Many of us may have favorite Scriptures for a variety of reasons. One of mine is Ecclesiastes 8:11: “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.”
Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. soldiers in a raid on December 13, 2003, after he had spent nine months on the run. The once-defiant Iraqi leader was apprehended, without a shot being fired, near a compound of ramshackle buildings outside his ancestral hometown of Tikrit. Now, nearly two years later, he is still held in custody.
On July 7, 2005, a series of four bomb attacks struck London’s public transport system during the morning rush hour. The bombings caused a number of deaths and a severe, day-long disruption of the city’s transport and telecommunication infrastructure. Subsequently, suspects have appeared in court and have been remanded in custody until November 2005.
These are just two of so many examples of Ecclesiastes 8:11 being totally ignored. Why does God, in His revealed Word, give such instruction?
Since sentence against evil works is not executed speedily, the criminal fraternity may think that it will never be executed, and therefore they can treat the law with utter contempt. There is no concentration of the mind about the law exacting its full toll because it is a “given” that the law grinds exceedingly slowly. In addition, it sends out the wrong signals to others who may themselves be encouraged to act in a similar manner.
The passage in Ecclesiastes 8:11 contains so much wisdom that, if implemented correctly, it would send out completely different signals to those intent on mischief. The Bible is replete with such advice. For instance, the book of Proverbs is a storehouse of wisdom. But as society “moves on,” any reference to God’s Word becomes more and more a rarity. Instead of man learning from the One who created us all and gave an instruction manual for our benefit, he makes up his own mind and develops his own ideas and systems–usually at great cost to society. Proverbs 1:7 sums this up very eloquently: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” That is the motto of the book of Proverbs.
If we engage a lawyer, an accountant or any other professional, we invariably take note of what they say. After all, they know or should know their job, and we pay them to provide us with advice. In God’s Word, our Creator has all the answers, and He provides us with the best possible advice.
Whenever we see the many different ways of society, it is a wise thing to try and look at them from God’s point of view. What does His Word say on this, that or the other subject? When applying the Word of God, we will usually find that the approach of man is rarely in accord with divine instruction. But we should be different.
Let us all be properly advised!