Solomon briefly discussed wisdom in Eccl. 1:17-18. There he noted that increased wisdom brought increased sorrows, so maybe being ignorant would be better.

           It is the ignorant that tend to believe there is no God (Ps. 53:1). They also laugh about the idea that certain actions are sins (Pr. 14:9). Since they cannot recognize sin, they are easily lead into dangerous actions (Pr. 7:6-27). They believe their own ways of doing things are the only correct way (Pr. 28:26). Fools are constantly getting into fights or encouraging them (Pr. 20:3). Ignorance leads its followers to destruction (Pr. 1:20-33; Pr. 22:3). The simple are easily deceived, believing every word that they hear (Pr. 14:15).

           Obviously, wisdom is better than foolishness. At least the wise man knows what is happening to him. The ignorant stumbles around in the darkness like a blind man.

           However, while wisdom is better, it does not bestow any major advantage on those possessing it. Both the wise and the fool will die. Both will be forgotten after their deaths. Whatever profit a wise man gained during his life will be left to others and who knows what kind of people they will be. We can't control who will receive our hard earned profits. Our heirs may be wise, but they could just as easily be fools. Notice that we are not just talking about physical possessions. The knowledge that we gain from years of study can be misused by those who come after us.

           You work hard for something and then people who never put in any effort enjoy the benefits. While we live, we sweat and toil. We endure hardships and sorrows. Often our sleep is disturbed, worrying about our labors. Then we pass on and someone else enjoys the fruit of our labor.

           What can we conclude from this? We are better off to just work enough to allow us to put food on our tables. Since we need to work, it might as well be at a job that we enjoy. This is God's gift to us. God gives us strength to labor and he is the source of all wisdom and knowledge that allows us to do a good job and to enjoy life.

           Of course, those who do not believe in God also labor but they end up benefiting the believer. Just about every believer benefits from an unbeliever. How many of us work for a unbeliever? Would we have a job, if it wasn't for them? How many unbelievers buy our goods with their hard earned money? Strange, is it not?


1)        In Ecclesiastes 2:24, Solomon says that our food and enjoyment of labor are also from God. What else is from God that Solomon had in mind?

2)        In the above discussion, I listed a number of verses showing the problems with ignorance. In the space below, list verses that describe the benefits of wisdom.