Every Day Light
The Marks of a Preacher
"The Teacher searched to find just the right words ..." (v. 10)
For reading & meditation:
In these last few verses Solomon moves into a brief autobiographical section. These are a wise man's studied reflections and conclusions. The Preacher tells us what a preacher should be like. There are five characteristics. First and foremost a preacher should be wise. He gets this wisdom not from his years, but from his communication with God. Second, he should be able to impart knowledge to others - help them understand the principles on which a godly life is built. Third, he must ponder things, reflect on them, and search them out. Fourth, he must then set those things in a logical order. In doing this he must pay particular attention to the use of proverbs, says Solomon - something we seem to miss out on in this day and generation. One Christian writer says: "Ours may be the first generation in civilized times that has not raised its young on proverbs." A sad comment, don't you think? Fifth, a preacher should be able to search out and use the right words. A preacher depends on the Holy Spirit, of course, but he needs words to make his meaning clear. And not just words, but the right words. "The difference between the right word and the almost right word," said Mark Twain, "is the difference between a lightning flash and a firefly." The words of a good preacher are like windows through which the light of truth shines. Undoubtedly, Solomon exemplified all five of these characteristics. Would that there were more like him in the community of God's people today.
My Father and my God, give us more preachers, we pray, who know You and who know their craft. Work by Your Spirit in the hearts of those You have called to preach, so that the next generation might not be failed. In Jesus' Name we ask it. Amen.
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