Words of Wisdom: Wisdom Saves All But Its Memory, Ecclesiastes 9:13-18
I have observed that this also is wisdom under the sun, and it is significant to me: There was a small city with few men in it. A great king came against it, surrounded it, and built large siege works against it. Now a poor wise man was found in the city, and he delivered the city by his wisdom. Yet no one remembered that poor man. And I said, “Wisdom is better than strength, but the wisdom of the poor man is despised, and his words are not heeded.” The calm words of the wise are heeded more than the shouts of a ruler over fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much good. Eccl 9:13-18 (HCSB)
We call them geeks, nerds, even eggheads, but our lives are better because of those who have the gift of wisdom. We are jealous of their unique gifts and all benefit from their knowledge applied to our lives, but our selfishness causes us to not appreciate them enough to remember them or to acknowledge their accomplishments in our lives. In this passage it is one of those insignificant, behind the scenes wise geeks who finds a way to defeat the strong foe who had laid siege to his city. Though the victory went to the small city thanks to this geek, no one acknowledges him for what he did, and he was even quickly forgotten as they went back to their self-focused living. What is also sad is that we tend to resent those with such gifts and talents, because they have been given what we do not have or could we even have it even if we wanted to claim it.
Wisdom cannot be bought or developed by human endeavor. Either you have the gift of wisdom from God or you rely upon the wisdom of God from others who have the gift. Such reliance causes many to become resentful and jealous. And, it only takes one destructive, ill-timed scheme of a wicked person to destroy the good of the wise.
Why do we envy what God has obviously dispensed for His greater purposes? When we mock or resent those with such talents, are we not mocking and resenting God Himself? When a gifted person crosses our path are we thankful for the opportunity to benefit, or are we jealous that we cannot do the same? Whenever we look carefully at ourselves and others around us we will see that there is a mosaic of unique talents and gifts that God has endowed upon each of us that are intended to complement our shortcomings. No one person is fully capable of having all the gifts and talents to survive in this world alone. We all need to rely upon others to be successful in this lifetime. Do not be jealous of what others have, but discover your own giftedness and give freely of what you have to others, as they should likewise do in return. All of us should search daily by seeking God’s will, God’s ways, and God’s wisdom according to God’s Word, and seek to discover how God desires to use us to build His kingdom on earth.
Will you choose to participate and collaborate with others, or push them away and stumble on your own?
For it is just like a man going on a journey. He called his own slaves and turned over his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; and to another, one to each according to his own ability. Then he went on a journey. Immediately the man who had received five talents went, put them to work, and earned five more. In the same way the man with two earned two more. But the man who had received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five talents approached, presented five more talents, and said, ˜Master, you gave me five talents. Look, I’ve earned five more talents.”His master said to him, ˜Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy!”Then the man with two talents also approached. He said, ˜Master, you gave me two talents. Look, I’ve earned two more talents.”His master said to him, ˜Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy!”Then the man who had received one talent also approached and said, ˜Master, I know you. You’re a difficult man, reaping where you haven’t sown and gathering where you haven’t scattered seed. So I was afraid and went off and hid your talent in the ground. Look, you have what is yours.”But his master replied to him, ˜You evil, lazy slave! If you knew that I reap where I haven’t sown and gather where I haven’t scattered, then you should have deposited my money with the bankers. And when I returned I would have received my money back with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to the one who has 10 talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have more than enough. But from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. And throw this good-for-nothing slave into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matt 25:14-30 (HCSB)