What is better, wealth or wisdom? Of course Solomon has been expounding on the better things in life through the first 12 verses of Ecclesiastes chapter seven. His last comparison was with wealth and wisdom and wisdom won. A 17 peacelarge inheritance is a good thing but a large inheritance accompanied by wisdom is much better and if the choice is between a large inheritance and wisdom, wisdom will win out every time. But to Solomon wisdom is not the accumulation of facts, or the ability to manipulate numbers, or the exceptional physical ability that makes one great at sports, or the personal characteristics which make a person popular. No! it’s clear that to Solomon, the wisest man in the world, “the beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord.” Notice Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” (See also. Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7 and proverbs 4:7)

Ecclesiastes 7:13 begins with the exhortation, “Consider the work of God.” According to Phil Ryken, this is “…a call to a careful observation of the way God works. The man who wrote Ecclesiastes—took careful notice of the world around him. He studied the seasons of life, learning when it was time for this and time for that. He watched the way people worked and played. He saw how they lived and how they died. Here in Ecclesiastes 7 he invites us to consider God’s work in the world.” The presupposition in this exhortation is that there is a sovereign being who created everything and everyone around me. It is a call for all of us to humbly acknowledge that it’s all the work of His hands. It is a call for us all to “fear” or to have reverence for the Lord God who is almighty. Solomon asks a question to help us attain the true fear of the Lord; “Who has the power to straighten out what God has made crooked?” the form of the question assumes the answer: No one!

God makes things the way they are. We must humble ourselves to His divine will. The word for “crooked” is not referring to something that’s perverted or morally out of line, but is referring to the trials and hardships that we each have in our unique lives. We might love to change our lots in life, but true wisdom comes to terms with life as God has designed it for us. Ryken continues his commentary, “We struggle with the physical limitations of our bodies. We suffer the breakdown of personal or family relationships. We have something that we wish we did not have or do not have something that we wish we did. Sooner or later there is something in life that we wish to God had a different shape to it.” Whatever the particular hurt and pain that has become our lot in life, True wisdom makes peace with a sovereign God.