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Of Flies, Snakes and Birds: Ecclesiastes 9:13-10:20 - Tom Ascol

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

"Pastor Tom Ascol continues his series on Ecclesiastes with a message entitled “Of Flies, Snakes and Birds: The Value of Wisdom and Danger of Folly” centered on Ecclesiastes 9:1310:20. The lives of many people, people striving to live life wisely, have been stained by a temporary lapse of judgment speaking foolish words or carrying out some foolish actions. Such a lapse shows the value of wisdom and the danger of folly. The lesson is simple, be wise and avoid folly, but living that lesson is difficult. Yet, Qohelet, the author of Ecclesiastes, writes wisdom is important in governance. Wisdom can overcome what appears to be great disadvantage. Even a poor, wise man can advise a king. When wisdom is disregarded, as the butler forgot Joseph in Joseph’s prison narrative, it is forgotten to the hurt of people. Wisdom should be preferred to foolishness but wisdom is vulnerable. One foolish move can spoil years of wisdom; a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. The vulnerability points to the need to exercise care in choosing friends. Foolish friends lead others astray and do foolish things which impugn the wisdom of the wise. One need look no further than Rehoboam, Solomon’s son. Upon becoming king, he listened to foolish advisors ignoring the wisdom of experienced men, to his hurt and the hurt and division of the nation! Wisdom and folly lead to different inclinations, wisdom to the right, a biblical place of blessing, while folly leads to the left, a place of lesser blessing or cursing. Being wise leads to understanding. It is the mark of a person of God. Fools, on the other hand, do not look to God, losing site of the fundamental reality that they are creatures of a great Creator. What is worse, folly in high places turns the world upside-down. Qohelet then goes on to give four examples of the failure to exercise wisdom such as a stone cutter falling prey to a large rock falling on him. While folly can harm your daily life being wise improves it. Qohelet also gives examples of wisdom in action. Qohelet concludes with several proverbs, some dealing with our manner of speech. The words of the wise win him favor. This was true of Jesus even as fools turned from or against Him. Thus, our speech should be reminiscent of Jesus’ speech, seasoned with salt, full of light. Otherwise, just as with fools, our words may consume us. Jesus noted that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. Are our words kind, edifying, building up or do our words tear down? Do our words exude wisdom or reflect foolishness? The Bible states the fool says there is no God. It also states the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Have you exercised basic wisdom and come to the Lord not only for wisdom but salvation? It is only Jesus, by His completed work on the Cross of Calvary, that can save us. Come to Him today. This sermon was given by Dr. Tom Ascol on February 5, 2017 at Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL." from video introduction

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