Folly’s Antidote – Ecclesiastes 10

Let us take a look at the word folly, shall we?

Folly-n-the lack of good sense or judgment: a foolish act or idea: foolish behavior; Synonyms: absurdity, asininity, bêtise, craziness, fatuity, foolery, foppery, idiocy, irrationality, imbecility, inanity, insanity, lunacy, stupidity

If we were to be honest with self, can we agree that more than once in our lives we have experienced folly in our personal lives? I know that I have experienced many instances of lacking sense, behaving foolishly and just plain irrational when things didn’t go as I thought they should or just so stressed or angered  that led to making wrong decisions.

WE HAVE ALL HAD WHAT THEY CALL A “KEEPING IT REAL” MOMENT.

Sometimes folly just happens because of inexperience and/or no training of manners and matters. We just say or do things not becoming of our Lord because we lack experience or training in what He expects of us. Have you been there? (NIV Verse 13-14) “At the beginning their words are folly; at the end they are wicked madness— and fools multiply words. No one knows what is coming— who can tell someone else what will happen after them?” I am sure this happens to all, but some of us won’t admit it to self. Since God knows, I don’t see any sense in hiding the truth about self from self. It’s a stage that we all go through. Sometimes when you ask a true friend about your behavior and there is a silence that speaks louder than any words uttered, that’s a good sign that something needs to change about your behavior. And then there are those who feel the need to yap about something until they prove THEIR point, they seem to be using the drug of choice known as folly.

Please read Chapter 10 and let the Holy Spirit show you the importance of wisdom because tis true according to verse 1 that

 “Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.” (KJV)

“As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.”(NIV)

 

fly in aointment

 

Here’s the thing about folly. No matter how glorious or fantastic your life may be going, or how others perceive you as one of good character, one slip on the folly drug and you no longer are looked upon as one of good character by others. Folks have a hard time seeing the true actions of your heart. Even more importantly when you examine self, you have to be conscious of what your heart, not character says to God. Are others to judge? Are you to judge?

We all have experienced and will experience negative behaviors-character flaws in our lives associated with folly for whatever reason. We are to become wise and learn from our mistakes. Sometimes this takes a lot of practice.Verse one in this chapter speaks louder than an atomic bomb.

Once the smallest stench is found among the strongest of pleasant smells, the stench takes over. You will have to work hard to get rid of  a little stench, correct? In verse 10 Solomon agrees with me. He says that “If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.” How does one go about obtaining “skill” that “will bring success?” What is the definition of skill?

Skill –n- the ability to do something that comes from training, experience, or practice 

How do we get rid of the dead flies and the stench?  I’m glad you asked. Dearest flowers, we, as the people of God need to focus on becoming more skillful and knowledgeable of what He requires, lack folly, and become less concerned about proving a point to show whose right or wrong. To do this, we must “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

With Him directing your paths you too will find that the ANTIDOTE for FOLLY is WISDOM. Wisdom helps us to get rid of stench and the dead flies just waiting to stink us up. Wisdom helps us to give off a more pleasing aroma to God. 

Courtesy of Pinterest.Com

Courtesy of Pinterest.Com

 

 

“He that reads and grows no wiser-seldom suspects his own deficiency, but complains of hard words and obscure sentences, and asks why books are written which cannot be understood.” ― Samuel Johnson

 

I Love You

Countenance-Your Appearance In God’s Eyes-My Thoughts

As I opened by bible today for a brief break earlier while at work, the pages fell open to Genesis 4. I began reading and boing! I was reading something I really had paid little attention to in the past.
Chapter 4 discusses the seeding of Cain and Abel, and momentous events in their lives. Later on in the chapter it mentions the seeding of Seth. We know the story, Abel became a keeper of flocks and Cain worked the soil. They both brought offerings to the Lord. Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil and Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The story goes on to state that the Lord looked with favor upon Abel and his offering, but had no favor upon Cain and his offering. Why? I asked self as I have done many times before when reading this chapter. I arrived at a conclusion  a while back, that my answer and God’s favor hid in the wording that I have bolded above.
Ages ago, I use to catch an attitude about God’s actions when reading this because I was thinking, how could God not show favor to Cain ?..…he gave an offering from things he grew in the soil, but most importantly he gave to God. We all know gardening is not a simple task and most of us put our heart into it. However……..Thank you Holy Spirit for providing the understanding through the years.

Cain just brought some and appeared to have given little thought about whether it was the FIRST fruit or last to give to God. Abel gave some of his FIRST born flock.  Non acceptance from God of Cain’s offering led Cain to become angry and his face became downcast. I thought his behavior normal, because as humans that is our behavioral  pattern when rejected, misled, disappointed and shown no favor when we think ,(not taking into account what the receiver may think )we’ve done well by our actions.
Before I go any further, let’s scan over the words below.

  • Angry- cross, annoyed, irritated, irate, mad, livid
  • Downcast- sad, depressed, disappointed, discouraged, disheartened
  • Countenance-n- appearance, especially the look or expression of the face 
  • Sin-n- transgression of divine law; any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse, etc.; great fault or offense

The new lighting I found after removing the lamp shade is in the verses below:

New Lighting
Genesis 4:6-7
Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
There’s my “boing”!  Did you see it? I have always loved how God asks a question and then gives an answer. How did I ever miss that God said “sin is crouching at your door”? Pull out your bibles and read the rest of the story in Genesis 4. We will discover within this chapter that Cain eventually, did not rule over that “crouching” sin, he was cursed by God and became a “restless wanderer”.
The other thing I want to make note of is how our countenance gives away what is truly on the mind and heart. I’m a great expressions watcher. It’s almost like a natural second job to me, but doesn’t pay the bills, (but God) allows me to own that gracious gift. Some of us probably wish that we could walk around with a face eraser to erase most of the expressions that show. Not happening! even with a mask on.  The eyes can still be read along with body positioning.
How many times folks have we done something half-heartedly? How many times have we been shamed because we saw others giving someone else a gift, and we didn’t give…. then run out to buy a gift because you saw someone else give?

Besides, we are told in Ephesians 5:11- Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
So back to Cain’s countenance we go. The lessons I learned from verses 6-7 are:
1. Doing right in the eyes of God is acceptable and that we should give to God from the heart.
2. Doing wrong in the eyes of God is not acceptable and has consequences. (Have you ever watched the Truth or Consequences game show? For those who are younger than I, here’s a tidbit about the show- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth_or_Consequences )
3. Sin is right at your door waiting for the right opening moment to jump in. The longer sin crouches, the more cramps it gets and can’t jump as quickly. This will allow you more time to practice taking control of the “crouching” sin.  🙂
4. Sin’s desire and Satan’s ultimate goal is to rule over the children of God.
5. We as children of God, heirs of His promise, “MUST rule over” sin in order to be in line with His will.
6. Sin is a thing. Don’t let THINGS rule over you that are not good for the Body of Christ.

Visualize This As Being Sin's Position

Visualize This As Being Sin’s Position

Here’s one of my favorite reminders to self when sin tries to rule over me and change my countenance from being joyful in the Lord. I like sharing these verses with people whose countenance becomes downtrodden for whatever reason sometimes unbeknownst to me. It’s a great pick me upper and it pays to remember who you are in Christ.

Ephesians 5:8-10 – For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. 

Sticky Note—When you appear before the Lord while living on this earth, make sure you have your countenance in check. Remember that He is watching us at all times. Henceforth, whatever you do, make sure that it is from the heart, that it is right, and that it is pleasing to God, to recieve His favor.

 

Love Covers A Multitude of Sins