Whose Words Are Heeded?

“Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man. So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded. The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.” (Ecclesiastes 9:15-18 NIV)

For whatever reason–the masses choose to ignore the poor and humble, the quiet dignity of those who have no need to shout–thinking more highly of those who make a lot of noise, but their character is void of integrity and wisdom. Why is that? Our society tends to put those who make noise on pedestals and upon microscopic inspection, we discover–too late–nothing of substance in the noise-makers.

This is true of most of the politicians running for office–especially those vying for the position of President–but we can’t blame them–we are the ones to elect the ones who make the most noise, the empty promises designed to tickle our ears and cause us to ignore wisdom speaking from those who are not as noisy, but quietly sharing the wisdom of sages.

There’s a lot of noise being heard from the top Republican candidate right now–and people are buying into the bluster and clamor; he’s feeding the frenzy because people are so unhappy with the sitting president. I’m certain that when others jump into the fray, they’ll be just as noisy, at least some will and people will pay attention to them, but will they really have anything of substance to say?

At this moment–I’m not impressed with any candidate and this post is not really about politics, but it serves as a perfect analogy in demonstrating how we ignore the wise and give more credence to those “making some noise.”

This is especially true of so many of our churches–the more noise is made, the greater some people think the leadership is. In fact–what I’ve discovered in observing the worship services of a number of churches is this: The musician plays loudly, the choir sings loud and long, and the preacher–gets up and ignites a shout, whoops and hollers, but the service is void of any movement by Holy Spirit because He couldn’t be heard in order to lead them. And since Holy Spirit cannot be heard, only religious tradition is observed and no one learns anything of substance and those who enter the building–confused and empty of spiritual guidance–leave the same way, but they had a good time, making noise.

In the quiet of the night or a fleeting, illusive moment, if we listen carefully, and know The Word of God, we can hear Holy Spirit speak in the stillness and receive wisdom from on high. But in the midst of the noise–literally or figuratively, we can only hear “the noise” of complaint, confusion, chaos, and disdain–the noise of self-aggrandizement, haughtiness, and superiority–hearing nothing that will make a difference in anyone’s life other than the maker of the noise.

If we want peace in our homes, our communities and in our nations, we must be willing to look beyond desire to hear the noise of those who make empty promises, and those of empty character, and seek the quiet wisdom of God’s Word and obey.

Whose words are you hearing and obeying?