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12 November, 2013

Devotional and Practical Meditations on the Book of Ecclesiastes - Wisdom

"Wisdom is good with an inheritance." Ecclesiastes 7:11

Wisdom is good, with an inheritance, or also without it. But without wisdom — an inheritance is bad. He who inherits nothing, may be wise to "gather substance, and leave it to his children." (Psalm 49.) But to inherit substance, and not be wise — to hoard it or waste it, is dangerous.

Many are wise enough to plod along, and use their earnings well, who have not wisdom to employ what others leave them. Nothing tries our wisdom more than wealth, suddenly inherited. Some men make shipwreck of their virtue, others have lost their reason, upon the quicksands of an inheritance. A poor exchange indeed!

What is it which constitutes the love of money? It is something more than the desire of having. There is in money a mystery of power, to dazzle and to turn the brain; a something which intoxicates the man, and makes him other than he was before.

Poor human nature! Never so little — as when the greatest in your own conceits; never indeed so wretched — as when you think yourself most enviable!

Oh! it is a wonderful sight, to see a man unchanged by an inheritance; with all the humble graces he had before; not proud in manner, nor suddenly transformed in style of living! It is sad to lose your friend in his new inherited estate — that wealth should loose the bonds of fellowship, or cool the flame of love! Yet so it is — alas for poor humanity!

"Wisdom is good with an inheritance" wisdom to humble you beneath your riches; to make you blush at your prosperity, and tremble for your honor; wisdom to clothe the naked; wisdom to feed the hungry; wisdom largely to give to God what God has given to you; wisdom to look to Jesus; wisdom to look beyond your riches; wisdom to desire a better inheritance, "a priceless inheritance — an inheritance that is kept in Heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay!" (1 Peter 1:4)

Woe to the man that has an inheritance, and lacks this wisdom. Those who bequeath an inheritance, cannot leave wisdom to their heirs. But God never gives His inheritance, but, with it He bestows the gift of wisdom:

wisdom to know the value of the inheritance;
wisdom to love it;
wisdom to adorn it;
wisdom to live according to the grace bestowed;
wisdom to discern evil from good, and good from evil;
wisdom to resist the world, the devil, and the flesh;
wisdom to know that earthly wisdom is nothing, and thus to seek the wisdom "from above."

Reader, may this wisdom, and this inheritance be yours!