Exposition of Ecclesiastes – Rev.T.Mierma

A long-standing tradition in the Reformed periodical, The Standard Bearer, is a rubric involving extended expositions of portions of holy Scripture. At present that rubric is called “Search the Scriptures”, shared by Rev.T. Mierma (pastor of Immanuel PRC in Lacombe, AB, Canada) and Mr. D.Doezema.

Under that rubric Rev.Miersma has been doing a series on the OT book of Ecclesiastes, not an easy book to study and understand. But through sound Reformed hermeneutics (Bible interpretation) and careful exposition Rev.Miersma is making clear this part of God’s Word, so that we may grow in wisdom in Jesus Christ.

SB-Feb1-2015-coverThe latest installment from his pen explained Eccles.6:3-5, under the title “The Better Lot of One Stillborn”, and included these comments on the text (reminding us that the way of wisdom is also avoiding the folly of the ungodly):

The wicked man also comes into the world in vanity and darkness, but it is the spiritual darkness of sin and death. In that darkness of sin he labors and toils. “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up, mire and dirt.” Isaiah 57:20. And for such, “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” Isaiah 57:21. He walks in the darkness of enmity against God and will not come to the light. He labors and toils for the vanity of this world because he himself is vanity and in vanity he came into the world. Never is he filled with good. He sees the sun, the glory of God’s works under it, passes his days upon earth under the light of the sun and the truth of God is not hidden from him. But his soul is in darkness and he follows after vanity. He too knows not any thing.   Intellect, craft, or skill he may have, but true spiritual knowledge he does not have. It is a world in the folly of sin in which he toils.  Its learning, for all its complexity, is still spiritual darkness. Of that which fills the soul with good the wicked man also knows not any thing. It is not given him of God.

He seeks to leave his name in the earth, giving to lands and houses his name, seeking a memorial after him. But death carries him away. His name and place, though they endured through many years of labor and toil, are taken from him. God himself erases his name and place, and passing into the darkness of death, his name is covered in darkness and his place remembers him no more.

What rest, then – even in the grave – does such a man have, who has labored all his life with the ceaseless activity of sin for the vanity of this world? All his treasure is lost to him. The stillborn has more rest than he. And if he does not even have a burial, even that dignity is taken from him. “For the face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth” (Psalm 34:16).

By way of contrast how blessed are God’s children: “The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants; and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate” (Psalm 34:22).

February 1, 2015 Standard Bearer (Vol.91, No.9), 201-202.

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