Three Principles on Wisdom

Wisdom, like anything good gift, is only useful when it is not seen as ultimate.

Knowing the will of God comes through wisdom. It is for this reason that choosing to live a life based on godly wisdom has more impact than merely what is seen. The believer is to walk in wisdom because the days are evil. In this modern age, it is easy for a person to be distracted and drift away from walking with the Lord. It is more important than ever for believers to walk in wisdom. 


Solomon is considered the wisest person in the ancient world, and possibly in world history. After David, his father, died he ascended to the throne of Israel. Early in his reign, the Lord appeared to him and promised to give him anything he asked. Wisely, the young king asked, “give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good an evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” (1 Kings 3:9, ESV). What a prayer! Yet, in the book of Ecclesiastes, after reflecting on his wisdom, he second-guessed its usefulness “under the sun.” Wisdom, like anything good gift, is only useful when it is not seen as ultimate. Three principles regarding wisdom are seen in Ecclesiastes 2:12-17.

Wisdom is Better Than Folly

When given a choice, it is better to seek wisdom than folly. Solomon observes, “I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness” (Ecclesiastes 2:13, ESV). Yet, wisdom is not natural. It must be sought after and acquired over time. Truthfully, wisdom is a gift from the Lord that comes through walking faithfully with Him. The books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are full of testimony from an older man, most likely Solomon, to a younger man. His basic sentiment is “been there, done that, it’s not worth it.” The temptation of the young and naive is to try things out for themselves. They want to learn by hard knocks and not the testimony of someone who has experience. In this life, however, it is much better to walk in wisdom.

Wisdom is described, in this passage, as walking in the light. Throughout the Bible, wisdom is synonymous with knowing God. As it says in Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” This description fits what the Apostle John says, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5, ESV). Just as worldly wisdom comes through life experience, spiritual wisdom comes through daily walking with God.

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