Sharpen Your Axe
Today’s Passages – Ecclesiastes 9 – 12; Proverbs 27
(Second Milers also read – Luke 9 – 10; Memorize Hebrews 1:8)
“If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.” – (Ecclesiastes 10:10)
I have been enjoying this devotional reading of the Book of Ecclesiastes as there are so many nuggets of truth. I actually had a hard time deciding what to write about this morning. I had considered doing something on Ecclesiastes 9:11, or 10:1; but I beleieve the verse above will be the most helpful for us today.
Solomon says that if a man does not “whet the edge”, he will have to add a little strength in order to be able to accomplish the goal. Whetting (or sharpening) the edge allowed the blade to penetrate deeper into the wood with less strength. It helps accomplish the goal without as much effort. Solomon is using this illustration to teach us about life. At the end of the verse he says that wisdom is profitable to direct. Acquiring wisdom is like sharpening the axe or whetting the edge. It will help you do the job with less difficulty.
God has given us a lot of things to do in life. In order to accomplish the things that the Lord has for us, we will need to acquire some wisdom. Wisdom makes us more proficient and helps us to accomplish the tasks at hand. God says that He will give us the wisdom that we need if we simply ask for it in faith.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” – (James 1:5)
We can get God’s wisdom from the Word of God; through prayer; and from the counsel of those who are wise.
I do not think that God is minimizing or belittling the value of hard work, either. There are a lot of things that I find myself doing where I am perhaps not as wise as someone else. In these situations I will have to work a little harder than that person, but I can still accomplish the goal. However, if I am going to be the best that I can be at all that God has given me to do. I will need to ask for wisdom. I need His wisdom to be a good husband and father. I need wisdom in order to pastor the people of God at the church. I need wisdom for every task that I perform, and so do you. Work hard, but if you want to get the most out of each swing, you will want to sharpen your axe.