Day 12

What the Teacher Found

from the Ecclesiastes reading plan

Ecclesiastes 7:23-29, 1 Kings 11:1-10, Isaiah 53:6, Romans 11:33-35

BY Erin Davis

I thought I knew him. We spent our whole childhoods in the same one-stoplight town. I recognized his momma, knew what sports he played and what kind of music he listened to, but as I glance back in life’s rearview mirror it’s clear to me: I didn’t know a thing.

It’s taken twenty years of marriage to discover all I didn’t know; things like how he likes his eggs cooked, how his lips turn when he’s sad, and what keeps him awake with worry in the wee hours of the morning. Time and commitment have pressed our knowing past the surface, down into the deepest crevices of our hearts.

Solomon’s quest for knowledge about God was unmatched. With his jaw set and fists clenched, it seems he resolved to be wise. He stacked one fact about God on top of the next, yet a heart of wisdom seemed just out of reach (Ecclesiastes 7:27–28).

In the end, Solomon’s quest to know about God ended in cynicism (v.29) and sin (1 Kings 11:4). In contrast, history remembers Solomon’s father King David as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). While Solomon sought to understand the ways of God, David sought to know the heart of God. The difference in their lives couldn’t have been more stark.

Solomon considered knowing God and bemoaned, “What exists is beyond reach and very deep. Who can discover it?” (Ecclesiastes 7:24). His father, however, marveled, “LORD, you have searched me and known me… Your works are wondrous, I know this very well ” (Psalm 139:1,14). Solomon’s wisdom, it seems, stayed on the surface, while David’s was pressed down into the deepest crevices of his heart.

For all the hours he spent searching and all the ink he spilled teaching, Solomon isn’t the poster child for wisdom. Not really. Instead, he shows us clearly that there’s a difference between knowing about God and actually experiencing Him in relationship, for Solomon’s head knowledge didn’t lead to lasting heart transformation.

How do we avoid Solomon’s mistake, accumulating facts about God like dusty books unread on the shelf? How can we guard against studying wisdom while acting like a fool? We remember this: Wisdom isn’t an item to collect but a Person to be cherished.

Post Comments (86)

86 thoughts on "What the Teacher Found"

  1. Tracy Mccullough says:

    I loved how Erin said “ While Solomon sought to understand the ways of God, David sought to know the heart of God.” I truly want to read every book and devotional I can find. I am a curious person with lots of questions that need answers! But that desire for knowledge and answers isn’t what I need to prioritize! I need to first seek the heart of God and then seek knowledge of His ways. It isn’t about knowledge! I so needed this reminder.

  2. Janaiah Alexandre says:

    I can relate to your envy of your husband and friend’s knowledge of the Word. I was recently asked by one of my church’s ministers to lead a small group and I’ve been feeling really insecure because although I know the Good News and what God wants for us, I never can remember specific lines of Scripture to back it up. Especially since there are people in Bible college in my group, it can make me feel very self-conscious. But we have to remember that God can use us just where we are. He didn’t pick us for our knowledge he picked us because he knows our potential

  3. Kathleen Corder says:

    I pray for wisdom every day from the Lord. But prayer more so to understand who He is. And to understand through love. I want to be wise but to seek the wisdom He has ready for me and within His will.

  4. Courtney Reimer says:

    I found this every encouraging. I am still young in my faith, having fully gone “all in” with Christ April of 2017 & my husband is a youth pastor, has been for 12 years. He went to Bible school & just knows so much. Similarly, his friends all went to seminary, are educators & have a wealth of knowledge, that I sometimes find myself envying. I compare myself to them & end up feeling like I know nothing. I desire to study and know as much as I can about Christ & his life, but this just reassured me of the importance of relationship. I will learn more over time, but God wants my heart right now & that’s an incredible thing I should rejoice in!

  5. Whitnie Hendrix says:

    “Wisdom isn’t an item to collect, but a Person to cherish.” THIS!

  6. Vanessa Lora says:

    I loved this devotion. It spoke so much to me and convicted a piece of my heart.

  7. Kinesha Cox says:

    Amen. Relationship with God is so important.

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