Several times the bible teaches us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. True reverence for God is found only in those who realize their own impotence. As life teaches us the limits of human wisdom and 27 butterflyunderstanding we learn to marvel at God’s omnipotence and omniscience. In 1 Corinthians 8:2, Paul wrote, “And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.” True wisdom involves the coming to know that we don’t know very much. Before 1950 it was said that the world’s knowledge more than doubled every 50 years. Today the amount of the world’s knowledge is doubled every other year. Along with man’s limitations comes the reality of man’s sinfulness. Ecclesiastes chapter 7 ended with the indictment of the entire human race as sinners. Every man and every woman have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard.

When people acknowledge this truth and let God into their lives it marks the first step towards true wisdom. At the beginning of chapter eight, Solomon makes a transition. He moves on from pointing out our failures to pointing out the joys of a wisdom that brings God into the unsolvable equation of life. Ecclesiastes 8:1 says, “Who is like the wise? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man’s wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his face is changed.”

Acknowledging our sinfulness accompanied by our need for God makes up the category of people “who are like the wise.” This wisdom changes us from the inside out. It makes our face shine! I don’t think this is like the shining of Moses’ face when he came down from the mountain in Exodus 34, yet spending time with God definitely will change our countenance. Psalm 34:5 says, “Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be disappointed.” I think this is the kind of “shining” that Solomon is referring to. When we let go of our own righteousness and trust God we can find true contentment. We don’t have to understand everything to be at peace in the world. We don’t have to experience every pleasure, acquire many possessions, advance to the highest position, or become exceptionally popular. Paul said he had learned to be content in every life situation through his connection with Christ who strengthened him. We too have a connection with the God of the universe through Christ. John teaches us that Jesus came so we could experience life to its fullest. When Jesus becomes my wisdom, my way, my truth and my life, I am changed from the inside out.