I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind. For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.Ecclesiastes 1:16–18
I was fascinated by this passage this morning because we all think of Solomon as so privileged to receive the gift of wisdom from Yahweh. But he makes it clear that, as wonderful a blessing as it was, it carries downsides: vexation and sorrow. The more we know, the more we seek to understand, the more potential there is for us to worry and fret. Solomon, I suppose, probably knew this more than anyone.
In this season where we are cooped up in home, waiting to find out the true effects of this virus and isolation and everything else, it is easy to get sucked into the pursuit of knowledge and understanding. Maybe this blog post will finally explain it, or that news article! But the reality is that we just don’t know yet. And a healthy dose of faith is probably in order. Perhaps we should all cease striving, and remember that Yahweh is God, and not us (Ps. 46:10).
There is one pursuit of knowledge which we will never regret, and which will bring peace, hope, and joy: the knowledge of God and his word. Instead of filling ourselves with news, statistics, projections, and economic models, let’s fill ourselves with the knowledge of the Lord—for that is the beginning of true wisdom (Pr. 9:10).
The “Isolation Introspection” series started as an opportunity for me to encoruage members of our Bible Study with daily reflections from the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan during the 2020 “Stay at Home” mandate in Los Angeles. I’ve moved them here so that they can be shared easily, and perhaps benefit others. I hope you enjoy!