Banish it

Ecclesiastes 11:10

So then, banish anxiety from your heart, and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless. NIV

This verse comes at the end of a beautiful passage in Ecclesiastes.  As I began to think about this verse, I began wondering about the writer.  I thought that I remembered that Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes.

My NIV bible confirms that this is a possibility, although, apparently, there is some disagreement about who the author actually is.  If Solomon wrote it, the book is older than some people think it is.

Either way, I found the introductory passage  in my NIV Bible so interesting.  It says, “Theme and Message:  Life not centered on God is purposeless and meaningless.  Without him, nothing else can satisfy (2:25).  With him, all of life and his other good gifts are to be gratefully received and used and enjoyed to the full (2:26; 11:8)  The book contains the philosophical and theological reflections of an old man, most of whose life was meaningless because he had not himself relied on God.”

He had not relied on God.  So sad.

As I put this verse in that context, I wonder, what is the writer suggesting we do to banish that anxiety from our heart?  To stop worrying?

I’ve learned through this project that the only true antidote to worry is to fully trust in God. To rely on Him him wholly.  To know beyond knowing that He has a plan for my life, and while I cannot see it, I must continue walking through it with faith and hope moment by moment.

The Message translates this verse, “Live footloose and fancy free — you won’t be young forever.  Youth lasts about as long as smoke.” MSG

So interesting.  The implication here is that we really have no worries as long as we are young … the real worries, he seems to be saying, come when your body begins to fail you.

How much, I wonder, is his perspective colored by a lack of reliance on God?  To me, it would seem just the opposite … as you enter old age, with the pleasant memories of a life well lived behind you, with a history of serving others as Jesus’s hands and feet here on earth, you draw closer to the ultimate reward — eternity with God.

I’ll have to think more about that today.


Filed under Anxious, Ecclesiastes, Old Testament, Worry

2 responses to “Banish it

  1. alice

    Could this verse also mean to say that we should not worry about staying/being young? Cast off the troubles of our bodies…and total reliance on God. I see in this day and time so many (especially baby boomers) who want to stay young and have too much worry about it in their heart and with their body….God says youth and vigor are meaningless…which agrees with your statement at the end that suggests we age gracefully with knowledge and faith. He wants us to ‘age’!

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