Useful Bible Studies > Ecclesiastes Commentary > chapter 7

When the truth is unpleasant

Ecclesiastes 7:1-2

If something smells awful, you can use a substance with a sweet smell to hide the bad smell. But you have not dealt with the real problem. Whatever caused the bad smell is still there.

A ‘good name’ means a good, honest character. That is the character of a person who loves the truth (John 1:47). That person does not hide problems, because the truth matters to him. So he is honest, both with himself and with other people.

Of course, most people agree that the truth is better than a lie. But still, they prefer not to think about facts that they consider unpleasant.

So, they go to happy parties. They need every opportunity to forget their troubles and to think happier thoughts. But they might learn more if they went to funerals instead of birthday parties!

At a funeral, they would learn an important lesson. There, they would understand that all people must die. When people remember that fact, they have an opportunity to become wiser. People should prepare now for the day when God is their judge.

Jesus said that the truth makes people free (John 8:32). But of course, not every true fact has that effect. We cannot just think about the fact that we must die. That fact is true, but it will make us miserable. We must also think about the fact that God sent his Son to save us. So we must invite him into our lives (John 3:16). When we do that, then we really will be free (John 8:36). And the result will be the kind of life that never ends (John 8:51).

Next part: Serious thoughts (Ecclesiastes 7:3-4)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.