Ever get tired and lose track of God’s purposes and then find Ecclesiastes set for your morning reading? Is there really any sense in life? ‘What do we gain from all our labour?’ (1:3) Yesterday, I was ‘Hooraying’ because I’d finished the draft of my paper, but now I wonder why I did all that work this week. (On the other hand, get to chapter 2 and you find out that you wouldn’t necessarily feel any better if you’d tried to have fun all week.)
This morning, though, what struck me was 1:18:
‘For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.’
When I’ve read that before, I’ve just thought, ‘Oh, there’s the preacher finding knowledge empty’. But, today, I am thinking how true it is. Especially knowledge of what is going on around the world – whether from the media, or from listening to real people I know, I stack up more and more knowledge of situations and events which are not only grievous in themselves, but also make me grieve. And, if ‘wisdom’ has to do with perceiving people and with putting knowledge to godly use, the older I get the more I perceive and share peoples’ sorrows.
If I lose track of God’s purposes, this really is ’emptiness’ – it just makes me miserable and adds to the misery of the world.
I need to call myself back to God’s heart – the heart which shares the grief of the world (I’ve so often written and taught about how the pain/grief in God’s heart in Gen 6:6 reflects the pain/grief of humanity in Gen 3:16-17 and 5:29). God has ‘more wisdom’ and ‘more knowledge’, so He shares more sorrow and grieves more over the tragedies of His world. In fact, He has ALL wisdom and ALL knowledge, so He shares ALL sorrows and grieves over ALL evil.
That’s an unthinkable burden: imagine the almighty-ness of the Person who can carry it. But He did carry it. He does carry it. And my intercession is to take the little I carry to His Cross, and find Life!