Ecclesiastes

Blogging Old Testament Style – Wisdom

This blog post will deal with the topic of wisdom. Wisdom is a broad topic. Wikipedia defines wisdom asĀ “the ability to think and act utilizing knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight”. The Old Testament includes a section called “Wisdom literature”. This includes the books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job. Sometimes this section feels out of place from the rest of the Old Testament. However, they provide important insight into how to live a good life.

Proverbs is a practical and optimistic text. It offers helpful advice on how to make good choices in your life. Proverbs shows us that life is not about just one decision but a lifetime of choices that we make. If we make good choices throughout our life, we will be able to live a fruitful life. We have the freedom to choose wisdom or folly.

Ecclesiastes is much more somber. The author of this book, Quoheleth, laments that so many things we think are worthy of our attention are meaningless. Whether it’s wealth, hard work, and wisdom, all those things are meaningless. Whether we are good or evil, we will all meet the same fate in the form of death at the end of our lives. Even though this text is somber, it also does a great job of showing us that the idols of this world will never lead to anything meaningful in our lives. God is the only thing that lasts and brings meaning.

Job is a difficult book to read. It’s a story of a faithful follower of God who loses everything in his life that is important to him. Before all this happens, “the satan” tells God that Job is only faithful because God has blessed him. To prove “the satan” wrong, God allows “the satan” to take away all that Job has. At first glance, it seems cruel for God to let this happen to Joel. Why would God do this just to make a point to “the satan”? This brings up the concept of “disinterested righteousness”. Can we pursue righteousness without expecting any sort of reward? I wonder if we subconsciously expect God’s blessing just for doing what we’re supposed to do as Christians. Job through a painful process debates his friends and at the end he comes to the conclusion that God is still worthy to be praised. God blesses Job twofold at the end.

Why do we pursue wisdom? Because it’s God’s gift to us. We should pursue the knowledge that will help us live a righteous life that is pleasing to God. Wisdom is usually not talked about much in our sermons. It isn’t talked about in our bible studies. However, wisdom is such a key to living a life of discipleship. We need to listen to God’s words of life so that we may live a meaningful life and not be tempted to follow the fool’s gold that the world has to offer.

Advertisements