In the wisdom books of the Bible there is tremendous truth, yet that wisdom is often simply stated and does not always follow a line of reasoning or argument. Therefore, due to the lack of context, we find the need to meditate on its words and thoughts to uncover and understand its messages. Ecclesiastes 7:10 speaks of the folly of saying that the former days were better than the days we live in. This is a truth that speaks to those who take a general look at the past through rose tinted spectacles, thinking the former days were better than the days we live in (or that the men and women of the past were supermen and superwoman, made of different stuff). Yet even worldly wisdom would help us here and it only takes a meager look at history to show that each age had its own special evils and its own special goods. But this is a call to a wisdom that deals with a mindset that goes much deeper than this. Even as the world moves towards the Lord’s return, this wrong worship of the past has at its root to question God and His methods and how He rules over the world today, and to question where and when He has placed us. This verse reminds us that, while we live in different days, we must recognise that God is sovereign over today and tomorrow just as much as He was over yesterday or the past. This understanding that God is in control today should bring us present comfort not concern, and should lead us towards trust. To say the former days were better is not only to question God’s rule but also reveals a faith and a trust that needs to change. Looking and learning from the past (and remembering) can be a necessary exercise but we need to trust God as to where He has placed each of us as we serve Him together. Our opinions about the past should not be used to dictate our expectations, our attitude, or our activity in the present, except to encourage us and spur us on. Undoubtedly there were saints of God in the past who we can learn from but we are called to be saints in the days in which we live; not setting low standards or expectations for ourselves or not trusting God. We need to continue to cultivate the art of being thankful in prayer in whatever circumstance we find ourselves, of being busy in the work of God in the day we find ourselves in, and trusting a great God wherever we find ourselves. We are called to live and serve and worship in the present and not in the past. The reality is, the God of the Bible is our God, the God of the past is our God, and the God that the saints of old trusted and served is the God that we must trust and serve in our own generation; no matter what that is like. He has a plan, and we are part of it, so as we pass through trials and troubles, as we work and witness, let us trust the God who reigns over all history; including today.
For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley
When things go wrong, He’ll make them right
And the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times
The God of the day is still God in the night!
We have been given the gift of a little time let us use it wisely, redeeming it, and trusting the Alpha and the Omega, the God who holds all our days, and us, in His sovereign hand.