Daily Proverbial, from Ecclesiastes, 7 September 2012

Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun. Ecclesiastes 7, verse 11

What good is it to be wise in a dark room? Well, we can talk about making good choices when we’re in a dark room with the opposite sex. Or we can talk about thinking positively when you’re scared and alone. Or we can talk about contemplating wise choices, wise thoughts, wise prayer and wise dreams when you’re falling asleep at night. Or we can talk about how wisdom grows in sleep because sleep renews us and allows us to see things (literally) in a new light. Yes, there is wisdom to be had in a dark room.

That isn’t what this is talking about. It is indirectly inferred, but it isn’t the point at hand. Let’s break it down.

Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing. Stop there. Wisdom is like a billion dollar fortune left to you and that’s a good thing. Would it be a good thing for you to wake up one morning and learn that you were actually related to Warren Buffett and that you stand to inherit billions when he dies? Yep! That could be a good thing. I don’t know which is the more meaningful statement, that is, saying that wisdom is like an inheritance, an inheritance is a good thing, or wisdom is a good thing. All three of those are meaningful, but when you couple them they take on whole new meaning. It’s a simple statement but there is profound depth to it. Isn’t that always the way (especially with Scripture)? Even the simplest statements transcend time and hold great meaning for us thousands of years after they were written.

But then you move to the second thought, namely that this good wisdom benefits those who see the sun. We all see the sun, don’t we? I mean, even if you live in that underground town in Australia, you are still governed by the sun. The time to which you’d set your clocks is determined based on our position relative to the sun. Gravity and motion are still affected by our rotation around the sun. We ALL see the sun, even when we are nocturnal. And the sun gives us light to see things as they are instead of just how we imagine them to be. Sunlight illuminates dark rooms; sunlight warms dark and cold spaces…or people.

Wisdom is warmer, brighter and better than mere sunlight.

So it’s a good reminder to know that wisdom benefits everyone. These days I think that this simple message is also a good one to remember. In a time when devastating war threatens, technology seems to spin our lives faster, famine and pestilence threaten more people than at any other time in history, and Lindsey Lohan is still making movies, it’s good to know that the simple things still are (thank you Jim Brickman). Common sense still rules when folly (and Ms Lohan’s movies) have run their course. Wisdom translates beyond language, and wisdom moves across borders without a passport. Wisdom simply is what it is because it is a gift from He who simply Is. Wisdom benefits everyone who sees the sun, everyone who is under the sun.

Or is it “see the Son?” That simple one-letter substitution is appropriate and makes all the difference in the world. I like to think it might have even been something Solomon inferred in his wording. God’s wisdom, like an inheritance, makes us rich and always benefits us. No, of course we aren’t just talking about money; that whole prosperity gospel isn’t worth as much as a Lindsey Lohan movie. God’s wisdom is a common-sense thing that is a gift from Him who gave us forever life. Whether we accept that gift is a different point. That it is a wise inheritance, a good thing, and a thing given to us whether we accept it or not is one thing the verse insinuates. We are ALL under God’s Son whether we believe it or not. Just like the sun in the sky, the Son in the sky shines life-giving light on everyone. Just like the sun, the Son provides sustenance. Unlike the sun, the Son is alive, though, and the more you get to know Him the more you see that He is the foundation of all knowledge, wisdom and love. He even made the sun. When you see that, you see those are good things and that they make you far wealthier than the Oracle of Omaha could ever dream of becoming.

Oh, and no disrespect to Lindsey Lohan. I actually like a few of her movies. She was a cute kid. And no disrespect intended to Warren Buffett either. I wish them both well.

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