Many people, because they aren’t Christians, miss out on the Bible’s clever stories, wise observations, and lack of -”ism” based ideas.
Many contemporary Christians miss the same simply because they don’t read the whole Bible.
An enigmatic Old Testament character named “The Preacher” made these observations:
Ecclesiastes 10:8-12 He who digs a pit will fall into it, and a serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall. (9) He who quarries stones is hurt by them, and he who splits logs is endangered by them. (10) If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed. (11) If the serpent bites before it is charmed, there is no advantage to the charmer. (12) The words of a wise man’s mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him.
One of the fun things about saying collections observing the various connections between the sayings.
In 10:8-9, hard work seems to be fraught with danger.
In 10:10, wisdom makes work easier as a sharp ax makes splitting logs easier.
In 10:11, wisdom, used at the right time can also protect you from the serpent. The charms of the snake charmer being the metaphor for wisdom.
In 10:12, the words of the wise win them favor, like the words of the charmer win them safety.
But I want to focus on verse 11.
Wisdom can keep you from danger but there are two conditions:
Have the skills in advance, snake charming won’t help those who haven’t practiced.
Use them when the opportunity strikes (or when you don’t want it to strike as the case may be).
Scott Adams talked about this:
Success isn’t magic; it’s generally the product of picking a good system and following it until luck finds you.1
By system he means a collection of habits, thought patterns, and useful skills at which you improve regularly.
Snake charming (not a real skill) seems silly unless you live in a world where snakes hide behind walls. Similarly, investing seems silly for somebody with low income until they suddenly have more income and have learned the ropes.
1Adams, Scott. How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life (p. 95). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
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