Reading through the Bible together
Solomon starts this chapter with a comparison between the very fragile process used by a perfumer, and the even more fragile process of the believer’s life who tries to be a perfect witness, especially if he is considered as someone wise and honorable.
In the old times, a dead fly, small, insignificant and harmless, was able to spoil the balance in the essences and oils needed to make perfume. Perfume which essences were spoiled was simply discarded. The same thing happens with a small expression of anger, a bad word, a defect in our character, or a bad habit. Any of these things makes the influence of a good person useless.
Through different figures, Solomon encourages us to be wise, to decide always in harmony with the Lord’s will. It does no matter our age or what responsibilities we have; all of us may do foolish things.
What does it mean to be a fool, or to act foolishly? It is to be clumsy, to do things without logic or reason. This makes us act unwisely and brings us close to being obstinate and can lead us into madness. The fool is not the only one affected by his acts, but he affects people around him.
On the contrary, Solomon tells us to be rich in wisdom (v. 5), without looking for earthly recognition. Also wisdom is an effective help in the different tasks and responsibilities we have. He concludes this chapter suggesting that we take care of the words we utter. The wise person will speak little, knowing what he says and avoiding the misunderstanding of his words.
I hope that our prayer can be like this:
“Lord, give me a wise and understanding heart, so I can think and speak correctly, and can worthily represent you in front of others. Amen.”
Roberto O. Gullón
Executive Secretary of the Argentina Union
South American Division