ommendations of wisdom. (1-5) To prepare for sudden evils and
death. (6-8) It shall be well with the righteous, and ill with
the wicked. (9-13) Mysteries of Providence. (14-17)
Verses 1-5: None of the rich, the powerful, the honourable, or the
accomplished of the sons of men, are so excellent, useful, or
happy, as the wise man. Who else can interpret the words of God,
or teach aright from his truths and dispensations? What madness
must it be for weak and dependent creatures to rebel against the
Almighty! What numbers form wrong judgments, and bring misery on
themselves, in this life and that to come!
Verses 6-8: God has, in wisdom, kept away from us the knowledge of
future events, that we may be always ready for changes. We must
all die, no flight or hiding-place can save us, nor are there
any weapons of effectual resistance. Ninety thousand die every
day, upwards of sixty every minute, and one every moment. How
solemn the thought! Oh that men were wise, that they understood
these things, that they would consider their latter end! The
believer alone is prepared to meet the solemn summons.
Wickedness, by which men often escape human justice, cannot
secure from death.
Verses 9-13: Solomon observed, that many a time one man rules over
another to his hurt, and that prosperity hardens them in their
wickedness. Sinners herein deceive themselves. Vengeance comes
slowly, but it comes surely. A good man's days have some
substance; he lives to a good purpose: a wicked man's days are
all as a shadow, empty and worthless. Let us pray that we may
view eternal things as near, real, and all-important.
Verses 14-17: Faith alone can establish the heart in this mixed scene,
where the righteous often suffer, and the wicked prosper.
Solomon commended joy, and holy security of mind, arising from
confidence in God, because a man has no better thing under the
sun, though a good man has much better things above the sun,
than soberly and thankfully to use the things of this life
according to his rank. He would not have us try to give a reason
for what God does. But, leaving the Lord to clear up all
difficulties in his own time, we may cheerfully enjoy the
comforts, and bear up under the trials of life; while peace of
conscience and joy in the Holy Ghost will abide in us through
all outward changes, and when flesh and heart shall fail.