There is an interesting verse tucked away in the book of Ecclesiastes 7:12
“Wisdom is a shelter
as money is a shelter,
but the advantage of knowledge is this:
Wisdom preserves those who have it.”
I just looked it up: I preached from the book of Ecclesiastes 9 times over the years. This would indicate that it was not my go-to book of the Bible. That does not do away with the fact that there are several important and intriguing passages and verses.
What is this verse saying to us today? First notice the similarities: Both wisdom and money serve as shelters. Literally meaning protection. Both are important. Both have advantages.
What is the shelter? A shelter is a place of safety, security, and protection. The need for a place in out of the cold is why we seek shelter. A warm and safe place is something everyone desires. There is negativity at times directed toward money. The Bible does warn us against the love of money. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:10) A little earlier the author of Ecclesiastes stated this truth: ” Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 5:10) The book of Ecclesiastes reminds us that real meaning is not found in the places folks usually look to for purpose and direction.
Where you set heart will determine the direction of your life. It is not unusual to hear someone say that they ‘had their heart set on” a particular thing or course of action. Disillusionment, disappointment, and discouragement will not be far behind as that which you set your heart on proved to be unable to satisfy truly.
Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” If you want to find what someone values don’t look for their heart, instead locate what they treasure and you will locate their heart as well. What we value will be that which we will give all of our heart and effort. Jesus gave us this challenge: “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all of these things will be added to you as well.”
We started this post by stating the verse that wisdom and money are both a shelter, but the advantage goes to knowledge and understanding. Wisdom stays with you, and money can be fleeting. You need money to live, but if it becomes your treasure and first value, you will find that money can be quite elusive. Wisdom preserves, which mean that it is not fleeting, it has staying power. Wisdom and knowledge are an asset and blessing through out your life. Money is necessary for living, but knowledge and wisdom are indispensable. In the Old and New Testament as well as the words of Jesus, we are warned about being careful with the foundation of our lives. Far too many build on the shifting sands of changing, temporary standards. Hear the message once again from Ecclesiastes 7:12 You have to live somewhere and you have to place your confidence in something. Why not place your faith in God and seek His Kingdom, Wisdom and knowledge? There will be a time in all of our lives when we will seek shelter in what we have built. Build wisely my friend.