Dave Burnette's Commentary

Ecclesiastes Chapter 8

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: Those Who Fear God Are Better Off (v 1-17)

Ecclesiastes 8 Commentary 

(8:1) Wisdom - Wisdom is the ability to see life from God's perspective and then to know the best course of action to take. Most people would agree that wisdom is a valuable asset, but how can we acquire it? Proverbs 9:10 tells us that we can begin to find divine wisdom through reverence and fear of (respect for) God. Wisdom, therefore, is a result of knowing and trusting God. Knowing God will lead to understanding and then to sharing your insights with others. 

(8:10) Forgetting - This verse probably refers to how we quickly forget the evil done by some people after they have died. Returning from the cemetery, we praise them in the very city where they did their evil deeds. 

(8:11) Consequences - If God doesn't punish us immediately for sin, we should not assume that he doesn't care or that sin has no consequences. But how much easier it is to sin when we don't feel the consequences at once. When a young child does something wrong and is not punished, that child will be much more likely to repeat the act. It is no different for adults. But God knows every wrong we commit, and one day we will have to answer for all that we have done (12:14). 

(8:12-13) God’s Power - Although Solomon's presentation is pessimistic, it shows that life is ultimately better with God. His presence does not shield us from all trouble in this life, but it guarantees us that we will have his power to meet adversity. Both our eternal destiny and our present trials are in his hands. 

(8:15) Embracing Joy - As the remedy for life's unanswered questions, Solomon recommends that we embrace joy and contentment to lighten the journey through life. We must accept each day with its measure of work, food, and pleasure. Let us learn to enjoy what God has given to refresh and strengthen us and refuse to spend our energy looking for something besides what he intends for us. 

(8:16-17) Worldly Wisdom - Even with access to all the world's wisdom, the wisest person on earth would know very little. No one can fully comprehend God and all that he has done, and there are always more questions than answers. But the unknown should not cast a shadow over our joy, faith, or work, because we know that someone greater is in control and that we can put our trust in him. Are you letting what you don't know about the future destroy the joy God wants to give you today?

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Resting in His Omniscience

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 8. In our text today, we see Solomon ask the question, "Who is as the wise man?" bringing up the fact that the wisest person will not know everything, and this causes many to question God and not experience the joy of the Lord because they cannot understand everything about our Lord. In making application, we see that our relationship with our Lord is an eternal one. We will understand everything one day, but today, we need to be Saved, Trust the Lord, Obey the Lord, and rest in His Omniscience. Don't let the enemy steal your joy because you cannot comprehend everything about our Lord here on Earth. How about you? Do you question God? Let us learn from our text today to remember that our Lord knows all. He has given us Salvation and wants us to experience His Joy as we rest in His Omniscience.


Ecclesiastes 8

Ecclesiastes 8

 1Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? a man's wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed.

 2I counsel thee to keep the king's commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God.

 3Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him.

 4Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?

 5Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment.

 6Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.

 7For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be?

 8There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.

 9All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt.

 10And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity.

 11Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

 12Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:

 13But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.

 14There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity.

 15Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.

 16When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth: (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:)

 17Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea farther; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.