By Mike Dawson
Pastor Emeritus, First Baptist Church, Columbia
Focal Passage: Ecclesiastes 4:13-5:7
Some older readers may remember “Hey There,” a popular song in the 50’s. It’s about a young lady in love, trying to talk herself into making wise decisions. She says, “Will you take this advice I hand you, like a mother? Or, am I not seeing things too clear? Are you just too far gone to hear? Is it all goin’ in one ear — and out the other?”
Our focal passage, Ecclesiastes 4:13-5:7, seems to reveal King Solomon in a very similar conversation with himself. He had reached a goin’-in-one-ear-and-out-the-other stage. He describes himself as “an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more” (Ecc. 4:13).
Composing the book of Proverbs earlier in his life, Solomon gathered hundreds of wise sayings. One of his most-used words was ‘better.’ For example, “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred.” (Proverbs 15:17) I have a message from that text about marriage and family; I call it “When a Salad is Better than a Steak.” Solomon wrote that and many other ‘betters’ when he was younger and wiser. [Read more…]