Words Of Truth

"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).



An Overview Of The Old Testament

Part 205 – Wisdom And Inheritance Through Fair Judgment (Ecclesiastes 7:11-22)

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1. What is good with an inheritance?

Wisdom: “Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun” (Ecclesiastes 7:11).


Š     There are the unwise who WASTE their inheritance because they are fools (Proverbs 21:20 and Luke 15:11-15).  Remember, wisdom has value above riches (Proverbs 16:16).


2. In what way does wisdom help a person that money cannot?

It gives life to those who have wisdom: “For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it” (Ecclesiastes 7:12).


Š     Both can be a defense (i.e. Proverbs 10:15), but money cannot provide salvation (Psalms 49:6-9, Psalms 52:7, Proverbs 11:4, and I Timothy 6:17) as wisdom can (Proverbs 8:1; 35, and Isaiah 33:6).


3. Can anyone amend something that God has set in a certain way?

No: “Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked” (Ecclesiastes 7:13)?


Š     Proverbs 19:21, Isaiah 46:10, and Acts 5:34-39.

Š     Take time to consider the works of God (Job 37:14 and Acts 17:24-28; cf. Psalms 40:5).


4. Has God only given us days of prosperity?

No, both days of prosperity and adversity: “In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him” (Ecclesiastes 7:14).


Š     Acts 14:22, Romans 8:17, II Timothy 3:12, I Peter 4:12-14, and I Peter 5:10; cf. Matthew 8:20.


5. Is it possible for a wicked person to have a better life in this world than a righteous person?

Yes: “All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness” (Ecclesiastes 7:15).


Š     They do prosper, but not in the end (Psalms 73:1-17).  We should not consider just things in this life, but in the end too (Deuteronomy 32:29).


6. Must we be careful to avoid extremes in regard to righteousness, wisdom, wickedness, and foolishness?

Yes: “(16) Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?  (17) Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?  (18) It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all” (Ecclesiastes 7:16-18)?


Š     You can go too far in becoming self-righteous or applying your own wisdom (Psalms 10:5-6, Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 26:12, Romans 10:1-3, II Corinthians 10:12; 10:18, Galatians 6:3, and Revelation 3:17-19).

Š     You can goo to far in becoming entirely evil (Genesis 6:5, Proverbs 14:14, John 3:19-21, Acts 17:16, and II Peter 2:14) or completely foolish (Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 13:16, and Proverbs 23:9).

Š     We should not step back from realizing these things.  For, if we fear God, we shall come forth from these sinful things (Proverbs 9:9, Acts 2:40, and II Corinthians 6:14-18).


7. Is wisdom stronger than physical strength?

Yes: “Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city” (Ecclesiastes 7:19).


Š     Proverbs 21:22, Proverbs 24:5, and Ecclesiastes 9:13-18.


8. Does the following Scripture apply to all times since humanity has existed: “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Ecclesiastes 7:20)?

Š     No, though some may have sinned at some point (Noah & Job), there have been times where there were those who had not sinned.  Most notably, Jesus never transgressed (Genesis 6:5-9, Job 1:1, Hebrews 4:14-16, I Peter 2:21-22, and I John 3:5).

Š     This verse doesn’t lower any expectation that God has for us either (Psalms 4:3-4, Romans 6:1-2, I Corinthians 15:34, II Corinthians 7:1, Titus 2:11-14, I Peter 1:13-16, I John 2:1, and I John 3:8-10).


9. Should we take into account things we’ve done that are wrong when we consider what others are doing as well?

Yes: “(21) Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee: (22) For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others (Ecclesiastes 7:21-22).


Š     Sometimes people say foolish things about others.  Be careful not to condemn something you have done (Matthew 7:1-5), but rather give space for repentance (Matthew 18:23-34 [not teaching unconditional forgiveness; Luke 17:3-4] and John 8:1-11.

Š     Remember what you once were (Ephesians 5:8 and Titus 3:1-3).




Index Of Old Testament Studies


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