Ecclesiastes 2:12-17: God Doesn’t Pity The Fool

Read: Ecclesiastes 2:12-17

The “Preacher” in Ecclesiastes does indeed believe that it is better to be a wise than to be fool. He uses the analogy of walking around. When one walks around in the light he or she sees where he is going while the one who walks around the darkness trips over everything and runs into objects. The wise man is the one who walks in the light and the fool is the one who walks around in the dark. But the Preacher says, nevertheless, that the fate of both types of people is the same: they die. He sees this as vanity and empty of meaning. Also at the end of the day, no one remembers the wise man any more than one remembers the fool. Because of the fate of death, the Preacher hated life.

What is apparent though, is the Preacher did not consider was the prospect of eternal life. Eternal life comes from having faith, and this is counted to one as righteousness (Romans 4:5, John 3:16, 36). Jesus himself compares the wise man to the fool in Matthew 7:24-27. Jesus says that the one who hears his words is like one who builds his house on a rock such that when rain and floods come, the house stands. But the fool builds his house on the sand, so when the rain and flood comes, it washes the house falls. Those who hear Jesus’ words and put them into practice are like the one who builds his house on the rock. Jesus taught many things, and eternal life was among them. Faith in Jesus is the beginning, just as fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

People do not have to be as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes and hate life because of the similar fates between the wise man the fool. One would be wise to consider Jesus’ words concerning eternal life. At the end of days, the Lord will resurrect everyone, but the fools who rejected Jesus will not be pitied, rather will be condemned and the wise man who listened to Jesus will not be condemned. The Lord will not forget those who have faith. He has written their names in the Lambs book of Life (Revelation 20:15). Christians can rest assured they are not among the fools, but among the wise. While some men are wise in their own eyes (Proverbs 26:12), it is God who is the ultimate judge of all things, and it would be best in any case to be wise according to God’s standards than one’s own (Proverbs 3:7)!

Lord, help me to be wise by listening to and obeying your teachings!