Wisdom Makes Sense

Edward Johnson programmed his personal computer to dial the Moral Majority’s toll-free line, (800) 446-5000, every 30 seconds for eight months, to keep others from reaching Falwell. Falwell’s group eventually detected a high instance of hang-ups on the line and called … More


This passage reveals a deeper investigation into the relative values of wisdom and folly. Solomon has found out from experience that wisdom and pleasure does not have the answer.  Now he reasons that maybe if I just put my nose to the grindstone and really stay on the job I will be able to find the true value of life (vv. 12-19).

However, Solomon’s experience reveals that hard work bears no lasting value for those who work solely to earn money and gain possessions (vv. 20-23). Not only will everything be left behind at death but he must leave it to someone who has not worked for it. Furthermore, it may not be well cared for and all that was gained may be lost. This was true with Solomon as his son who inherited his throne was often foolish (l Kings 12). It is one thing to enjoy the fruit of our labor, but it is very distressing to know that all of our accomplishments and inheritance will fall into the wrong hands.

Hard work done with proper motives (caring for your family and serving God) is not wrong. We must work to survive and more important we need to be responsible for the physical and spiritual well being of those under our care. The real issue is not between work and no-work but between understanding a meaningful attitude in work and a hopeless fatigue (vv .24-26).


True enjoyment comes only as I follow God’s guidelines for living. Those who know how to enjoy life are the ones who value life as a gift from God, thanking Him for it and serving Him in it.    


Ecclesiastes 2:12-26 (English Standard Version)

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View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »