Useful Bible Studies > Ecclesiastes Commentary > chapter 4

The weakness of people’s support

Ecclesiastes 4:13-16

The author of Ecclesiastes has just explained how good it is to have support from other people (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). Now he will show us how weak people’s support really is.

He tells us about a powerful king who had ruled for many years. However, this great king became foolish. His advisers warned him that the people did not like his laws. But the king would not listen to their advice. He was becoming very unpopular, but he would not recognise that fact.

So that old king lost the people’s support. And, instead, a young man from a poor family became popular. Suddenly, everybody wanted that young man to rule. They took him out of prison to be their new king.

You could imagine that such a popular and wise young ruler would always have the support of his people. But that did not happen. After a few years, people were not happy with his rule. Perhaps he even became as unpopular as the old king whom he had replaced.

Nobody could have had more people to support him than that young man had. That support seemed extremely strong. People were willing to fight and even die for him. But really, that support was very weak. It did not last. And perhaps there was no proper reason why the young ruler lost the people’s support.

David was a popular king. But he did not imagine that his rule depended on the support of his people. He declared that God alone kept him safe (Psalm 62:1-2).

Next part: Foolish and wise prayers (Ecclesiastes 5:1-3)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.