16But I say that wisdom is better than might, though the poor man’s wisdom is despised and his words are not heard. 17The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools. 18Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.
(Ecclesiastes 9:16-18 ESV)
Even though people often fail to recognize the source of sage advice, wisdom is still better than might. This is true even though wisdom is despised and often not heard.
Godly wisdom (which is the type of wisdom Solomon is discussing here) falls on deaf ears. People aren’t interested in hearing what God has to say. They’d rather go with human strength and wisdom. But doing so is precisely the reason why the world is a mess.
Godly wisdom is revealed by God in the inner self, quietly, when we are alone with God in prayer. These insights, which God willingly provides, are the most effective ways to solve problems. They are vastly superior to human wisdom which often contradicts Scripture.
Sadly, most of our cultural leaders – be they political or social – lead with rhetoric and propaganda. Such tactics are nothing more than shouting among fools. Foolish people, who don’t think for themselves, absorb such demagoguery without recognizing it for the ineffective nonsense that it is.
This human wisdom drowns out godly wisdom and as a result poor decisions are made. Then, in a never-ending cycle, we try to solve the problems we have made because of human wisdom with more human wisdom. This can never work. You can dig yourself out of a hole.
One strategy that humans often employ to solve problems is weapons of war. As we’ve seen in the past decade, this may seem like a good idea at the time (at least to those in power) but using military force (e.g. invading Iraq) often creates subsequent, unforeseen problems (e.g. the rise of ISIS). Using wisdom to solve political situations is better.
But wisdom is fragile. As effective as it is, it can be destroyed by one sinner. It is far more difficult to gain wise insight and put it to use than it is to undo all that effort by one foolish act.
Wisdom requires much upfront research. It also requires much subsequent care and management. The need for wisdom does not end with the implementation of a plan of action. Ongoing wisdom is required in order for those results to remain.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.