6/08/2010

Answer Seeking

Man alive, this is good stuff.  Remember last week, when I shared a little Bonus Post on what I learned about prayer through Solomon's words in Ecclesiastes and Warren Wiersbe's commentary Be Satisfied?

Well, here's another sweet tidbit.

First, the passage from Ecclesiastes 6:10-12
Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what man is, and that he is not able to dispute with one stronger than he. The more words, the more vanity, and what is the advantage to man? For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?
Wiersbe writes about how we can seek answers all we want, and sometimes God grants them. Here's the thing with answer seeking- they don't bring joy anymore than seeing the MRI showing us the tumor that is killing us brings healing. They satisfy a certain level of understanding, but most answers lead to more questions and our palate for answers is insatiable.

Specifically, regarding verse 10b, he writes this:

Why disagree with God? We can’t oppose Him and win, can we? “...neither may he contend with him that is mightier than he” (v. 10b). The word translated “contend” also means “dispute.” Solomon seems to say, “It just doesn’t pay to argue with God or to fight God. This is the way life is, so just accept it and let God have His way. You can’t win, and even if you do think you win, you ultimately lose.”
But this is a negative view of the will of God. It gives the impression that God’s will is a difficult and painful thing that should be avoided at all cost. Jesus said that God’s will was the food that nourished and satisfied Him (John 4:32–34). It was meat, not medicine. The will of God comes from the heart of God and is an expression of the love of God. (See Ps. 33:11.) What God wills for us is best for us, because He knows far more about us than we do.
Why would anyone want to have his or her “own way” just for the privilege of exercising “freedom”? Insisting on having our own way isn’t freedom at all; it’s the worst kind of bondage. In fact, the most terrible judgment we could experience in this life would be to have God “give us up” and let us have our own way (Rom. 1:24, 26, 28).
God is free to act as He sees best. He is not a prisoner of His attributes, His creation, or His eternal purposes. You and I may not understand how God exercises His freedom, but it isn’t necessary for us to know all. Our greatest freedom comes when we are lovingly lost in the will of God. Our Father in heaven doesn’t feel threatened when we question Him, debate with Him, or even wrestle with Him, so long as we love His will and want to please Him.
What do we accomplish with all these words? Does talking about it solve the problem? (v. 11). In fact, there are times when it seems like the more we discuss a subject, the less we really understand it. Words don’t always bring light; sometimes they produce clouds and even darkness. “The more the words, the less the meaning”(v. 11, NIV). But this is where we need the Word of God and the wisdom He alone can give us. If some discussions appear useless and produce “vanity,” there are other times when conversation leads us closer to the truth and to the Lord.
       Wiersbe, Warren W.: Be Satisfied. Wheaton, Ill. : Victor Books, 1996, c1990, S. Ec 6:10

Like I said, good stuff. I don't think I need to say a lot about this. I will share Wiersbe's own words about answer seeking:
“There are some questions about life that nobody can answer. But our ignorance must not be used as an excuse for skepticism or unbelief. Instead, our ignorance should encourage us to have faith in God. After all, we don’t live on explanations; we live on promises.”
Amen! 

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