March 18, 2021

Solomon on the vanity of wisdom

We open up a new section in Ecclesiastes today where Solomon talks about the Vanity of Wisdom, but before he does, he establishes his credentials. 

Ecc 1:12  I, the Teacher, was king of Israel, and I lived in Jerusalem.

Solomon isn’t saying that as a braggart, like look at me, I am king, but rather, I have ruled a nation, been aware of the human condition, because I governed them in Jerusalem, which at the time was the wealthiest city in the world, what I am about to tell you, is based on my year of experience:  

Ecc 1:13  I devoted myself to search for understanding and to explore by wisdom everything being done under heaven. I soon discovered that God has dealt a tragic existence to the human race.

While King of Israel, Solomon made it his mission to get as educated as possible, he was by no means a layman when it came to knowledge.  Almost all of the Proverbs were written by Solomon, who was widely considered one of the most wisest people to ever live….Solomon is telling us there in verse 13, that he devoted himself to becoming the most astute academic he could be, but his conclusion after learning everything there was to learn was that even being head-smart is a frivolous pursuit.  

So again, we are reminded that fulfillment doesn’t come with reading up on all the different philosophies that are out there, or being up to date on the latest scientific theories; none of that brings about any happiness.  In fact, most academics end up getting mired in cynicism, because it is ultimately a futile endeavor.  All of this dissatisfaction reminds us that the only source of real happiness comes in walking with Christ.  Everything else, is as Solomon keeps telling us, is vanity! 

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