Monday, September 15, 2014

Seek the words of a wise man

Ecclesiastes 9:13  I have also seen this example of wisdom under the sun, and it seemed great to me. 14  There was a little city with few people in it. A great king came against it and besieged it, building great siege works against it. 15  Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man. 16  So I said, "Wisdom is better than might; yet the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heeded." 17  The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouting of a ruler among fools. 18  Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one bungler destroys much good.

Wisdom is an elusive quality that many admire, but few achieve. The writer of Ecclesiastes aptly reminds us that we are all too easily dazzled by the grand words and visionary promises of the rich and the powerful – while the words of the wise are often unnoticed. And even when the words of a wise man are heeded, they are claimed by the powerful, while no one remembered that poor man”.

The invitation for today is to push past the clamorous words and the noisy distractions of powerful people to listen for the quiet words of the wise.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.
Words: John G. Whit­ti­er, in the At­lan­tic Month­ly, Ap­ril 1872.

Ordinary 25
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 287.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day

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