We’ve been discussing Ecclesiastes in our 242 Group, and I have been reminded of why I love this particular book of the Bible. I love it because it takes a sober but honest look at life and who we are. I love it because it calls us to prioritize our lives properly, and center our hearts and worship on the Lord. I love Ecclesiastes because it causes us to look at life from different angles. I also love it because it is, quite frankly, confusing. At times it is extremely difficult to determine exactly what Solomon (or “the preacher”) is saying. Sometimes what he says is just confusing enough that it causes us to examine the text more closely. to puzzle over it, and eventually to see it in another light, turning it over in our hands like a jeweler with a diamond. Then, the text delivers an “aha” moment when we think that, by God’s grace, we’ve finally gotten it. For example, consider Ecclesiastes 7:16; “Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself?” What is his point? Is it really possible to be overly righteous or too wise? Aren’t we supposed to be wise and righteous? In order to comprehend this, we have to consider different approaches to the text. And once we do that, we begin to see what the Lord is saying to us. Of course we want to be wise and righteous. However, we don’t want to be so consumed with being right, and being wise, that we paralyze ourselves by our pursuit of “the right thing,” or demean others by our own sense of righteousness and wisdom. If we are so obsessed with our own righteousness and wisdom that we forget that we too will and do fail, and we forget that we need God, and we forget that others may have wisdom we lack, we inevitably end up in the wrong. There is a way to pursue righteousness and wisdom that is actually wrong and unhelpful. This is what wisdom literature does. As we ponder the text, we are then forced to ponder our own heart and motives. It doesn’t let us assume we’ve got it all figured out, but drives us to keep learning the ways of the Lord. In other words, it humbles us. And this humility, especially as it is accompanied by a trust and fear of the Lord, is essential to true wisdom. My prayer is we all are made humble and wise by the wisdom of God’s Word.