The Grief of Wisdom

There was a young lady from Niger.Who smiled as she rode on a tiger.They came back from the rideWith the lady inside,And the smile on the face of the tiger.(Source Unknown). … More


Beginning with the twelfth verse of this chapter the writer moves away from the abstract ideas to some concrete examples (vv. 12-14). He explains how absolutely futile it is when life asks us to straighten something that is crooked or to count something that is not there (v. l5).

Solomon highlights two kinds of wisdom in this book:

1. Human knowledge, reasoning or philosophy.

2. The wisdom that only comes from God.

In these verses the writer is talking about human wisdom. When human wisdom ignores God it only highlights our problems and offers no answers. If wisdom and knowledge are all a man lives for, then life can become empty (v. 16). The more we know the more we realize we need to know (vv. 17-18). Education in the  U.S. has become the largest single component of our Gross National Product. More people are employed in the total educational process than in any single kind of enterprise including automobile manufacturing. Can we not at least say that wisdom is of some value. Yes, but the futility of life reduces its value. It does not matter whether you are brilliant or stupid, you will end up dead.

Life without God is not worth living. There isn’t any way you can win wisdom, education and brilliance. All of these will end in death.


Verse l8 says that with much wisdom comes much sorrow and the more knowledge the more grief. This means that the more I know the more God will hold me responsible.    

Ecclesiastes 1:12-18 (English Standard Version)

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