The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one Shepherd.
And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Solomon understood how the Word of God should be taught:
· He should teach the people knowledge.
He should seek to find acceptable words.·
He should seek to bring forth that which is upright – words of truth.
· He should make his words as goads and well-driven nails, with point and direction.
· He should bring forth the words given by one Shepherd.
· He should realize that good study is wearisome to the flesh and be willing to pay that price.
A goad was a sturdy stick with a nail driven into one end, used to keep animals like sheep from straying, or to get them moving. That’s what God’s Word does, and it needs to be taught with care because it is given by the only Shepherd of us all.
Then, the Preacher cautions his people not to be deceived by everything they read. That’s good advice for today, isn’t it? When the nation’s press is over 95% behind the Left, we need to realize that what they print is influenced heavily by their personal opinions. Read both sides. Makes informed decisions.
BUT: Don’t get so caught up in reading and researching that it becomes a weariness to the soul and body. If it consumes you, then you need to walk away, at least for a while.
I remember a student some years ago who came to me with this verse, pointing out that God said that much study is a weariness to the flesh. He thought he was onto something good. I don’t remember exactly how I responded, but it was something along the lines of, “You have a long way to go to be guilty of much studying!”
I think most of us would agree that we do far too little studying, especially of God’s Word.