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Is That Roof Leaking?

August 16, 2011

Chapter 10 of Ecclesiastes almost comes across as a rant…kind of a soapbox talk, just sort of railing against the relative absurdity of life as we find it here, under the sun.  Take a moment and read through that chapter…it is almost as if grandpa finally has you in his living room, and there is a thing or two that he has to say to you.

 If you were to list out the things that the teacher is addressing, it would include; the fact that something very small can ruin the big picture, that there are just some people who are dumb, that the boss is going to get mad at you (even if you didn’t do anything to provoke the anger), that there are morons in seats of authority, that people who are performing honest work might still get hurt, and that there is a better way to do things…sort of a “sharpen the axe, son, it works better that way” type of advice.  And listen, that’s just the first half of the chapter.  He continues on and on…there is almost a rhythm and flow to this rant…it has been thought out…this is not just him having a bad day and needing to vent to someone…he is saying, “Listen to me, I’ve done life…now, let me share it with you.”

 Verses 8 and 9 are not advice so that wise men can avoid falling into pits or getting hit by falling logs…wise people don’t need to be told to avoid hazards like that…they’re wise, it’s inherent to avoid dangers.  What he is saying is that these things are going to happen…if you dig enough pits, eventually, you are going to fall into one…even if you are wise…but at least you should use the shovel correctly.

 Verses 12-15 are going to say that there are some people…wise people…that when they speak, people sort of nod in agreement.  And there are other people, those that he calls fools, that speak, and nobody hears them…it’s a vapor that has no effect…and where there is no effect, there has been no cause…it is as if they were never there…sort of consumed by their own lips.

 In verses 16-20 he says, “It’s bad when your king (the guy in charge) is a child.”  We need to rid ourselves of the notion that he is only talking about literal kings.  Anyone in a position of authority holds some manner of kingship.  The teacher, professor, coach, older brother, parent, pastor, youth leader…all of these are people who we hold in high regard, and esteem them with authority…our teacher in this text is saying that it stinks when that person can’t grow up.

 Verse 18 says this, “Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks.”  Look, this is true in a literal sense…if you don’t take care of the place…it will fall apart.  But this is equally true in a spiritual sense.  You substitute the word “life” for the word “house” and you get some idea of what he is implying.  It is because I am lazy that my life falls apart.  It is because I stand by and do nothing that sin overtakes me and the roof caves in.  Listen, nobody just stumbles into Godliness…it doesn’t happen.  The truth is that a lot of us are spiritually lying on the couch, watching re-runs of The Office, and just sort of hoping that the drip that keeps hitting us in the forehead will magically disappear.  What he’s saying here, is “Get up! Fix the roof! Quit sitting around pretending the drip isn’t there.”  Back in verse 1 he talked about how a little fly can ruin the perfume…that’s the same as sin and a soul…and as C.S. Lewis said, “You don’t have a soul.  You are a soul.  You have a body.”  I just wonder how long we will sit content under the leaking roof, instead of trusting God…and getting up to fix it.

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