Ecclesiastes 8

* Commendations of wisdom. (1-5) To prepare for sudden evils and

death. (6-8) It shall be well with the righteous, and ill with

the wicked. (9-13) Mysteries of Providence. (14-17)

1-5 None of the rich, the powerful, the honourable, or the

accomplished of the sons of men, are so excellent, useful, or

happy, as the wise man. Who else can interpret the words of God,

or teach aright from his truths and dispensations? What madness

must it be for weak and dependent creatures to rebel against the

Almighty! What numbers form wrong judgments, and bring misery on

themselves, in this life and that to come!
6-8 God has, in wisdom, kept away from us the knowledge of

future events, that we may be always ready for changes. We must

all die, no flight or hiding-place can save us, nor are there

any weapons of effectual resistance. Ninety thousand die every

day, upwards of sixty every minute, and one every moment. How

solemn the thought! Oh that men were wise, that they understood

these things, that they would consider their latter end! The

believer alone is prepared to meet the solemn summons.

Wickedness, by which men often escape human justice, cannot

secure from death.
9-13 Solomon observed, that many a time one man rules over

another to his hurt, and that prosperity hardens them in their

wickedness. Sinners herein deceive themselves. Vengeance comes

slowly, but it comes surely. A good man's days have some

substance; he lives to a good purpose: a wicked man's days are

all as a shadow, empty and worthless. Let us pray that we may

view eternal things as near, real, and all-important.
14-17 Faith alone can establish the heart in this mixed scene,

where the righteous often suffer, and the wicked prosper.

Solomon commended joy, and holy security of mind, arising from

confidence in God, because a man has no better thing under the

sun, though a good man has much better things above the sun,

than soberly and thankfully to use the things of this life

according to his rank. He would not have us try to give a reason

for what God does. But, leaving the Lord to clear up all

difficulties in his own time, we may cheerfully enjoy the

comforts, and bear up under the trials of life; while peace of

conscience and joy in the Holy Ghost will abide in us through

all outward changes, and when flesh and heart shall fail.
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