12 Then I turned myself to consider wisdom and madness and folly;
For what can the man do who succeeds the king?—
Only what he has already done.
13 Then I saw that wisdom excels folly
As light excels darkness.
14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head,
But the fool walks in darkness.
Yet I myself perceived
That the same event happens to them all.
15 So I said in my heart,
“ As it happens to the fool,
It also happens to me,
And why was I then more wise?”
Then I said in my heart,
“ This also is vanity.”
16 For there is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever,
Since all that now is will be forgotten in the days to come.
And how does a wise man die?
As the fool!
(Ecclesiastes 2:12-16, New King James Version)
Wisdom and Madness
In some ways, these verses seem rather depressing. First Solomon admits that wisdom is better than folly. A wise man walks in light while a foolish man walks in darkness. Then his thoughts change as he discovers that though a man is wise, he dies the same death as a fool.
I know the conclusion that Solomon comes to at the end of the book, but I do wonder what perception he had of life after death. I also wonder whether he understood the purpose of life as that of serving God instead of just himself. I am thinking that perhaps he was still forming opinions at this point.
It is not uncommon for us to face that sense of the pointlessness of life, or the lack of purpose. Especially if we begin to think back upon our ancestry, we agree that after a generation or two we will no longer be remembered.
That is all the more reason that we develop a closeness to the Lord, as well as an understanding that we are not here by accident. Our lives were planned by God even before time began. As a matter of fact, not only were our lives planned, but they are included in God's Almighty plan for this earth on which we live.
If you are like me, I need to be reminded of that time and again. Wisdom and Madness! Which would you choose?
God Bless You,