Summary: A wise person is able to turn a bad day into a good day.
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THE CROOKEDNESS OF LIFE
Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him (vv. 13-14).
• Life is full of TWISTS and TURNS.
“What is crooked cannot be made straight” (1:15). Life is like a winding road through the forest. We don’t know what might be around the next turn. There could be a moose standing in the middle of the road. Or the road might be clear. But we don’t know. Only God knows.
• There will be days of PROSPERITY and days of ADVERSITY.
• We need WISDOM to navigate through the crookedness of life.
Wisdom, like money, is helpful during times of difficulty (vv. 11-12).
GOOD BAD DAYS
In the DC comics universe there’s a cube-shaped planet called Bizarro World (also known as Htrae, “earth” spelled backwards). In Bizarro World, society is ruled by the Bizarro Code, which states, “Us do opposite of all earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!” As you read Ecclesiastes 7, you might think you’ve entered Bizarro World (“the day of death [is better] than the day of birth”; “it is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting”; “sorrow is better than laughter”).
A wise person can turn bad days into good days.
1. A wise person knows that bad days can build CHARACTER.
A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth (v. 1).
A good reputation can be gained or lost during days of adversity. Job is an example of someone who, even today, has a good name because of how he handled adversity.
Satan thought that adversity would cause Job to turn his back on God. “Then Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face’” (Job 1:9-11).
But Satan was wrong. “And Job said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD’” (Job 1:21). Job’s wife, on the other hand, reacted as Satan thought Job would. “Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die’” (Job 2:9). Many people are only willing to follow God as long as it’s easy. Job rebuked his wife for her foolishness. “But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?’” (Job 2:10).