Fickle Followers – Ecclesiastes 4:13-16
February 2, 2023, 8:52 AM

13. Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning. 14. The youth may have come from prison to the kingship, or he may have been born in poverty within his kingdom. 15. I saw that all who lived and walked under the sun followed the youth, the king's successor. There was no end to all the people who were before them. But those who came later were not pleased with the successor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

What commands our loyalty? Are we loyal to traditions just because that is what we are used to? Are we loyal to our country, right or wrong? Are we loyal to a political party, regardless how things may change? At what point do we switch loyalties?

an older king, Solomon realizes that his time is closing and he does not have the support that he did has a young king. He observes people are basically a dissatisfied lot. Leaders find you can’t always please people.

Just because a person is older doesn’t mean he or she exhibits wisdom. Just because a person is younger or doesn’t look like we want them to look, doesn’t mean they don’t have insight and thoughts that should be accepted.

Solomon showed that popularity fades quickly. People changed allegiances. Someone can be imprisoned and become a king or ruler. I think of Nelson Mandela who was imprisoned for over 25 years becoming an influential African leader. Someone can come from poverty and with the right circumstances be very popular. Rags to riches has been an attraction in a nation that claims anything is possible.

Solomon was losing popularity. Is it because he was becoming senile? Is it because even in his day, there was a movement toward a youth culture? People are attracted to young and new ideas, but are quick to reject them and the persons when those ideas do not work.

Ruth Graham wrote in Christianity Today a number of years ago, “Some people seem more prone to fall than others.

Many have the gift of discernment when it comes to the faults and the failures of others. Jesus said, "If a brother be overtaken in a fault, you who are spiritual restore such a one. The nicest thing we can do for our heavenly Father”, wrote St Teresa of Avilla, "Is to be kind to one of his children.".

Solomon unfortunately started out with an intimate walk with the Lord. Through the years as his popularity and riches increased, other things took more of his attention. He wandered away from the Lord. That is not uncommon. Before one notices, they have lost their first love.

Fads come and go. Unfortunately, so do Christian fads. Stability comes when we know what we believe and from that foundation explore the world and thought through the lens of our Creator and His truth as it is revealed for us in the Bible.

Application: Run to God’s Word for your Wisdom.

Prayer: Lord, show me today who it is that you would have me to show kindness to.

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