Bible Society of South Africa

Absolutely Alive: Alive to God - 4 July 2024

By Louise Gevers

Bible text(s)

6There is a right time and a right way to do everything, but we know so little!

Ecclesiastes 8:6GNBOpen in Bible reader

Right’ and ‘wrong’, ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are essential words that we come to know early in childhood. Parents and teachers educate our young minds to do the many seemingly simple things which we find so complicated; but this invaluable foundation usually sets the pattern for how to address the subtler moral issues that we later encounter in life.

Yet, currently, we’re living in a disturbing world in which so many people appear out of sync with these standards, and we stumble from one thing to another, seemingly unconscious of the consequences of words and actions, and ignoring the dignity and needs of others. The world has lost touch with its compassion for others and thinks it exists for its own benefit, not for the good of all.

God’s principles have disappeared to the back burner and Jesus’ words to, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39) are forgotten or ignored; and this affects the world. “God made mankind upright,” Solomon observed, “but they have gone in search of many schemes.” (Ecclesiastes 7:29, NIV)

For me, Robert Goulet’s lyrics, “We love, we hate; we learn too late; How small we are; How little we know.” resonate with Solomon’s perceptions in our verse today; they point to the misery we cause ourselves because, as self-absorbed people, we realise too late how much we have strayed from doing what God requires of us and that although we know deep down what’s right, we get it wrong because we are so slow to learn to obey God’s commands.

My mother always taught us that there was a right time and place for everything, which in my early years I just accepted; but when I was older, and could appreciate the difference between right and wrong, I really valued the wisdom of her positive teaching and how it benefitted me.

Solomon’s insightful words remind me, even now, “we know so little”, but I have the peace of admitting that even though I am weak, “For the sake of Christ … I am content with weaknesses … For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10, ESV) I know “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13, ESV)

We need to ask the questions that only we can answer: “How alive to God are we? How aware of God are we in our daily lives? At what point does God enter our thinking?”

Prayer: Gracious God, being alive to you and all that you’ve done to bless this earth, and the people you created, makes me alive to who I am and who you created me to be. May your Spirit enable me to grow as I love others, and produce fruit, and uphold the truth in Solomon’s words, to embrace righteousness, and bring peace. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.9
Find us on