Ecclesiastes 8:1 Who is like the wise? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man’s wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his face is changed.
Before we get into some interesting topics in this chapter, Solomon wants to make a crucial statement that should be a reality of every believer. When he talks about a “face that shines”, it is important to know that this only comes when we are in communion with God. Because we live in a post-New Testament world, we now have the light of Christ in our hearts. (2 Corinthians 4:6) This is incredible news! Whatever obstacle we encounter in life, whether it be in our jobs, schools, family, community, government, we have a power source that can push out the darkness and cause us to overcome the obstacles.
However, this should not create an “us v. them” mentality. We aren’t the holier than thou’s who are against the terrible sinners in the world. What this means is that the light that is illuminating from our hearts is radiating God’s grace and love to those who are in darkness. It is not a call for Christians to shake our fist and point our fingers in our cultures face and tell them how wrong they are. For far too long the church has been known for what we are against rather than what we are for. We should engage our dark culture with the light of Christ that radiates his love and grace.
Furthermore, we don’t have to be like little children who are scared of the dark. We have a light that is powerful enough to push out the darkest places in our jobs, families, communities, and nation. How do we do this? Solomon will address it in the next few verses. (Sorry for the cliffhanger.)
“We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shinning – they just shine.” D. L. Moody