What is wisdom? Like, when you hear that word, what do you think it means? Intelligent? Smart? Careful? As you can see here, it means many of those things, and more! Ecclesiastes uses this word many times; half as many times as Proverbs, who share the same author, by the way. When he uses that word in either book, it also can mean many things, even though it’s the very same word. We’re going to see which meaning he’s referring to when he uses it five times in chapter 8, which you can so conveniently read here. 🙂
When I was studying this chapter, I found myself having to focus, in order to really summarize anything coherent. The one theme I found that seemed to be strung through every verse was this idea of wisdom:
wise (8:1, 5, 17)
wisdom (8:1, 16)
And then, of course, there’s the contrast to wisdom with words such as “wicked”, “evil”, and “futility”.
Sometimes, that’s how it goes when reading the Bible. You read one verse, chapter or book, and it’s easy to figure out; easy to understand and apply. Then there are other verses, chapters and books that have to be read over, and over and over…and then you try a different translation and then pick up a commentary and then you start to get the gist.
So I ask you this question – why should we want to have wisdom?
This chapter of Ecclesiastes tells us because it will cause us to fear God…which is a very good thing.
“…still I know that it will be well for those who fear God, who fear Him openly.” -Ecclesiastes 8:12b
In your mind, in your spirit, in your relationships, in your career, in your future, in your body…it…will…be…well.
You make a mistake? It will be well.
You fall and stumble? It will be well.
You suffer in your weakness? It will be well.
You doubt? It will be well.
You lose? It will be well.
You cannot go wrong striving for wisdom and asking God for it, so that He will be with you, to inspire you to fear Him and bless you so that it will be well with you!
“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5