This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me:
There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:
Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.
This photo made me smile. It’s a bit removed from today’s passage, but it demonstrates why the simple dog is content, while the much smarter man is not. Enjoy the moment, make it last, and stop craving what you don’t have.
Solomon shares a little story with us in these verses. It almost feels as if it should start, “Once upon a time. . . ” Whether or not it is a true story, it shows us that Solomon is still thinking “under the sun” thoughts. There is nothing after the grave. The very least a man can hope for is to be remembered, and even that is taken away from this poor wise man who saved a city from the power of a mighty king.
I think I have shared with you before that someone has posited that within 60 years of your death, no one will remember you—-unless you have done something truly memorable, like Christopher Columbus or Genghis Khan.
I remember talking with a teen girl in my office some years ago. She was into everything Goth, poor child, and the music she enjoyed was depressing. She asked me to listen to her favorite artist with her, so I would “get” what she loved. I listened. I didn’t understand some of it. And the music was dissonant, driving, and miserable. I don’t remember the singer’s name.
Curious, I asked her if she’d ever heard of the Beatles. I didn’t love all their music, but at least they could sing, harmonize, and think a little more deeply than their “Yellow Submarine” song would indicate.
She was blank. Never heard of them. Really? The BEATLES?? But see, that was back in my generation, 50-60 years ago now, and they’re just no big deal any more.
For me, the take-away for today is to realize that while men may forget about you, God never does. “Men quickly forget, but God never does. He knows those who are His (2 Timothy 2:19). He has a book of remembrance before Him for those that fear the Lord (Malachi 3:16), and their names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).” (David Guzik)