Today's devotion from Ecclesiastes 1.
Whereas the book of Proverbs is about the importance of wisdom, the book of Ecclesiastes laments the futility of wisdom. What? How can that be? How can one book of the Bible be completely about the value wisdom and the very next remarks how little help wisdom actually is?
Wisdom is incredibly important. Don't misunderstand. God was so pleased when Solomon asked for wisdom, that He gave the young man all the other things that he could have asked for.
And it still didn't help.
As wise as Solomon was, he still failed. He made mistakes. He fell away from His faith and embraced the cultural whims of the many wives he brought into his palace. As wise and smart as he was he still made a pagan altar and turned his heart away from God. Wisdom is great, but it will only take you so far.
Wisdom cannot save us. Humanity keeps making the same mistakes. Sure, the culture or technology might change, but we keep choosing to live in darkness. At the end of the day, wisdom is not our problem...sin is.
When employed, wisdom will only really show us the brokenness of our world. Wisdom divorced from godliness will try to address these problems through social programs, politics, or psychology. But the real issue is that any system any human can establish will be corrupted by the very sin we are trying to overcome.
Read Proverbs and long for wisdom, but remember that true wisdom begins with a clear view of God. Read Ecclesiastes, but remember that all is not lost. Wisdom could not save us, so God sent His Son. Our hope is a divine God-man, not wisdom. Wisdom just shows us that we never change without divine intervention. Wisdom teaches us that, no matter what changes, what has been is what will be...without God.