Friday, August 30, 2013

Eccl. 8:11-17

v. 11-17 "When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong.  Although a wicked man commits a hundred crimes and still lives a long time, I know that it will go better with God-fearing men, who are reverent before God.  Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow.  There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve.  This too, I say, is meaningless.  So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad.  Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.  When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe man's labor on earth-his eyes not seeing sleep day or night-then I saw all that God has done.  No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun.  Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning.  Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it."

There have been many stories throughout history of the public angered because a criminal was not punished in a timely manner or someone guilty was set free.  Everyone in the U.S. remembers the Rodney King trail.  He was severely beaten by police and the police did not get jail time, at first.  Two of the four officers were later convicted at a second trial.  This set up a storm of retaliation from many people in CA.  Over 50 people died as a result of this and millions of dollars in damage to property occurred.  We are a passionate people, but the actions of others do not justify our actions for revenge.  Mobs are scary, they tend to be bent on destruction and are indifferent to compassion.  Those same people end up doing the same crimes or worse committed by those in custody.  It is dangerous to think that sin has no consequences.  We sometimes end up throwing a net over ourselves, we are easily trapped.  There may be no obvious justice right away, but we all will be accountable for our actions.  If a child is not punished for bad behavior then they will be more likely to repeat it in the future, we are the same. 

There seems to be little hope in this book, but Solomon says that we should enjoy life.  We have a long journey ahead and not everyone will have the same experiences although we were made to help and support each other.  Many have searched for things that are worthless.  They pass over the simple things God tells us to do for something grand that will always be beyond their grasp or get fixated on things that don't matter to Him.  What I know is this: I only get a glimpse occasionally, but know very little of the Kingdom.  Our minds can only handle a little at a time.  God is supremely beyond us and I am happy knowing that.

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