The Vanity of Wisdom

“There is more gain in wisdom than in folly,as there is more gain in light than in darkness. The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness” (Ecc 2:13-14).

Wisdom is about seeing. Figuratively, this indicates understanding. I want to “have my eyes in my head.” The writer of Ecclesiastes goes on to explain, though, that even the wise die and are forgotten, so wisdom is also "a striving after the wind." It must be understood that our Christian definitions of wisdom as faith in Christ and biblical truth are not in view here. It is possible for someone to be wise “under the sun” but to not understand eternal things. There are many smart, wonderful, wise people who just don’t grasp eternity.

As Paul wrote:

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart. Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Cor 1:18-25)