7 Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart. 8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Ecclesiastes 7:7-8
At first glance one might say, “What is this talking about.” We need to do a little word study to help with the explanation of verse seven.
Word meanings from the Hebrew:
Oppression means injury, fraud … unjust gain: … extortion…
Mad means …to shine; hence to make a show; to boast; and thus to be (clamorously) foolish; …
Gift means … a present; specifically (in a good sense) a sacrificial offering, (in a bad sense) a bribe: - …
Destroyeth (destroys) means … wander away, that is lose oneself; by implication to perish …
The interpretation would be this: Surely fraud makes a wise man to boast, and a bribe makes the heart wander.
Solomon tells us the end of something is better than the beginning. One is usually apprehensive embarking on a new project or a new phase in life. When we have dealt with some new period in our life, we become familiar with all the workings weather it is a new job, new family member, or some other activity new to us.
Solomon then tells us it is better to be patient than proud. John Gill says, “…patience is a fruit of the Spirit of God; and is of great use in the Christian's life, and especially in bearing afflictions, and tends to make men more humble, meek, and quiet; and such are highly esteemed of God;…”
The Bible says many things about the proud and the patient here a just a few verses:
Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. Proverbs 16:5
The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow. Proverbs 15:25
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. James 4:6
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer. Romans 12:12
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 1Thessalonians 5:14
Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. James 5:8
Patience is not one of my strong points, but through the years the Lord has taught me many lessons. I am still learning but I am extremely thankful that the Lord is patient toward me. Can I be any less toward others?
Have a blessed day,