Interesting note of warning at the end of the book of Ecclesiastes,
- “But beyond this, my son, be warned; the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body” (Ecclesiastes 12:12 – NASB)
“The Preacher” (Ecclesiastes 1:1, 12; 12:9) issues his complaint as he brings his inspired letter to a conclusion . . . “the writing of many books is endless.” From the past, some 3000 years ago, the Spirit of God by the hand of Solomon, “the Preacher,” says, “be warned” of this.
And is it not true? Are there not what seems to be an “endless” amount of “books?” Have you ever walked into a library? Have you ever been in a Barnes & Noble store? Have you ever looked at a CBD flyer? It is, when one stops to consider it, truly amazing to just think of the great volume of “books” that exists. And then to consider the great effort that is made to categorize them by subject matter, by author, by title, by hardcover verses softcover, and on and on it goes. Businesses, services, built around the sole purpose of dealing in “books.” Why, it truly can become “wearying to the body.”
And in today’s high-tech era we have readers, or tablets, or smart phones and by these a person can purchase or borrow an “endless” array of “books” and have them available to read anywhere they go . . . . as long, that is, as they keep their apparatus juiced.
“Be warned” says “the Preacher,” for not only is there an “endless” supply “of many books,” but there is “excessive devotion” paid to them. Is it wrong to read, is that what Solomon is telling us? Is he telling us that by giving “devotion” to the reading of “many books” we are somehow wearing ourselves needlessly down?
I am of the mind that we need to be aware that the volume of “books” that exists all around us can be a major distraction from “The Book.” There are in the libraries and stores “books” that appeal to every area of interest. And whether written or published in the past or the present, there exists an endless supply of “books” that serve to capture our attention, and subsequently, take up a lot of our time.
But there is only one Book that, in the vast array of “books, really matters . . . the Bible. And considering the “warning” of “the Preacher,” I would think we would need to ask ourselves: “Are we taking the time to be reading this Book?” Could we be finding ourselves so caught up in other “books” that we don’t spend time in The Book?
I have in my personal possession many, many books. Many of them are of a resource nature, many are study-aids, many are subject driven, and many are that which appeal to interests I have, such as history, WWI and WWII, biographies, and the old west and its flashy characters. I think the message we need to heed from Scripture is that we be on guard and that we not allow the “endless” amount of “many books” to keep us from The Book . . . . . . It can happen . . . and so the Spirit says, “be warned!”
Have a good day brethren . . . and as you walk may the volume of many books not keep you from the Book!
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