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TEXT : “Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?” - Ecclesiastes 7:16

COMMENT: This text has often been misunderstood. Contrary to what some teach, it does not discourage people from doing righteousness to the highest degree possible, rather it admonishes against indiscretion, that is, showing zeal in the service of God without proper understanding of His will. Many people today who claim to worship God zealously are not guided by true knowledge, and so indulge in excesses which amount to fanaticism - though some have a good mind. One could recall the instance of Uzzah in 2 Samuel 6:6-11. As David was bringing the ark to Jerusalem, he put forth his hand to hold the ark because it appeared as if it would fall, as a result of which he was struck dead by God.

The fact was that Uzzah, though a Levite, did not belong to the class of Levites whom God had given the permission to touch the ark. (See Numbers 4:15) Matthew Henry, in his commentary on the matter says among other things, “Familiarity, even with that which is most awful, is apt to breed contempt” adding, “Let masters of families be encouraged to keep up religion in their families. It is good to live in a family that entertains the ark, for all about it will fare the better”. The point is that we must  not involve ourselves in presumptuousness, vainglory, indiscretion or disorderliness. – 1 Corinthians 14:33, 40.

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