We have seen that Israel had a unique calling in the land of Canaan. They were to subdue the land, and they were to be engaged in holy war for the glory of God. The problem has been Israel remembering this goal and truly waging war against those who tempt them to be distracted from the Lord. We have seen examples where Israel has not conform to the Lord as Israel is called to conform to the Lord as we considered Samson, the levite, and even a little bit of Saul’s life. So, what happens to Israel when Israel looses sight of their goal? They are to go into exile and how are they to live in exile away from the promised land? What could their life away from the promised land teach us in our particular context?
It would be nice if we could make ourselves a little worthy of grace or maybe earn some of God’s favor during our life. The reality is that we cannot earn the Lord’s favor no matter how hard we work at it. So, why do we continue to press forward if we cannot please God anyway? Or maybe we are just exaggerating and man is not that bad. So, is mankind really so sinful that we cannot work to receive grace?
Rulers and superiors are people who have authority. This is an authority that can make things rather stressful for us if we try to enter into their presence because they have power to hire, fire, and even sentence. How will they receive us? How will they receive criticism if we have to give some? What will be the potential consequence for appearing to challenge their authority? These are the sorts of things that the preacher in Ecclesiastes teaches us about in his sermon. So, how do we approach the leaders of our day?