16 I communed with my heart, saying, “Look, I have attained greatness, and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind.
18 For in much wisdom is much grief,
And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
(Ecclesiastes 1:16-18, New King James Version)
How are we to understand these verses that seem to be so full of disparity or contradictions? God had blessed Solomon with greatness and wisdom more than all who were before him. Yet, in the end he seems to discount wisdom and knowledge.
I do not believe that Solomon is discrediting wisdom or knowledge; rather, I think he is saying that with more wisdom comes more understanding of the sorrow and grief that exists in this life.
Think of children; it seems they spend their whole life hurrying to grow up. They cannot wait to grow up and be free. What they do not realize is that with that freedom comes responsibility. Actually, what they perceive as freedom is not really freedom at all.
So, should we seek wisdom and knowledge or not? Yes! Wisdom was sent to Solomon from God as a blessing. Where, then, is the blessing? The blessing comes in knowing that we are not to rest in wisdom, knowledge, or anything of this world. We are to use that wisdom and knowledge to live our lives to the glory of God.
It really comes back to our true purpose in this life. Are we here to make a name for ourselves, gather riches and honor, or to consume ourselves with pleasure? No! Those things will only bring emptiness, grief, and sorrow.
Let us, today, look above the daily grind of life to God, our Father, who has a greater purpose for us than just the things of this world.
God Bless You,