Solomonic Wisdom For Lockdown Days
Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies— so the living should take this to heart.
A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time.
Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise.
Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life.
Ecclesiastes 7:2, 4, 10, 14 NLThttps://bible.com/bible/116/ecc.7.2-14.NLT
Without wishing to excuse my “Healthy Fear” post, it was a rather ungrateful moan about life in general at the moment. I qualified this somewhat with my post about the importance of “Contentment” in every circumstance.
But I’ve also been chastened by David Ettinger’s post “Stop Longing For Things To Return To Normal”. It reminded me of Solomon’s caution not to long for the “good old days”, because it’s unwise.
I find it quite interesting that Solomon doesn’t even deny that the old days were good, he just says that nostalgia is unwise. Best to be progressive in the best sense of the word- focusing on how we can improve our futures even as we seek to conserve what is good from the past. I think we can be conservative and progressive in the best senses of both words- being “salt”- conserving what is good from the past and present, and “light”- enlightening a progressive way forward for the future.
Even by bemoaning the lack of good things like meeting in person with God’s people to worship Him and closeness with others, I’m showing an insensitivity to the need to “socially distance” out of love for neighbour and respect for authority.
Even if it were to get to the point that the restrictions became unreasonably restrictive (if it hasn’t already), I could still consider Jesus’ words that those who are persecuted (denied the freedom to worship together) for righteousness sake, are “blessed”/made happy by God! So there’s no room for a conspiratorial pity party, no matter how sorry for ourselves we may feel.
Back to Solomon, and this time is giving us a grim reminder of our priorities: we need to Prepare To Meet Our Maker. Death [and taxes!] is the only certainty in life. It has been and pretty much still is a taboo in the West, and possibly the extreme reaction to this virus has exposed that. But if it gets people thinking about their own mortality and the imminence of death and judgment by a holy God, that is no bad thing.
Yes, I can moan that there are plenty of other incurable diseases out there that our reaction to hasn’t been so extreme, but if this plague gets us considering eternity, then that is a positive out of a negative. To be honest, as I’ve pontificated before, as it says in Revelation, I don’t think there’s much room for hope of a revival from newly enlightened people about the need of salvation, instead, many have and will curse God for inflicting this plague on them.
We need to consider, as I’ve said before, that we have no reason to feel entitled before the Almighty. He owes us nothing but condemnation to hell for our rebellion against Him. We on the other hand owe Him our every last breath, which is a gift from Him.
I conclude with Job’s wisdom for the kind of intense suffering that many are going through these days: “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord”.