Ruin - its Forms and its Sources
Ecclesiastes 10:17, 18
Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, and your princes eat in due season, for strength…

A material "ruin" may be a very picturesque and even pleasant sight, when that which has answered its end loses its form and does well to disappear. But otherwise a ruin is a pitiable spectacle.


1. Health. When a man should be in his prime, with all his physical and mental forces at their best; when he should be able to work effectively and continuously, and should be the stay of his home and a strength to his Church and to his friends; and when, instead of this, he is worn, feeble, incapable, obviously declining, and clearly drawing towards the end, - we have a melancholy ruin.

2. Circumstance. The once wealthy merchant, or the once powerful family, or the once strong and influential state, is brought down to poverty, helplessness, and general disregard; this also is a pitiful sight. But the worst of all is that which relates to:

3. Character. When a man once upright, pure, godly, respecting himself and living in the enjoyment of general esteem, is brought down to moral ruin and becomes a human wreck, then we see the saddest sight beneath the sun. What was once the fairest and noblest thing in the world - a sound, strong, beautiful human character - has lost all its excellency and become foul and ugly. How does this happen? Here are -


1. Self-indulgence. To "eat for strength and not for revelry" (drunkenness) is the right and the becoming thing; "to eat (feast) in the, morning," when the precious hours should be given to duty, - this is a shameful and a fatal thing. Self-indulgence, which constantly tends to become greater and grosser, leads down fast to feebleness, to poverty, to demoralization, to shame, to death.

2. Idleness, or carelessness.

(1) The man who does not think it worth his while to study the laws of health, and to take pains to keep them, need not wonder if he becomes weak and sickly, if his life is threatened.

(2) The man who pursues his pleasure when he should be doing his work will certainly find his business "decaying," his credit falling, his prospects of success "dropping through." So also the housewife, the student, the minister, the secretary, the statesman.

(3) The man who treats his own spirit as something of secondary importance, who does not read that he may be enlightened, who does not worship that he may be edified, who does not pray that he may be guarded and sustained, who does not seek the companionship of the good and fellowship with Christ, who leaves his spiritual nature at the mercy of all the adverse forces that are circling round him and acting on him, may expect that his soul will be impaired, that his character will decay, that the most precious "house" which man can build will fall, and great and sad will be the fall of it (Matthew 7:27). - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!

WEB: Happy are you, land, when your king is the son of nobles, and your princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!

Wickedness in High Places
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