Ecclesiastes: Wisdom Under the Sun
When it comes to wisdom and specifically understanding the purpose of life under the sun, it is essential that we develop two specific traits within our spiritual growth. The first is a healthy dose of humility. Solomon ends chapter 1 with these words “And I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I realized that this also is striving after wind. Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.”
The more a person understands about self and all of humanity, the more dissatisfied they become with the brokenness within the world. Within Solomon’s claim is also the reality that the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. Warren Wiersbe writes: “People who never ponder the problems of life, who live innocently day after day, never feel the pain of wrestling with God in seeking to understand his ways. The more we seek knowledge and wisdom, the more ignorant we know we are. This only adds to the burden. “All our knowledge brings us nearer our ignorance.”
The second trait that we must develop is gratitude. Walt Kaiser was the president at Gordon Conwell, the seminary I attended for doctoral studies. I remember his book Coping With Change a study on Ecclesiastes. The book is full of insight from Ecclesiastes and specifically connecting wisdom to the practical areas of life. The following quote from Dr. Kaiser captures the importance of gratitude within our life.
“...the purpose of life cannot be found in and of itself for any one of the good things found in the world. All the things that we call the “goods” of life—health, riches, possessions, position, sensual pleasures, honors, and prestige—slip through one’s hands unless they are received as a gift from God. Until God gives persons the ability to enjoy them and obtain satisfaction from them, they simply cannot in and of themselves compensate for the joy that comes from fearing God and knowing Him.”
My prayer is that God uses our study through Ecclesiastes to deepen our lives in the areas of humility and gratitude. Pray with me that God open our eyes to see His greatness and increase our ability to appreciate the precious gifts from God.
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