Q&A: The Sorrow and Happiness in Wisdom - Ecclesiastes 1:8 and Ecclesiastes 3:13

The Sorrow and Happiness in Wisdom - Ecclesiastes 1:8 and Ecclesiastes 3:13

Question

Does wisdom bring sorrow or happiness? Ecclesiastes 1:8 and Ecclesiastes 3:13

Answer

Ecclesiastes 1:8 All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.

Ecclesiastes 3:13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil - this is the gift of God.

The answer to the question depends on the type and purpose of the wisdom being acquired. If it consists of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of this world (1 John 2:16), or if it is wisdom which is apart from God (i.e. "under the sun" in Eccl. 1:4, 14 versus "in the Son" in John 15:4-11; 2 Cor. 5:17), then it will bring sorrow (meaningless - Eccl. 1:2). However, if it is wisdom based upon the fear of the Lord (Prov. 1:7), then it will bring happiness. "It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption" (1 Cor. 1:30).

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).