All Articles For Miersma, Thomas C

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The Word of God in Ecclesiastes now moves to the conclusion of the book. But first it sets before us the objective theme and the inspiration of the book. That theme is: Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity (Eccl. 12:8). The transitory character of life under the sun has been the object of contemplation. We labor and toil under the sun. The world presents itself as rich and beautiful, for God made it and His handiwork is revealed by the things that are made. But that world also lies under the curse and judgment of God upon...

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Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them (Eccl. 12:1). The preceding verses contained an exhortation to those in the days of youth. Our text continues that thought and completes it. The calling is to “remember,” not in the sense of looking at what is past, which belongs to the elderly, but in the sense of holding in mind. Hold in mind, as constantly before your mind, thy Creator. Do so now, in the present, and daily,...

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The Word of God now turns our attention from the natural joy of life under the sun and its spiritual implications to a similar reality, the joy and strength of youth. Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes (Eccl. 11:9a). The Word of God here comes first of all with an ex­hortation to rejoice, which is perhaps easy to overlook, given the warnings that follow. That calling to rejoice, however, is important. It...

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Turning from our calling to labor under God’s providence in the preceding verses, the text turns to a similar subject but from a more subjective viewpoint. We are to sow our seed and labor, not knowing what shall prosper in God’s providence. We labor under the sun in a transitory world. Our works and labors, as has been shown over the course of the book, do not abide. God gives us in our labor seasons of light and joy in this present life when our works prosper. Hence, the point is raised: Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant...

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The need for discernment over against the folly of sin having been addressed, the text now turns to our going about our calling in the labor and activity of this life. In harmony with the boundaries God has set in our life and His government over all undertakings, we are to labor conscious of our dependence upon Him in every outcome. Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth (Eccl. 11:1–2). Verse 1 contains...

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Previous article in this series: July 2019, p. 428. Ecclesiastes 10:18-20 Chapter 10 concludes with three further observations or warnings that we are called to ponder. They belong to the reality of life in a fallen world under the sun. They draw on the way of the fool in his walk and talk (Eccl. 10:12-15), that folly illustrated in the rulers among men (Eccl. 10:5, 6, 16, 17), and the inclination to folly rooted in the flesh (Eccl. 10:1, 2). These observations serve to summarize elements of the chapter and its lessons, call us to a certain measure of discernment...

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Previous article in this series: May 15, 2019, p. 373. “Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning! Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!” Ecclesiastes 10:16, 17 Solomon as the preacher has been describing the way of the fool in his walk, talk, and inability to know the way of wisdom under the sun. That foolishness of man is rooted in the Fall and in the folly and depravity of...

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Previous article in this series: April 15, 2019, p. 327. Ecclesiastes 10:11–15 Earlier in chapter 10 we read, Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to everyone that he is a fool (Eccl. 10:3). The walk of the fool has been found among rulers. That walk is also found by ignoring God’s ordering of things under the sun. It is with that in view that the text now turns to the speech of the fool and his tongue: he saith to everyone that he is a fool. This consideration...

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Previous article in this series: April 1, 2019, p. 301. Ecclesiastes 10:8-10 Having set before us the folly and disorder of affairs in civil life, the Word of God turns to a series of natural or organic connections. The intent is that we should contemplate them, discern the reality of things, and by that reflection point us to the way of wisdom and warn us against folly. We need, therefore, to consider the illustrations in their natural context first. “He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him. Whoso removeth...

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Previous article in this series: March 1, 2019, p. 260. The folly of sin becomes manifested in the world under the sun as it strives with the boundaries God has set in this life. To show this, Solomon who was himself king, turns first to the sphere of earthly government. But before turning to the folly “which proceedeth from the ruler” (Eccl. 10:5), he begins with an admonition in the text to one standing under the ruler as the servant, citizen, or counselor of the king. Both are sinners inclined to folly. “If the spirit of the ruler rise up...

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