Devotional 6: No One Remembered That Poor Man

Ecclesiastes 9:14-16:

14There was a small city with few men in it and a great king came to it, surrounded it and constructed large siegeworks against it. 15But there was found in it a poor wise man and he delivered the city by his wisdom. Yet no one remembered that poor man. 16So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the wisdom of the poor man is despised and his words are not heeded.

Did not our Lord possess all wisdom; indeed, was He not its very founder? “One greater than Solomon is here.”

Born into poverty, a working man, with a family of how many we know not, brothers and sisters, and the very mother who bore Him looking for Him in the streets, having heard of the things He preached, she herself succumbing to doubt, though she conceived Him as a virgin. He was steeped in the Law of the chosen children, the very Law His Father wrote and sent down from Heaven to His friend Moses.

The Law replete with references to the coming of the Son, the prophets heralding throughout the centuries of a King, and as the expectations of the people rose, in their mind’s eyes a king of royal bearing, strong of arm, fierce of brow, and curt of tongue was to come and right the wrongs done to Israel by their enemies.

And yet…

“Are you the One, or do we look for another?” said the chief prophet of the New Covenant, a direct member of the Savior’s very family, and Jesus answered him with compassion and mercy and grace of the deeds He was doing among the people, though it might have stung Him deeply that His cousin faltered.

This Jesus: A man of power and grace, who taught the people with unique authority, one foot firmly planted in the dirt of humanity, another in the palatial, celestial palaces of Heaven, indeed, in the very throne room of the Father Himself: “No one has seen the Father except the Son.”

This Jesus: is the poor man of wisdom, leading us from the burning city, who’s words we are saved by, whose sacrifice we receive the kingdom of God by, whose blood has paid the death wages of sin that we might have eternal life, and yet we forget Him, when things are back to ‘normal’ and we are ‘prospering’, forgetting His words, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.”

This Jesus: who will intercede for us if we but acknowledge Him before men, whose judgment of our works will bring us unparalleled joy, and unbearable sorrow as our works are tested, as He sees what we’ve done for the least, if we’ve harmed the widow and the orphan, if we yet carry unforgiveness in our hearts toward our brothers and sisters, if we have loved one another as ourselves, and the God we say we serve with all our heart, soul, mind, body and strength, if we have the faith of a mustard seed to move the mountains in our way, and believe we will rise in glory with Him on the last day.

Therefore I pray:

Help my unbelief, Lord Jesus. Help me to know when I pass You by in the streets, in my thoughts, my heart, my words, my deeds. 

Help me to love my brothers and sisters in You, and to bless my enemies, heaping coals on their heads.

Lord, You say Your yoke is easy, and Your burden light, and You will give me rest if I only come in faith, but Lord, I have trouble doing what I already know is right. To turn the other cheek, walk the extra mile, and give also of my warm cloak, is not easy for me, for my heart is evil and deceptively wicked. I would take the pne sheep from the poor man, though I have many. 

Lord, if I am an heir of the kingdom, help me to know that though I am born in poverty of spirit, money and flesh, the riches of Heaven are without limit, and mine to enjoy for eternity: “In My Father’s house, there are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.”

I want to believe those words in a world of greed and selfishness, superstition, lust, abuse, murder, rampant sexual immorality; as the demons snap their jagged teeth at the edges of my life, their acidic spit erodes my faith, foams over my thoughts as I pray, and their nails scrape at my mind in the middle of the night, or as they walk toward me in heated, comely flesh, with a smile on painted lips, and eyes that promise vapors of love, with no substance, that would see me forfeit my soul.

I want to believe, for you are the Lord who said throughout Your ministry: “I tell you the Truth.”

And so, Lord, help me, in times of prosperity as well as need, to consider, remember, and give thanks to God for  the wisdom of the poor man, the wise king, the Lamb of God, who takes away my sin, the One who sticks closer than a brother, the Good Shepherd, whose goodness and mercy follow me all the days of life, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord, in fellowship with Him, forever.

In faith believing, I ask it of You, Lord Jesus.

Hear my prayer. 


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