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Pastor’s Corner

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From Pastor Ben


Have you ever wondered, Why the etiquette guidelines tell us that we should keep our elbows off the table?

Well, we do know that in the Old Testament in the Book of Ecclesiastes it includes this line, “Be ashamed of breaking an oath or a covenant, and of stretching your elbow at dinner.” Many have translated this directive as a warning to keep your elbows off the table at all times.

Table manners were originally introduced to prevent mealtime fights, with the knife and fork establishing each eater's boundary lines. Today, the elbow rule stops people from slouching or accidentally leaning their arms into food dishes. Also, when breaking bread with a group, placing your elbows on the table blocks those on either side of you from making eye contact.

Well, so much for the background of this etiquette guideline.


Ecclesiastes 8:1

"How wonderful to be wise, to analyze and interpret things. Wisdom lights up a person's face, softening its harshness."

Here we are told that for the person who pursues true wisdom, it causes him to be equipped with the tools to analyze and interpret the various issues of life. But the foolish person, rather than taking the time to consider his ways, will tend to rush ahead without reasoning out the benefit or consequence of such action. In other words, no one else other than the person filled with wisdom is as qualified to search out the hidden meaning of things.

Wisdom is even mirrored in a person's physical appearance. You will notice that their face is radiant and an otherwise stern appearance is softened. A person's wisdom (or folly) will be evident, this passage affirms this truth. (cf Ecclesiastes 10:3) You can identify fools just by the way they walk down the street! This verse declares just how the extent of wisdom is spoken out by how a person carries himself. The steps of a prideful, arrogant person are a clear declaration of his prideful inner mindset.

Abraham Lincoln, often spoke these words, “Every person over forty is responsible for his own face.” The wise person searches out the hidden meaning of things His or her physical, visual appearance even mirrors the inner quality of considering their ways. The face is radiant, and an otherwise stern visage is softened.

The idiom “to cause one's face to shine” is an image of a person who is stable, living out wisdom in all of their ways. Out of the depths of experience and understanding, that person is able to enjoy life and build up others.

Listen to this Levitcal blessing found in Deuteronomy 6:22-26:

22 "Then the LORD said to Moses, 23 'Tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing: 24 "May the LORD bless you and protect you. 25 May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you. 26 May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace. ' "

SO GO WITH GOD, my dear one, this is the very outcome of going with Him, "Wisdom lights up a person's face, softening its harshness."

brenda x


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