“Make wisdom your provision for the journey from youth to old age,
for it is a more certain support than all other possessions.”
Gaining Important Insight to Discern Various Learning
For me, when it comes to understanding the blessings and pitfalls of wisdom in this life, King Solomon always stands out in my thinking. In one of his selected written books in the Old Covenant, [Ecclesiastes] I have been fascinated for an entire week over these, his words in Ecclesiastes 1:16-18! Complete Jewish Bible
I said to myself, “Look, I have acquired much wisdom,
more than anyone ruling Yerushalayim [Jerusalem] before me.”
Yes, I experienced a great deal of wisdom and knowledge,
yet, when I applied myself to understanding wisdom and knowledge,
as well as stupidity and folly,
I came to see that this too was merely feeding on the wind.
For in much wisdom is much grief;
the more knowledge, the more suffering.
In reading these words for the first time, it sounds that King Solomon was expressing great sorrow and remorse for possessing great wisdom and knowledge in his life. It can also be said that this verse, as well as the complete reading of Ecclesiastes, that each of our lives on earth is very depressing and hopeless, regardless if you know God or not. Let us take another look at the above passage in an effort at uncovering exactly what Solomon’s initial motive was in this passage of Scripture.
In my in-depth study of the original meaning of many of the words in passages 17-18, I rewrote the above passage [ below] in an effort to fully understand just what King Solomon was attempting to clearly communicate to us today. This is what I discovered:
“And I consecrate my inner man to find out and discern various learning,
and to perceive folly, (costly and unwise undertakings)
I found out that alone more over,
is vain desire after empty things.”
Surely in abundance prudence, there is a multitude of vexation,
not to mention an increase of discernment will result in more sorrow.”
Who Among You is Wise and Understanding?
The first “pearl of wisdom” that I discovered in the above passage is the need for each of us to discern various learning. Solomon was letting you and I know that there are earthly wisdom and knowledge and there are spiritual wisdom and knowledge. He like each of us today, must commit to a lifetime quest, toward obtaining the appropriate wisdom and knowledge in order to have victory in this life. Life’s greatest challenge will be for each of us to discover the difference between the two. The French novelist Marel Proust quoted that “We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey no one can take for us or spare us.”
Contrasting the Differences
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:17
Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him demonstrate it by his good way of life, by actions done in the humility that grows out of wisdom…but if you harbor in your hearts bitter jealousy and selfish ambition…this wisdom is not the kind that comes down from above…it is worldly, unspiritual. James 3:13-16
- Earthly wisdom appeal to the senses and emotions. Spiritual wisdom reflects God.
- Earthly wisdom says always follow your heart, Spiritual wisdom says that the heart is deceitful above all things. Jeremiah 17:9
- Earthly wisdom says seeing is believing, Spiritual wisdom tells us that blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. John 20:29
Our Creator desires to give His divine wisdom to those who seek it. [James 1:5] As noted by King Solomon, there are other types of learning and in many cases, are valuable yet will become limited unless being built upon the wisdom and knowledge of God.
The second “pearl of wisdom” that I discovered in Solomon’s writings was that each living soul must have a healthy spiritual and biblical worldview. All wisdom and knowledge [that is done under the sun] that excludes the Light of Eternity is futile and foolish. Every soul that is birth into this current state of our existence will be granted multiple opportunities to accept or reject the spiritual offerings that God grants based upon His eternal covenants and promises.
King Solomon knew that this current world is fallen and without any hope outside of a Loving God. Godless humanity has always been in need of spiritual regeneration of the heart, everything that we think and do in life is vanity and meaningless. Only through God could a soul live and see this life with an eternal spiritual worldview, knowing that God was still working out His total plan of redemption of all creation, starting with us!
The Apostle Paul supports this position by stating “For our light and transient troubles are achieving for us an everlasting glory whose weight is beyond description. We concentrate not on what is seen but on what is not seen since things seen are temporary, but things not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
Fruits of The Spiritual Wise
- Regenerated heart after God’s own Heart.
- Working out their soul salvation daily.
- Has learned to know their own ignorance, folly, and stupidity.
- Live now yet always see and know exactly the eternal plans for humanity in the future.
In closing, King Solomon was attempting to expose the vanity of all worldly enjoyment; to show that each living soul’s happiness does not lie in natural wisdom and knowledge, wealth, our labor, power, and authority; nor our man-made religious institutions. Our enjoyment is and will forever be made possible for each of us, in the wisdom of fearing and worshiping God our Creator. Amen
“The wiser man shapes into God’s plan as water shapes into a vessel.”
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox-
Grace and Peace
Alonzo E. Thornton, D.Min.