He who keeps his command will experience nothing harmful; And a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment.
Notice the word, “command” is singular?
What is His command? John 13:34, A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
Love is the new commandment.
John 15:12, This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
John 15:17, This is My command to you: Love one another.
Romans 13:8, Owe to no one, except to one another in love, for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the Law.
Galatians 5:14, The entire Law is fulfilled in a single decree: “Love your neighbor as yourself. Nough said. We are commanded to love.
Ecclesiastes 8:5 tell us, he who keeps His command or he who love will experience nothing harmful. Real? Yeah, read Romans 13:10, Love does no wrong to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law. Ok Another scripture? Well, read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
Love never fails. If you love, according to Ecclesiastes 8:5, “you will experience nothing harmful.” Incredible! This is lofty promise. But we are dealing with God here. God is love. He is telling us that, keep My command, you will experience nothing harmful.
Let’s look an example from Jesus Himself-right? There is no other loving person ever walked in this planet than Jesus Christ. He was scourged, He was wounded and bruised and beaten for my sin and the sins of the world. His experience was harmful to say the least, however, this verse must be saying something more.
When you love. Truly love with the kind of love that only God can deposit in us. You can go through most brutal experience to the point of death and still not hold grudges against those putting you through it instead have the sympathy for them. In other words, you will experience nothing harmful. I am thinking about Steven in the book of Acts. He even prayed for those stoned him, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep, Acts 7:60b.
What this verse is saying is harm or being harmed happens on the inside of a person. Yes, if I cut my skin I will feel some pain or if I burn my finger it will hurt. This is not what he is talking about here. The harm is talking about is not physical. This is a heart issue. If you love. Truly love. The kind of love Jesus had and Steven had and all born again Christian should have, you’ll experience nothing harmful.
The second part of this verse says, a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment.
Time is the most chased and complained of lacking for most people than anything else in this world. I know money come right below it and power and fame but if you ask anybody what they wish they had more of it, almost everyone will tell you, I wish I had enough time.
Time is like a vapor, James 4:4 reminds us.
Job 7:7 writes, Remember that my life is but a breath. My eyes will never again see happiness.
Isaiah 2:22, Put no more trust in man, who has only the breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?
Psalm 78:39, He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return.
And many more similar verses confirming to us that TIME is something a man have no control over. As depressing as it is thinking about time, Ecclesiastes 8:5 gives us hope. The verse tell us, a wise man’s heart discern both time and judgement. The key is wisdom.
We know God gives us wisdom. He alone is all wise, all knowing. If you want to become wise you hang out with the wise. I can’t think of a better place to acquire wisdom than being in His Word day and night.
What happens when your heart finally get wise? You will be able to discern both time and judgement.
What exactly this meant by, “discern both time and judgement?”
Discernment is a virtue. The ability to discern good or evil, discern time and judgement, discern true vs false prophets, being able to have all discernment will serve you well in life.
I am thinking about king Solomon’s first public hearing as told in 1 kings 3:16-28. Two women came to King Solomon presenting their case.
The story goes that these two fellas had given birth at the same time. Woman A’s baby died. Apparently she suffocated her baby by sleeping on top of it. When she noticed in the middle of the night, she took a dead baby body, laid next to woman B and taking woman B’s living baby to her bed.
Woman B woke up in the morning to nurse her baby only to find the baby is not responding. She examined the dead baby and found it was not hers. So the fight broke. She looked at woman’s A baby and found that is her baby she was nursing. So the case was brought to the king.
Remember we are talking about discernment here. Solomon listened both sides. Judgement call came in. He ordered a sharp knife or sword be brought to him. He was about to split a living baby in half. Well, he created this controversial call to figure out the true mother of the living baby.
Of course woman A wanted the baby killed so both women would have no babies. Woman B, the genuine mother of the living baby screamed, please do not kill my baby. Give it to her meaning woman A. The king then knew who was the real mother of that baby. He commanded the baby given to his mom. This is discernment my friend.
Can you discern time? Yes, according to this verse. A wise man’s heart discern both time and judgement.
Time is not about quantity. Yes, we will spend eternity in heaven but this verse is talking about this temporal time and how we steward it with eternity in mind. It is about what we do with the time we have been given on this temporary earth?
Jesus lived only 33 years on earth. Look how He discerned His time and judgement leaving us an example. Acts 10:38 states, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
He did good with His time here on earth. He did not have time to gossip or watch porn or tweeting or watch the #impeachment. He was wise discerning both time and judgement here on earth to eternity.
I believe every genuine believer is capable of discerning time and judgement. We are wise for we are anointed by God with the Holy Spirit and power. We have everything Jesus had except we were born with a sin nature. What do you do with your time?
Do you think about eternity? Are you obeying God’s command? Do you spend your time wisely or aimless? Your life will say a lot about you. If you haven’t lived up to it, God is merciful. Train your heart to be wise. The word of God will make your heart wise. It is never too late. Start now in Jesus name.