom or power. We usually give ourselves the credit for the good times. Then in bad times, we tend to blame God without thanking him for the good that comes out of those experiences. When life appears certain and controllable, don't let self-satisfaction or complacency make you too comfortable, or God may allow bad times to drive you back to him. When life seems uncertain and uncontrollable, don't despair--God is in control and will bring good results out of your struggles. 

(7:16-18) Legalism - How can a person be too good, too righteous, or too wise? This is a warning against religious pride--legalism or false righteousness. Solomon was saying that some people become overly righteous or wise in their own eyes; they become deluded by their own religious acts. They are so rigid or narrow in their views that they lose their sensitivity to the true reason for being good--to honor God. Balance is important. God created us to be whole people who seek his righteousness and goodness. Thus, we should avoid the extremes of legalism and immorality. 

(7:23-25) Applying Wisdom - Solomon, the wisest man in the world, confessed how difficult it was to act and think wisely. He emphasized that no matter how much we know, there are some mysteries we will never understand. So thinking you have enough wisdom is a sure sign that you don't.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

A Good Name

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue in the Book of Ecclesiastes with Chapter 7. In our text today, we look at wise advice for living. As in Proverbs, we see many wise sayings that give us instructions for Godly living. What catches my eye is verse 1, which speaks of a good name. In making applications, we see the importance of making Godly decisions, which is a reputation for being a Godly person. This decision gives honor to the one to whom we serve as we witness His greatness. How about you? Do you have a good name? Let us learn from our text today to remember that a good name brings honor and gives Glory to our Lord and Savior, Jesus-Christ.


Ecclesiastes 7

Ecclesiastes 7

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

 2It 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.

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

 4The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

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

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

 7Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.

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

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

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

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

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

 13Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?

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

 15All 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.

 16Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself ?

 17Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?

 18It 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.

 19Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.

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

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

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

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

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

 25I 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:

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

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

 28Which 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.

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