The King’s Commandment, Ecc 8:1-5

In Ecc 8:1, Solomon asked, “Who is as the wise man”?  A wise man fears the Lord.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  So, if he is “as” the wise man, he will fear the Lord.  See Prov 24:21.  And the wise man will keep the king’s commandment.

Solomon also asked, “Who knoweth the interpretation of a thing”?  Joseph did.  He professed it was God who gave the interpretation, not him, Gen 40:8, 41:16.  The Spirit of God was in him and he was discreet and wise, Gen 41:38-39.  Daniel also knew the interpretation.  He professed it was God, Dan 2:19-20, 27-28, 30.  And the Spirit of God was in him, Dan 4:18.

A man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine.  Light and wisdom and the Spirit of God were in Stephen, Acts 6:15, 3, 10.  And light was in Daniel, Dan 5:11-12.  Their countenances displayed their wisdom.

And the boldness of his face shall be changed.  To be bold is to be impudent, presumptuous, like a bold child talking back.  Overconfident.  If he is as the wise man he is not going to be cocky (cocksure, feeling perfect assurance on inadequate grounds) about the wisdom he has.  In Dan 4:19 Daniel was astonied for one hour after hearing Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and realizing the interpretation.  In 2 Ki 8:11-13 Elisha wept before Hazael when he “saw” what Hazael would do to the children of Israel.

I Counsel thee to keep the king’s commandment, v.2.  We are to keep the king’s commandment, and that in regard to the oath of God.  The oath of God is that the king is supreme, 1 Pet 2:13-17.  We are to submit to the ordinance of men for the Lords sake in v.13.  The will of God is that with well doing we put to silence the ignorance of foolish men, v.15.  We are the servants of God, v.16.  We are to Honour the king, v.17.

Rom 13:1-7 There is no power but of God.  The powers that be are ordained of God.  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God, v.2.  He is the minister of God, v.4.  They are God’s ministers, v.6.

In Matt 23:1-4 those in authority sat in Moses’ seat, v.2.  And Jesus told his disciples, “All they bid you observe, that observe and do”, v.3.

Be not hasty to go out of his sight, 3.  In Ecc 10:4 Solomon wrote, if the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place.  Yielding pacifieth great offenses.  Don’t run.  It’ll be worse when you’re caught.  In 1 Ki 2:36-46, Shimei left Jerusalem and Solomon had him killed.  He had pacified his great offense by staying in Jerusalem until he left.

Stand not in an evil thing, 3.  In Num 16 Korah, Dathan, and Abiram stood in their evil rebellion.  In Num 16:12 they told Moses “we will not come up”.  In v.24-33 they were swallowed up in the earth alive.  Moses was king, Deut 33:5.  Dathan and Abiram could have spared their lives and the lives of their families if they had not stood in their evil thing.  They should have kept the king’s commandment.

He doeth whatsoever pleaseth him, 3.  In Dan 5:18-19 Nebuchadnezzar slew, kept alive, set up, and put down whomever he pleased.

Where the word of a king it there is power, v.4.  He has the power to do what he will.  And he commands it with his word.  Ahasuerus’ word decreed that all Jews would be killed.  His word decreed later that the Jews could defend themselves.  No man could reverse it or change it, Est 8:8.  The king decreed that no man could pray to anyone but himself.  And Daniel went to the lion’s den because he prayed to God.  The king couldn’t change the decree, Dan 6:15.  Our King James Bible has power.  Who may say unto him, What doest thou?  He answers to nobody.  When the king learned of Haman’s evil design against the Jews, he commanded “Hang him thereon”, Est 7:9, and Haman died.

Whoso keepeth commandment shall feel no evil thing, 5.  Rom 13:3-4 rulers are not a terror to good works…do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same… he is a minister of God to thee for good.  1 Pet 2:14, praise of them that do well.

A wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment, 5.  Daniel kept the law.  But when the wicked decree came forbidding him to pray, he discerned the time to pray and the king’s judgment ultimately was in his favor.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew it was time to obey God.  And in Dan 3:28 God changed the king’s word.  They discerned between the judgment of the king to kill their bodies and the judgment of disobeying God.  Peter and John discerned both time and judgment when they obeyed God and disregarded the demand of the Pharisees to not preach Jesus.  Jews before the holocaust knew that there would be many dead under Hitler.  Some discerned the time to leave, and escape the judgment of Hitler against them.  Several of these went to Israel.  It was very tough.  But they felt no evil thing.

To study the previous lesson, see This Have I Found.  To study the next lesson, see A Wise Man’s Heart Discerneth.