Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

Ecclesiastes 1:12-18

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Week One – Day 3 – Read Ecclesiastes 1:12 – 18  SOAP v. 17-18WK1D3

The Perfect Wisdom of our God (Getty)  –

12 I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 14 I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.

15 What is crooked cannot be made straight,
and what is lacking cannot be counted.

16 I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.

18 For in much wisdom is much vexation,
and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

O – Solomon asked for wisdom when God asked him what He could give him.  (I Kings 3: 1- 15)  He wanted an “understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil….” (v. 9)   And – because he had asked for wisdom, and not a long life or riches or victory over his enemies, God granted that request – ALONG with riches and honor  IF he would walk in God’s ways, keeping His commandments and statutes.  WHAT HAPPENED?  At the end of his life, Solomon said that he had “applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven.”  (Eccl. 1:13)  In the end, he said that he was unhappy, had seen everything that is done under the sun – and it was vanity and chasing after wind.  He had applied himself to acquire great wisdom – more than any of the other kings before him, and his heart (inner life – mind, will, and emotions – ESV note) had observed much wisdom and knowledge.  He compared wisdom, and madness and folly – and these, too, were just chasing after the wind.    It just brought vexation (displeasure and exasperation) and sorrow.

A – It is a sad thing when someone who you think is wise is actually foolish.  For a king that was granted wisdom by God – to at the end of his life proclaim that it is all foolishness, I have to wonder WHY?   Did he forget about God in the process?  Did the accumulation of riches, “stuff”, and wives produce dissatisfaction?  Was he so wrapped up in himself that he didn’t “need” God?

I do not want to ever get to the place where I don’t need or depend upon God.  As I seek knowledge and insight in His Word, I want to depend on His guidance and wisdom, not my own, or other people’s even.  I DO want to have wisdom and discernment (DISCERN is my word for 2016), but not at the expense of depending on His wisdom.    “O grant me wisdom from above, To pray for peace and cling to love, And teach me humbly to receive the sun and rain of Your sovereignty.” (Getty)

P – Father God, grant me Your wisdom today.  Not the wisdom of men, or of myself, or the world, but of You.  Father, Your wisdom IS perfect.  You created the universe – and created me.  You hold all things together by Your power.  You have a perfect plan for me – to give me hope and a future, to guide my steps, to provide for me each day.  Father, may I trust in You with all my heart, and lean not on my own understanding.  Help me in all my ways to acknowledge You – so You can direct my paths.   Father, as I walk through this day, walk with me.  Help me to see Your hand in each action that I perform, in each conversation, and in each task.  Father, You gave Solomon wisdom, but he did not apply that to each part of his life.  Help me, in each part of mine – to apply Your wisdom and understanding.

The Perfect Wisdom of Our God

The perfect wisdom of our God
Revealed in all the universe:
All things created by His hand
And held together at His command.
He knows the mysteries of the seas,
The secrets of the stars are His;
He guides the planets on their way
And turns the earth through another day.

The matchless wisdom of His ways
That mark the path of righteousness;
His word a lamp unto my feet,
His Spirit teaching and guiding me.
And O the mystery of the Cross,
That God should suffer for the lost,
So that the fool might shame the wise,
And all the glory might go to Christ!

O grant me wisdom from above,
To pray for peace and cling to love,
And teach me humbly to receive
The sun and rain of Your sovereignty.
Each strand of sorrow has a place
Within this tapestry of grace;
So through the trials I choose to say:
“Your perfect will in Your perfect way.”

Writers: Keith Getty and Stuart Townend


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