Ecclesiastes 7:15-29: More About Wisdom
October 10, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Jeremiah 23-25, Ecclesiastes 7:15-29, John 3:22-36, James 5:1-6
This section continues the discussion that we looked at yesterday. The basic idea is that—as the “teacher” explores his various experiments related to answering his question about the meaning of life “under the sun”—he now comes to explore wisdom. Certainly wisdom has much to offer. It is better to be wise than foolish! And it is better to be wise than foolishly rich. But even wisdom does not ultimately satisfy “under the sun.” The final verse summarizes it nicely: God created mankind upright, but we have gone in search of many schemes. We are seeking, but not understanding; trying to be clever, but often falling short. Unable to grasp the true meaning of life. “I am determined to be wise—but this was beyond me.”
Perhaps you consider yourself a clever, sophisticated, enlightened sort of person. You can tell the difference between real news and fake news; you are not taken in by the sales patter of the used car sales person; you are not easily fooled. Perhaps you are educated. Perhaps you are clever with your hands and have a sharp wit. Who is there among us, after all, who is likely to consider himself a fool!
Being wise is a good thing. It can save you from many troubles. But it is not a sufficient thing. Why? For no one can really attain wisdom. And ultimately wisdom dissatisfies. It is a constant searching after many “schemes,” a constant trying to understand; the vain pursuit of academia, the endless pursuit of coming across as more enlightened than someone else. You would think that a university campus would be the place where people were the happiest if wisdom were humanly attainable and if wisdom were the answer to the meaning of life. But university campuses—wonderful resources of intellectual stimulation as they may be—do not themselves give much help when it comes to finding ultimate satisfaction.
No, what we need is an “above the sun” wisdom, a wisdom like that of the Book of Proverbs, fulfilled in Christ, that calls us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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