Wisdom of Marion Vol 1.33 (Ecclesiastes 10:1-20)

10th Study: Ecclesiastes 10:1-20

The overarching theme to Chapter 10 for me is that how does one use wisdom and having wisdom still can make you vulnerable to indiscretion and sin at any time.

Pastor Meyers writes this:

Wisdom is a god-given gift that will bring you limited success in this life. Wise men and women are vulnerable, too. {pp.182]

One of the many ironies of human existence, another feature that marks its vaporousness, is that wise men and women are always vulnerable to folly. And that folly, even though it may be just a smidgen, may jeopardize all of our wisdom. Just think about how you are able to dismiss an otherwise knowledgeable and competent person because of some quirky characteristic or some small offense he or she may have committed against you.

Wisdom is superior to folly, but it’s power is conditional, which makes it quite vulnerable. It is risky to be wise. {pp.184-185}


Look at Solomon’s life as an example and read 1 Kings Chapter 11. We see that Solomon loved women.  He had 700 wives and princesses and 300 concubines!  Even though God gave Solomon one of the greatest gifts a human being could ever have in wisdom….Solomon’s love for the ladies (and the original Hugh Hefner) got in the way of God’s gift.

And in a way, Solomon acknowledges this in Verse 1 of this chapter:

Dead flies make the perfumer’s ointment give off a stench; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. {ESV}

Solomon surprisingly acknowledges that the power of sin can even change a wise person in an instant and that they are especially vulnerable due to how they are perceive by a society.

Think about all the pastors that have fallen over the years and how their perception of them has changed from their followers and the outside world.  It even seemed that people were waiting for them to fall to show they are hypocrites and say they are not true men or women of Christ.

Well, I’m beginning to believe after reading this chapter that we truly don’t understand the power of sin and what Adam and Eve did in the garden changed humanity.  We should always be thankful for what Jesus did us for on the cross and remember these words:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” {John 3:16-17 ESV}

The other key to this chapter is how use to wisdom.  Pastor Meyers writes this:

A wise man cannot control how his words will be received. Wisdom does not always insure personal success because the majority of people do not always appreciate wisdom. It is evident in the story Solomon tells that even though wisdom saves the city, no one seemed to remember the poor man who gave the sage advice. This ingratitude of the people of the city is yet one more example of what’s uncontrollable and fickle in human life–vapor. Wise men are often not appreciated because they are appraised by foolish standards–by their possessions, power, or privilege, for example. {pp.184}

I’m going to be blunt but we live in a self-help society instead of a God’s help society. I would expect secular society to live that way, but it has effected modern Christianity as well.

There are a lot of books like How to live Your Best Life Now or 7 Steps to being truly blessed by God and so on.  I must write it saddens me.  But I believe this is one of the ways the world has affected and changed the church.

And after reading Ecclesiastes, I realize that pursuing wisdom is hard and if you are not lauded and celebrated by society (both Christian and Secular) you will not be taken seriously.

That’s why this book of Ecclesiastes has fascinated me more than any other book in the Bible.  I understand the importance of the Gospels, breath and depth of Paul’s letters, the role of the Genesis and so on.  Even Proverbs gets more attention as a book of wisdom than Ecclesiastes.

However, I believe this book speaks more to our modern way of life than any other book in the Bible.  (I know many will disagree with me..that’s okay!) And it shows a counter to our self-help society and we really need to have a God’s help society. Through Solomon, God shows that in order to have wisdom we must have faith in Him as well.

See you next week!

Here’s a question to think about from this week’s study:

1) How can we move from a self-help society into a God’s help society? What would take for us as Christians to trust God more than ourselves?

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