"Of the Making of Many Books, There is no End"

“Of the Making of Many Books, There is No End”

By Paul R. Blake

            “And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh” (Ecc. 12:12). 

            Solomon clearly evidenced the wisdom of inspiration when he penned this passage. He himself was the writer of a number of books, three of which are in the Old Testament. In addition, he wrote 3000 proverbs and 1005 songs (1Kings 4:32), as well as Psalms 72, 127, and possibly others. However, spiritual study is not the object of Solomon's admonition. We are encouraged in both Testaments to spend time with Holy Writ in order to better understand the will of God and to draw closer to Him through His word. The 119th Psalm is an outpouring of the joy David felt over learning the precepts of the Lord. Paul told Timothy to be diligent in gaining the approval of God through rightly dividing His word.

            In addition, the Preacher of Ecclesiastes is not warning God's children away from the written works of faithful men. Solomon himself created more songs and proverbs than can be found in the pages of the inspired books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, or Song of Solomon. A great host of Christians have grown spiritually by reading and encouraging or edifying article in a bulletin. Sinners have been converted by reading a tract that convicted them of error and outlined the plan of salvation from sin. Young evangelists have had difficult issues made clear for them by the well written books of godly men. Granted, one must be cautious, understanding that what is written by men can never make void what was inspired of God.

            Furthermore, Solomon is not teaching that one should avoid reading and studying secular writings. He is stating that the production of secular works is virtually limitless, i.e. that it would not be possible to read all of them, let alone retain much of what one read in them. In fact, Solomon points out that to make the attempt to read and know all things that men have written would be detrimental to one's own health. Yet again, he is not proscribing reading and studying the writings of men, he is warning us of “MUCH study,” implying an excess of attention to secular writings.

            Rather, the wise king is enjoining God's people to find balance in their lives. An old saying goes something like this: “Reading makes a full man; writing makes a correct man; speaking makes a ready man.” Paul drew a connection between study and proper understanding of truth (2Tim. 2:15). Peter linked prior study to preparedness to defend our faith (1Peter 3:15). When we study the word of God, when we are edified by what devout men have written about the truth, and when we have a good knowledge of the world around us and how it works as well as the people in it and how they think, THEN we are fully living what Solomon wrote. We will have the right balance and proper mix of what will enable us to grow in faith, to teach the lost, to edify our brother, and to put to silence the opponents of truth.

            Consider the consequences of reading and studying only. What time has such a one set aside to share what he has learned with others? It would be as if one went to public school for his entire lifetime. While he has learned a great deal, he has not put his learning to any practical use.

            Secondly, what time has such a person set aside to practice what he has learned? How can he prove that he has truly learned anything until he exercises what he has learned? Eventually he must lay aside the books and put into effect the principles he studied.

            Third, while he is engaged in study, the rest of his existence lies idle. Physically, the sedentary life of a student leads to a body weakened by inactivity. Mentally, the isolation of the study room precludes interaction with other people and separates one from other stimulating activities. Social skills begin to deteriorate. Emotionally, one can become stilted and dull as the unending rows of words on the pages of the “many books.”

            Solomon's message of balance is important. Too little study will lead to ignorance, and ignorance brings sin, suffering, and poverty. Too much study leads to a life wasted in an attempt to do the impossible, that is, trying to fit the ocean of human written works into the limited space of a human mind in three score and ten years. Therefore, study the word of God diligently, read some of the things godly men have written, learn about the world around you. And then, go out and practice what you have learned and teach it to others.

“Oh Consistency, Thou Art a Jewel!”

They are not afraid to go to work.

They are not afraid to go to a restaurant.

They are not afraid to go shopping.

They are not afraid to go to the gym.

They are not afraid to go to the beach.

They are not afraid to travel by bus or airplane.

They are not afraid to go to bank.

They are not afraid to go to the doctor.

They are not afraid in public places.

They are not afraid to go to parks and festivals.

They are not afraid to hug and kiss their relatives and friends.

They are not afraid to attend birthdays, weddings, and reunions.

They are not afraid to shake hands with personalities and politicians.

They are not afraid to take selfies with their friends.

            So, why they are afraid to go to church services? The problem is not the risk of disease at worship and Bible study, the problem is a heart that is closer to the world than it is to God. Consistency is the true foundation of trust. Either keep your promises or do not make them. How will you answer on Judgment Day those promises you made to God and His children when you became a Christian?

A Moments Wisdom

--You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.

--There’s a basic human weakness inherent in all people which tempts them to want what they can’t have and not want what is readily available to them.

--The weaker you are the louder you bark. He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak.

--An honest man is one that won’t take a coke from a broken vending machine.

Test Your Bible Knowledge of the Judges

1. I was the only judge who was a woman __________

2. I was the left handed judge __________

3. I used an ox goad as a weapon ___________

4. I tied fox tails together __________

5. I threshed grain in a wine press __________

6. I made a very foolish promise to God __________

Upcoming Sermons

11/28/21 AM - Guest Speaker: Jesse Flowers - The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ; PM - How Jesus Changed the World

12/5/21 AM - Contentment: the Prince of Virtues; PM - O Give Thanks to the Lord (Themed Song Service)

12/12/21 AM - Harvesting the Fruit of Ignorance; PM - Habakkuk’s Prayer

12/19/21 AM - How to Amaze Jesus; PM - The Apostle Paul’s Mother

12/26/21 AM - “Given to Us in Christ Jesus Before Time Began”; PM - Our Words of Power

  1. Wed PM Bible Study
    1/19/22 07:30pm
  2. Sun AM Bible Study
    1/23/22 09:30am
  3. Sun AM Worship
    1/23/22 10:30am
  4. Sun PM Worship
    1/23/22 05:00pm
  5. Wed PM Bible Study
    1/26/22 07:30pm
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