ECCLESIASTES 10
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[Kohelet 10 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)]


10 If the iron [barzel (iron of the axe)] be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength [more strength be marshalled]: but wisdom [chochmah] is profitable to direct [ brings success].


The lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life: the desire to HAVE something, to ENJOY something, to BE something: possession, gratification, accomplishment. We all have these lusts. Adam and Eve had them in their innocency.

In themselves, they are not wrong: they are "very good": they are the creation and blessing of God. It is their MISDIRECTION that is evil. "Thou shalt not covet" (Rm. 7:7) is exactly the same word in the original as "with desire I have desired to eat this passover with you" (Lk. 22:15).

Desire and affection are of themselves neutral, and potentially good, as the gifts of God. It is where we set them that makes the difference between sin and sainthood, between sorrow and salvation, tragedy and triumph. Wisdom perceives this, and directs all its desires in the way of wholesomeness, godliness, spiritual productiveness, eternal worthwhileness.

Folly does not. Folly lets desire run its natural blind animal course which -- since Adam's transgression and sentence -- has been downward and corrupt and abominably perverted.

Bro Growcott