Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Every Day Light

The Best Friend

"Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning." (v. 13)

For reading & meditation: Ecclesiastes 4:13-16

Strange though it may sound, it is possible to have many friends and still be lonely. That's the point Solomon is making in the verses before us today.

Look again at the picture he presents in verse 13. It is a picture of two people: one a poor but wise youth, the other an old but rich king. Who would you think has the advantage? The king? Not so, says Solomon. He may have more experience of life, but something more than experience is needed if we are to walk effectively through the world.

What we need is - wisdom. Experience without wisdom is of little benefit. It's not how many hours we have lived that counts, but what we have gained from those hours that is important.

The whole of chapter 4 has been taken up with the issue of loneliness, and Solomon ends by underlining the fact that it is not our circumstances that make us lonely, but our inability to apply wisdom to our situation.

Take two people who are in exactly the same circumstances. Both are surrounded by agreeable and helpful companions. One enjoys the company of friends, but the other complains that he is lonely. Where lies the problem with the one who feels lonely? Not in the outer circumstances, but in the "innerstances" - his attitudes. He lacks the wisdom to see that no human being can provide him with the comfort which the soul so deeply craves. That is found only in God.

The wise are those who understand that while human friends are important, the best friend to have is God.

My Father and my God, grant me the wisdom to understand that while the making and keeping of earthly friendships is important, the making and keeping of Your friendship is even more important. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Every Day Light



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