Do not be in a hurry to leave the king’s presence. Do not stand up for a bad cause, for he will do whatever he pleases. Ecclesiastes 8:3.
Solomon warns us not to be in a hurry to leave the presence of a ruler for they do as they please. There are good reasons for this: 1) who will influence them differently if all they have around them are “yes” men and women? 2) What if this particular ruler is different and truly needs our perspective to make a wise decision? 3) What if the only voice of reason is yours?
We can’t guarantee our influence or the outcome, but if we quit the game, we lose by default. If we continue playing the game, we might lose anyway but at least we put in our best effort. I personally don’t want to live with the former as a memory over the latter because on my death bed I want to know I did my best to live for what I believed in. We who follow Jesus know the Way to Life. If we refuse to live in the world and participate as a part of its journey, we refuse to be the salt and light our Master told us we should be. Our witness is not about preaching with words but living examples of righteousness, kindness and truth.
Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a man’s misery weighs heavily upon him. Ecclesiastes 8:5, 6.
What does this say to you?
What it says to me is if we “leave the king’s presence” in a hurry due to our misery and dissatisfaction with the current trends, we lose whatever voice we might have had to turn the tide of authority to good. Look at the stories of Daniel and Esther. Daniel became a ruler in the kingdom of Babylon, first, then Persia. Both nations were heathen, meaning Daniel probably dispensed with commands of a king he neither agreed with nor supported on specific issues. Yet look at the results. Esther became the wife of a man who worshiped violent, immoral and pretty much capricious gods, yet she saved her people by being a place she otherwise would have preferred not to be.
Where has God called you to be? Remember the above examples from Scripture and settle your mind on being a light in a dark place. If lights shine where there is already plenty of light, they get lost in the brightness. But if a light is placed in a dark corner of the room, it dispels the dark—even if it’s just a little bit.
Tags: being like God, being like Jesus, Ecclesiastes, following Jesus, God's purpose, God's truth, God's will, Jesus, obedience, spiritual growth, submission, the nature of God, truth, understanding God, wisdom