As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. (Ecclesiastes 10:1 NIV) The preacher compares wisdom as something that is valuable, like a costly perfume. Wisdom must not be squandered, for as the preacher warns, one act of foolishness can destroy everything that wisdom has built up.
The Value of Wisdom
What does wisdom look like and why is it so important? Wisdom is the ability to use common knowledge that was learned and apply it in way that is beneficial. The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left. (Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV) A person who practices wisdom, always seeks to do what is right. They recognize that being upright will be beneficial for them in the long run; it is their investment for an uncertain future. The wise man always prepares for the unexpected because they understand that tomorrow is in the Lord’s hands.
Foolishness is Dangerous
Even as fools walk along the road, they lack sense and show everyone how stupid they are. (Ecclesiastes 10:3 NIV) The one who does not practice wisdom is a fool. They lack any sense whatsoever. They do not plan for the future and live their lives on a day by day basis. Such a lifestyle is dangerous; especially in this unpredictable world.
The Unexpected Always Happens
Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake. Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be endangered by them. (Ecclesiastes 10:8-9 NIV) Let us consider the words of the preacher. It does not matter how smart or ignorant you are, it is impossible to know what the future will hold. You maybe driving along and then all of a sudden, you get into an accident. Or maybe you have a successful job, then out of the blue, you get let go.
The Wise Always Prepare
With all the uncertainties in this world, it is wise to prepare for the unexpected. In the event of an accident, a wise man would probably have good auto and medical insurances to take care of him when they happen. When a job lay off happens, the one who exercises wisdom would have some savings left over to take care of him until he finds another job.
Lack of Planning is Foolish
To live life hoping that bad things will never happen is unrealistic and foolish; and will only lead to a life full of disappointment. Due to their lack of preparation, the fool scrambles to fix the crisis they are in, but despite all their efforts, their condition is only worse than before. The toil of fools wearies them; they do not know the way to town. (Ecclesiastes 10:15 NIV) Therefore, we must equip ourselves for the unexpected.
Wisdom Makes Life Easier
If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success. (Ecclesiastes 10:10 NIV) When we practice wisdom, we sharpen ourselves both mentally and spiritually. Like a sharpened ax cutting wood, so is wisdom when applied in our day to day lives; it makes life a little bit easier. Where does a person acquire true wisdom?
True Wisdom is in God
True wisdom is found in only one person. The Lord God Almighty is the source of all wisdom, for it was through His wisdom that the heavens and the earth were formed and everything that is in them; no other wise man can make that claim. If we want wisdom, we must seek the Lord and devote ourselves to His Bible. To be made wise, we must take His words to heart and apply them daily to our lives. Wisdom will not stop the unexpected from happening, but it will soften the impact that it will in your life.