If you were given choice between money, on the one hand, or wisdom, on the other, which one would you take? Proverbs 4:7 says: “Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” In this way certain books of the Bible exalt wisdom and personify it as a wise lady who calls on people to make right choices in life.
Biblical writers described wisdom through a number of metaphors. In Ecclesiastes 7, for example, it is compared to a shelter or “shade” that provides protection, relief, and comfort from the hot sun. In contrast to material possessions that do not last long, wisdom preserves the life of the one who possesses it (7:12).
Relevant Biblical Passages
- Ecclesiastes 7:1-6. Is it right, at times, to look at life through the eyes of a pessimist? How does the awareness that we are mortal shape some important decisions that we have to make?
- Ecclesiastes 7:15-18. Are spiritual people expected to live a balanced life? How do you understand the statement: “Do not be over-righteous, neither over-wise!”
How does this saying go with Christ’s words from Matthew 5:20: “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
- Ecclesiastes 7:20-21; 27-29. Compare verses 20 and 28. Is there a contradiction between the two? Have you heard people quote verse 28 out of context? How often in the book does the author quote what “people say”?
Lessons for Life
As he tried to find answers to life’s difficult questions, the author of Ecclesiastes goes back to the beginning of time when the world was perfect as it came out of the Creator’s hands. Back then, life was harmonious and balanced.
Although sin has polarized God’s creation, the person who loves God will avoid all extremes (v. 18).