The subjects of Ecclesiastes 10:16-17 may be kings and princes, but the lesson is for everyone. It is a lesson about greedy behaviour and the dangers of alcohol. And it is a lesson about how wrong desires can ruin people’s lives.
In Ecclesiastes 10:16, the king acts like a child, that is, without responsibility. He cares only to satisfy his own desires. He likes friends, parties, food and wine.
As king, he can do what he wants. So he appoints his friends to be the important officials (princes) in his country. And they eat and drink together all day.
The result, of course, is that the whole country suffers. Nobody can tell those rulers to be sensible. They do not even know what it means to be sensible. Nobody can get a right judgement. All the judges have become drunks. The army cannot defend the country. The military officers go to parties when they should be leading the army.
The country in Ecclesiastes 10:17 is very different. There, the king shows his noble and honourable origin by the way that he rules. The army officers are strong and the judges are sensible. The result is that the whole country is successful. Everyone in the country benefits from the rule of the wise king and his wise princes. Here, the rulers are not greedy and they do not drink too much alcohol. They care about their country, and not just about themselves.
What is true about rulers is also true about other people. If a person allows wrong desires to control his life, he cannot govern his family well. In fact, such a person cannot even govern his own life properly.
Next part: Reasons not to be lazy (Ecclesiastes 10:18)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.