A Little Bird Told Me
A daily devotion for February 24th
16 Woe to you, O land whose king was a servant
and whose princes feast in the morning.
17 Blessed are you, O land whose king is of noble birth
and whose princes eat at a proper time—
for strength and not for drunkenness.
18 If a man is lazy, the rafters sag;
if his hands are idle, the house leaks.
19 A feast is made for laughter,
and wine makes life merry,
but money is the answer for everything.
20 Do not revile the king even in your thoughts,
or curse the rich in your bedroom,
because a bird of the air may carry your words,
and a bird on the wing may report what you say.
Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird of the air may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say (Ecclesiastes 10:20).
Verse 20, I am sure, is the origin of the popular saying
a little bird told me. This may also be the first recorded instance of the government's bugging a home! It clearly reflects the modern saying
even the walls have ears.
Do not complain about the government even in your bedchamber or in your innermost thoughts. This is not implying that if you do, your complaining might get back to the king and he will be angry with you and punish you. Rather, it is the idea that your constant complaining about problems in government creates a condition that spreads dissatisfaction with, and distrust of, government. We are living with a generation that, by and large, distrusts the powers and rights of government. This may be because young people who are now entering into legal adulthood have heard us older ones grumbling so much about the government that they have learned to distrust it, to feel that it is an unnecessary evil, and to react violently against it.
It is remarkable that any American president is able to serve more than one term in office. The media so focuses upon the president and criticizes so vehemently everything he does and every word he speaks: that no president is able to stand the glare of such adverse publicity. The American way is to elect a man to office, give him six months to change everything, and if he does not do it, spend the next three-and-a-half years complaining about it. There is a destructive element in complaining and griping all the time about what government does.
I was blessed and encouraged when several of our staff wrote letters to the mayor of San Francisco to commend her for her vetoing an ordinance that would be destructive to the social fabric. Against much of the popular opinion of the hour, the mayor found the courage to veto that measure. What a difference it makes in the quality of government if we show our support for those who are in office. The appeal of the Searcher is that if you want to be wise and in view of all that God provides in life as revealed in this book, then try to be supportive of the government.
Forgive me for my complaining spirit, Lord. Teach me to spread a spirit of confidence that You are at work through the leadership of our land.
Life Application: When supportive talk seems out of vogue, how easy it is to passionately complain about the government. Do our conversations betray a lack of trust in the Godhead?
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Copyright © 2007 by Elaine Stedman — This daily devotion is from the book The Power of His Presence: a year of devotions from the writings of Ray Stedman; compiled by Mark Mitchell. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice and a hyperlink to www.RayStedman.org if the copy is posted on the Internet. Please direct any questions you may have to webmaster@RayStedman.org.