Ways of Wisdom - Be Dependable – Ecclesiastes 7:13-19
March 2, 2023, 9:17 AM

13 Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?
14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.
15 In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: a righteous man perishing in his righteousness, and a wicked man living long in his wickedness.
16 Do not be over righteous, neither be over wise-- why destroy yourself?
17 Do not be over wicked, and do not be a fool-- why die before your time?
18 It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God will avoid all.
19 Wisdom makes one wise man more powerful than ten rulers in a city.

Do you know what it means to be a dependable person? Such people are believable, trustworthy, solid, persons of integrity, reliable, consistent and demonstrate common sense. They know their faults and can admit them. They know their sins and desire to change. They know they are not holy and they know they do not want to be defeated sinners

Among the various proverbs of wisdom, Solomon continues with ways of wisdom telling us when times are good, be happy; when times are bad, consider that God has made the one as well as the other. Man cannot be secure in human future events, but only in the security and sovereignty of God.

He gives a few illustrations of the dependable life. Life is not fair. Sometimes the good suffer and the wicked live long and prosperous lives. That is not justice from our point of view, but fairness will never be completed on this earth, not until we get to heaven. The consistent follower finds being in the will of God there is success not known to the world. God gives contentment if we focus on Him and not on stuff.

The reaction of some people is to act so religious, but that is not real righteousness. The Pharisees were overly righteous, meaning they were trusting their good works to save them. They compared their good acts with one another and judged who was better and best. They thought the ones who memorized the most Scripture were the more righteous. They thought those who were cloistered in a religious community were better than the tradesmen. Those with superior knowledge of the Scriptures would win them favor with God.

Romans reveals righteousness comes only through the grace given by God. It is not of ourselves, it is a gift from God. God looks upon the heart. The legalist and the libertine both concentrate on their performances. What does it mean to please the Lord? Getting our heart right with Him leads us to desire to honor Him. As we allow the Spirit of God to work through us, we desire to do that which is well pleasing unto Him.

Vs 18 reminds us that the man who fears God will avoid all extremes by his own effort. That means we ought to be dependable people of faith. We are sinners saved by grace and it is by grace that we live in the freedom and the joy of the Lord. It is the consistent and dependable Christian, trusting daily in God and loving Him, that finds meaning and blessing in life from the long perspective.

Application:   Do others say of you, “She is dependable? He is trustworthy? They are consistent in what they say and what they do?” This is wise.

Prayer: Lord, I pray for consistency in my walk with You. I trust you Lord to complete the good work You have begun in me.