Thursday, September 28, 2023

Imparting Wisdom and Truth (Ecclesiastes 12:9-12)

"The Preacher sought to find acceptable words" (Eccl. 12:10).

In Jesus’s parable of the talents, the master praises two of his servants for putting their talents to good use. The writer of Ecclesiastes proved himself wise by using his own talents profitably. He did not keep his wisdom to himself, but he imparted it to others. “As the widow’s oil increased, not in the vessel, but by pouring out—and as the barley-bread in the Gospel multiplied, not in the whole loaf, but by breaking and distributing—and as the grain brings increase, not when it lies on a heap in the garner, but by scattering upon the land; so are spiritual graces best improved, not by keeping them together, but by distributing them abroad,” Bishop Sanderson wrote. May each of us follow the Preacher’s example and use our gifts for others, and so, bring glory to God.

The writer of Ecclesiastes did not flippantly spin out worldly wisdom, but he pondered and considered carefully what he should write: “He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs.” He searched for just the right words to communicate difficult truths. “To seek to be acceptable is by no means inconsistent with faithfulness,” Bridges wrote. “Christian consideration directs us carefully to distribute unpalatable truth in all the sweetness of persuasion and sympathy. We have the Preacher’s warrant for this.” Whether we be teaching in the church or engaging in everyday conversation, our words should be carefully chosen to convey God’s truth. Our words should be upright, faithful to God’s revelation.

The Preacher’s words were upright and true because they came from God Himself. The passages we have been studying are not collections of human musings—they are divine revelation. “They are God’s words, and they come from Him,” Bridges wrote. “They are not therefore only partly inspired—and therefore only partly the Word of God. But it is the Shepherd breathing His own mind in the mind of His several penmen; thus preserving the Revelation contained therein from all possibility of error;—and bringing out for our repose an unfaltering testimony of an infallible appeal.”

The Preacher’s words are wise, faithfully imparted, carefully considered, and given from God Himself. Do not take the teaching of Scripture lightly, but ponder it, apply it, and impart it to others.

Read Colossians 4:2–6. Memorize verse 6. Before you speak today, ask yourself whether your words are “full of grace, seasoned with salt.” This does not mean you avoid controversy, but even in the midst of a dispute you speak with honor, respect, and grace. Today, think about what it means to speak with “grace.”