Friday, November 11, 2016

Reflection - Overrighteous and Overwise (Ecclesiastes 7:16)

Source Website: https://gotquestions.org/overrighteous-overwise.html
By Got Questions Ministries


Solomon is teaching moderation in the fear of God.
PHOTO: Solomon is teaching moderation in the fear of God. Don’t be overly righteous, overly wise, overly wicked, or overly foolish. Chasing after extremes will not prolong one’s life or provide the satisfaction one desires. Solomon obviously means something different from being truly righteous and truly wise.
Overrighteousness” is an extreme religiosity, perhaps marked by asceticism (severe self-discipline and avoiding of all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons), excessive strictness, and zealous observance of the minutiae (trivial details) of man-made religion, like the Pharisees in Jesus’ day. In their fanatical self-righteousness, they would “strain out a gnat but swallow a camel” (Matthew 23:24).
To be “overwise” is to think of oneself as self-sufficient in matters of knowledge, especially when it concerns the things of God. “Overwisdom” will call God’s character and wisdom into question, speculate about His actions, and judge them according to one’s own “superior” wisdom. Job although righteous, was “overwise” when he began to question God. (Job 38:2–3).
Picture posted by Ecclesiastes (Pinterest)
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https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/fd/3c/f2/fd3cf296d934b9d5144afdfe7b4ab1b3.jpg
https://www.pinterest.com/blkbambi74/ecclesiastes/



What does it mean to be overrighteous and overwise (Ecclesiastes 7:16)?
Ecclesiastes 7:16 says, “Do not be overrighteous, / neither be overwise— / why destroy yourself?” Given the Bible’s standard of righteousness and the premium it sets on wisdom, it seems strange that Solomon would say not to be overly righteous or too wise.


King Solomon, the son of King David and Bathsheba, who pray to God for wisdom and knowledge.
PHOTO: King Solomon, the son of King David and Bathsheba, who pray to God for wisdom and knowledge. God granted him both wisdom as requested, and wealth. It would seems strange that Solomon would say not to be overrighteous or overwise.
Picture posted by Jr Culwell on 22 November 2015 - King Solomon
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https://www.haikudeck.com/solomon--uncategorized-presentation-og5v8FpWzl#slide7



One key to understanding this warning against being overrighteous and overwise is found in Ecclesiastes 7:15: “In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: / the righteous perishing in their righteousness, / and the wicked living long in their wickedness.” Solomon had witnessed both situations: those who had died doing righteous deeds and those who had died while sinning—and, what’s worse, sinning for a long time while seeming to get away with it. Solomon here is contemplating the fact that sometimes the good die young while evil men live long, iniquitous lives (grossly unfair and morally wrong). This is a mystery to him and one of the things that add to the “vanity” (futility) of a life lived “under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:2–3).



Solomon had witnessed very unfair and morally wrong situations where the good die young while the evil live long iniquitous lives.
PHOTO: Solomon had witnessed very unfair and morally wrong situations where the good die young while the evil live long iniquitous lives. So why destroy yourself, when extreme measures may still be helpless to what is already destined. Just accept it as another “vanity” (futility) of a life lived “under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:2–3).
Picture posted by Tom on Saturday, 06 May 2006 at 9:51 PM - Ecclesiastes 7:16
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5czMt44Wsw4/WCWIeIqnGpI/AAAAAAAAldM/VA2tjzFNU0wxD2c8OIhCtQJVj9De5r6xwCLcB/s1600/ScreenShot001.jpg
http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4727/979/1600/ScreenShot001.jpg
http://uncletomsblogcabin.blogspot.sg/2006/05/ecclesiastes-716.html



We must also keep Ecclesiastes 7:17 in mind, because Solomon continues the thought begun with the warning against being overrighteous and overwise: “Do not be overwicked, / and do not be a fool— / why die before your time?” And then verse 18 summarizes the lesson: “Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.

Putting it all together, Solomon is teaching moderation in the fear of God. Don’t be overly righteous, overly wise, overly wicked, or overly foolish. Chasing after extremes will not prolong one’s life or provide the satisfaction one desires.



Solomon is teaching that chasing after extremes is not the will of God because 'Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.' (Ecclesiastes 7:18).
PHOTO: Solomon is teaching that chasing after extremes is not the will of God because “Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.” (Ecclesiastes 7:18). Don’t be overly righteous, overly wise, overly wicked, or overly foolish.
Picture posted by Fernando Amerlinck on Thursday, 28 January 2016 at 5:00 pm
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fKIKKoxWNnY/WCWIfd_Jm5I/AAAAAAAAldo/EZ81IL2XUAw85k9klfg5RWFZtw6f5GKdwCLcB/s1600/salomon-rey-de-israel.jpg
http://www.ruizhealytimes.com/sites/default/files/styles/una_pagina_custom_user_standard_layout_1x/public/articles/2016/01/salomon-rey-de-israel.jpg?itok=fTMO1GYl
http://www.ruizhealytimes.com/opinion-y-analisis/el-eclesiastes-y-los-ciclos-economicos



Still, what does it mean to be overrighteous and overwise? Solomon obviously means something different from being truly righteous and truly wise. To be “overrighteous” is to strive for a self-made righteousness based on an outward adherence to rules. “Overrighteousness” is an extreme religiosity, perhaps marked by asceticism (severe self-discipline and avoiding of all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons), excessive strictness, and zealous observance of the minutiae (trivial details) of man-made religion. The Pharisees in Jesus’ day were “overrighteous” in this way; in their fanatical self-righteousness, they would “strain out a gnat but swallow a camel” (
Matthew 23:24).


Overrighteous and overwise is different from being truly righteous and truly wise.
PHOTO: Overrighteous and overwise is different from being truly righteous and truly wise.Overrighteousness” is an extreme religiosity (asceticism), excessive strictness, and zealous observance of the minutiae (trivial details) of man-made religion.
At seventeen Joan of Arc was the youngest woman to lead an entire nations army. She won many victories against the English, however, she also claimed to receive visions from God, which some people (overrighteous people?) get sort of funny about. She was burnt at the stake as a heretic by the English but later she was made a saint. Heretic is a person believing in or practising religious heresy. [2]
Painting by Hermann Stilke, 1843 - Joan of Arc being burnt at the stake
Posted by Sarah Fallon on Wednesday, 12 October 2011 at 4:38 PM

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lR84-L9POEc/WCWIePkskrI/AAAAAAAAldQ/4oUODiA5gn4jobC5FHVp2MYRKECFqc6ggCLcB/s1600/Stilke_Hermann_Anton_-_Joan_of_Arc%2527s_Death_at_the_Stake%2B1843.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4U3B2HZUWw8/TpU1SyWiqMI/AAAAAAAAA4E/u9pU5Kqa-Xg/s1600/Stilke_Hermann_Anton_-_Joan_of_Arc%2527s_Death_at_the_Stake+1843.jpg
http://visionsofwhimsy.blogspot.sg/2011/10/warrior-women.html
http://visionsofwhimsy.blogspot.sg/2011_10_01_archive.html



The Pharisees in Jesus’ day were 'overrighteous' in their fanatical self-righteousness
PHOTO: The Pharisees in Jesus’ day were “overrighteous” in their fanatical self-righteousness, they would “strain out a gnat but swallow a camel” (Matthew 23:24).
Asceticism often focus more on self than on God. It is actually a subtle sort of self-delusion that is difficult to discern but actually drive us further from God. That is similar to trying to earn our salvation with good works, and that is not what is being said in Ephesians 2:8,9 (by grace). [2]
Picture posted by Matthew Wester on Friday, 29 August 2014 at 1:03 PM
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http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cIbhNjD5BsE/U_uc27z98OI/AAAAAAAABh0/YcQyl4BphQY/s1600/camel.jpg
http://matthewwester.blogspot.sg/2014/08/jesus-is-funny-parables-and-similes.html
http://matthewwester.blogspot.sg/2014_08_01_archive.html



To be “overwise” is to think of oneself as self-sufficient in matters of knowledge, especially when it concerns the things of God. “Overwisdom” will call God’s character and wisdom into question, speculate about His actions, and judge them according to one’s own “superiorwisdom. Job, righteous man that he was, was “overwise” when he began to question God, and God had to ask him, “Who is this that obscures my plans / with words without knowledge? / Brace yourself like a man; / I will question you, / and you shall answer me” (
Job 38:2–3). Job’s reply showed that he had regained true wisdom: “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? / I put my hand over my mouth” (Job 40:4).


Finally, God appears to Job in a storm and gives a stunning account of his majestic works and power.
PHOTO: Finally, God appears to Job in a storm and gives a stunning account of his majestic works and power. Job, humbled and overwhelmed, acknowledges God's right as Creator to do whatever he pleases.
Who is this that obscures my plans / with words without knowledge? / Brace yourself like a man; / I will question you, / and you shall answer me” (
Job 38:2–3). Job’s reply showed that he had regained true wisdom (not “overwise”): “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? / I put my hand over my mouth” (
Job 40:4).
Painting by William Blake  (1757 - 1827) - Illustrations to the Book of Job, The Butts Set, object 17 (Butlin 550.17) "The Vision of Christ"
Picture posted by Saint Takla Church, http://st-takla.org/Gallery/

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ewWZlIUfK7g/V-D9dVKma-I/AAAAAAAAlB4/ocvkEWiYXZE78kt5eptFps8WoKjlRfwPgCLcB/s1600/www-St-Takla-org--17-The-Vision-of-Christ.jpg
http://st-takla.org/Pix/Portraits-Christian-Paintings/William-Blake/Illustrations-to-the-Book-of-Job/www-St-Takla-org--17-The-Vision-of-Christ.jpg
http://st-takla.org/Full-Free-Coptic-Books/Katamars/Katamaros-El-Soum-El-Kebir/Katamares-Holy-Lent_Week-7-Day-1.html
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/09/reflection-introduction-to-book-of-job.html?m=0



Self-righteousness has the potential to lead to much harm. Matthew 23:5 offers an excellent summary of the behavior of the “overrighteous”: “Everything they do is done for people to see.” This type of lifestyle is condemned by God as attempting to be righteous in the wrong way.



The 'overrighteous':Pharisee during the time of Jesus Christ.
PHOTO: The “overrighteous”:Pharisee during the time of Jesus Christ. “Everything they do is done for people to see.” (Matthew 23:5). This is condemned by God as attempting to be righteous in the wrong way.
Picture posted by Bible History Online
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http://www.bible-history.com/studybible/images/prayer-shawl-phylactery-color-n-9t.jpg
http://www.bible-history.com/studybible/Matthew/23/5/



In Joel 2:12–13, the Lord calls His people to move beyond external religion and righteousness and to truly return to Him: “Return to me with all your heart, / with fasting and weeping and mourning. / Rend your heart / and not your garments.” The Lord was less concerned with their sacrifices and external adherence to the Law than He was the condition of their hearts.



The Lord is more concern with the hearts of His people than their their external religion and righteousness, sacrifices and external adherence to the Law.
PHOTO: The Lord is more concern with the hearts of His people than their their external religion and righteousness, sacrifices and external adherence to the Law. The Lord wants us to truly love Him from the heart and not from other conditions.

Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. (Joel 2:12–13).
Picture posted by Art of kleyn, Prophetic Art
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http://www.artofkleyn.co.za/images/18-08g.jpg
http://www.artofkleyn.co.za/pop%209%2009.html



Solomon knew better than most people the outcome of righteousness that did not arise from a heart that truly loves God. As king, he would have been familiar with the religious leaders of the temple he commissioned to have built in Jerusalem. Thousands of Levites served within its walls. Some certainly did so with a true heart of love for God, while others served with improper motives. Solomon’s words in
Ecclesiastes 7:16 reflect the voice of one calling all of God’s people to live for Him with true righteousness and true wisdom. And the next verses (Ecclesiastes 7:17–18) keep it all in balance.


Solomon is calling all of God’s people to live for Him with true righteousness and true wisdom.
PHOTO: Solomon is calling all of God’s people to live for Him with true righteousness and true wisdom. The outcome of righteousness that did not arise from a heart that truly loves God is with improper motives. "Overwisdom" is judging according to one’s ownsuperior wisdom. “Overrighteous” and without wisdom is fanatical self-righteousness.
Picture posted by DrZam.com
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http://www.drzam.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/personalised-learning-why.jpg
http://www.drzam.com/which-animal-is-your-child/



Though these themes are only mentioned briefly in Ecclesiastes, Solomon and others speak at length regarding true righteousness and wisdom in the book of Proverbs. Its opening words say that proverbs are “for gaining wisdom and instruction; / for understanding words of insight; / for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, / doing what is right and just and fair” (Proverbs 1:2–3). Proverbs 1:7 adds, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, / but fools despise wisdom and instruction."



The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
PHOTO: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Proverbs 1:7). Solomon and others speak at length regarding true righteousness and wisdom in the book of Proverbs.
Picture from Index of wp-content - Isaiah 65:5
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http://markmcmillion.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/come-not-near-flat.jpg
http://markmcmillion.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/



Dear Lord, We pray that we do not chase after extremes as they will not prolong one’s life or provide the satisfaction one desires. Let the fear of the Lord be the beginning of our knowledge. Help us to be truly righteous and truly wise. Please help us also to avoid fanatical self-righteousness and own “superior” wisdom. Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!
PHOTO: "Dear Lord, We pray that we do not chase after extremes as they will not prolong one’s life or provide the satisfaction one desires. Let the fear of the Lord be the beginning of our knowledge. Help us to be truly righteous and truly wise. Please help us also to avoid fanatical self-righteousness and own “superior” wisdom. Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!"
Picture posted by VKS‏@vksapp on 13 Oct 2016 at 9:44 AM - We should always open our minds to suggestions...

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-S0jj4cCUZkU/WCWIdk-1d1I/AAAAAAAAldI/NzWWaH5-uwgoq_-twpAK10G-TeMEBjgVwCLcB/s1600/CuqYQ7HXEAAw8c-.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CuqYQ7HXEAAw8c-.jpg
https://twitter.com/vksapp/status/786608670457012224


Reflection - Overrighteous and Overwise (
Ecclesiastes 7:16)
By Got Questions Ministries




Reference

[1] What does it mean to be overrighteous and overwise (Ecclesiastes 7:16)?, Posted by Got Questions Ministries, https://gotquestions.org/overrighteous-overwise.html.

[2] Self-Important Humility, posted by Melanie Jean Juneau on 25 November 2013  at 8:58 pm, https://associationofcatholicwomenbloggers.blogspot.sg/2013/11/self-important-humility.html

New International Version (NIV), Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Ecclesiastes 1:2-3 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes+1%3A2%E2%80%933&version=NIV

Ecclesiastes 7:15 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes+7%3A15&version=NIV

Ecclesiastes 7:16 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes+7%3A16&version=NIV

Ecclesiastes 7:17–18 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes+7%3A17%E2%80%9318&version=NIV

Ecclesiastes 7:17 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes+7%3A17&version=NIV

Ecclesiastes 7:18 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes+7%3A18&version=NIV

Ephesians 2:8,9 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+2%3A8%2C9&version=NIV

Isaiah 65:5 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+65%3A5&version=NIV

Job 38:2–3 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Job+38%3A2%E2%80%933&version=NIV

Job 40:4 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Job+40%3A4&version=NIV

Joel 2:12–13 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joel+2%3A12%E2%80%9313&version=NIV

Matthew 23:5 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+23%3A5&version=NIV

Matthew 23:24 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+23%3A24&version=NIV

Proverbs 1:2–3 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+1%3A2%E2%80%933&version=NIV

Proverbs 1:7 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+1%3A7&version=NIV