Daily Proverbial, from Ecclesiastes, 8 November 2012

Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good. Ecclesiastes 9, verse 18.

Election Day is done and the results are in. The president is re-elected; the Senate is held by one party while the House is held by another. At state and local levels, one party advanced significantly more than the other.

Moot points. Totally moot points. Everyone who ran for public office this week was a sinner. Some believe in God; some don’t. All are sinners regardless. And yet, of sinners are these great movements made. And through sinners does God display His glory and power. He does it so that we will see and cling to Him and love Him, and that we’ll share that love with others. Out of all this angst, all this struggle comes good. In every crisis, even when good is hard to see, good results.

It takes just one sinner to destroy much good. One bad apple spoils the whole barrel, right? Exactly.

I am that sinner. My words carry much weight. The list of people whom this daily blog reaches numbers in the thousands. I write a few hundred words that are emailed, blogged, or Facebooked to a thousand more and I have no idea how many, if any, read them beyond that. What it does mean, though, is that a few thousand souls are directly affected by what I SAY five days a week. A few thousand souls touch a few thousand souls. Carry that over another time or two and you have a nation. All that from one person’s words. True, I’m making more of myself than I probably am but I’m betting you see the point. If I am not careful, my words can easily lead someone astray. That thought crosses my mind because I don’t want to live in fear of what I would have to tell my maker when He judges me. Most times, I do my best, but even when I do, I am still a sinner. If I’m not careful, I can be that sinner who destroys much good.

You are that sinner. What you say and do carries much weight, more than mine in fact. You’re not more culpable, but you are more significant. You’re in the thousand I touch. I’m betting that you’re more gregarious and friendly and probably better connected to the ways of the real world than is yours truly. That means you have impact, very probably significant impact whether you realize it or not.

Expand this out and I think you’ll see that everyone you and I know has the chance to do much good or to destroy much good. It simply starts with one person. Effective movements build from the bottom up, not the top down. From the bottom up builds consensus, numbers and action; from the top down emanates dictatorship. Which has more lasting power? I think you know, and it all starts with one person.

Even as this is so, it takes time to know, time to judge the wisdom of things. The wisdom of what happened yesterday is still being sorted out. If you’re on the left, you’re cautiously jubilant; if you’re on the right, you’re probably disappointed and wary. If you believe in God, no matter which side you’re on, I hope you can see that God was at work, God is at work, and that the wisdom of what He’s doing may be beyond our comprehension. Knowledge is more valuable than gold. Gold is more valuable than weapons, even very powerful weapons. Follow the logic and, with God, it holds up. Even as we don’t fully understand all that happened yesterday, I know that there are lessons to be learned from it and that those lessons will be valuable. Even as I don’t fully understand how God was at work, I trust that He was, and that good results from it.

That’s the point of it all, isn’t it? Trusting in God? Solomon thought so, else why would he have written these books of advice, warning and proverbial observations but for to help us trust God better?

The results are in. Whether I’m happy or not with them is moot. Whether you’re happy is moot. What isn’t moot is that the American system, as designed, works. It worked; it still works. Our founders bequeathed to us a system built on wisdom and trust: their wisdom in having faith in God and learning how men think, work and behave, and their trust in that faith and that wisdom. Whether you sit on the right or the left – or maybe in the irrelevantly thin middle – it’s my hope that you have that wisdom and faith to move forward, shall we say, into whatever lies ahead.


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