Scripture: Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this:  that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor. Ecclesiastes 7:12 (NIV84)

Observation:  Defence. Or, “protection.” The first part of the verse reads, literally, “In the shade is wisdom, in the shade is silver.” Both wisdom and money afford shelter and help, even though not of the same kind. The wealthy man who is also wise thus has a double shelter. “Shade” is a common figure used of a shelter from danger (Ps. 17:8; 91:1; Isa. 32:2). Riches may at times save lives (Prov. 13:8), and wisdom may deliver a city (Eccl. 9:15). Wealth cannot buy eternal salvation (Ps. 49:6, 7) or give genuine peace of mind (Luke 12:15). True wisdom can bring a man into right relationship to God (Ps. 111:10; cf. Job 28:28). James 3:17 presents an inspiring word picture of true wisdom.
Giveth life. Better, “preserveth alive.” Wisdom may save a man’s life in time of danger, whereas riches may be the cause of a wealthy man’s death. Wisdom may keep a man from the excesses of appetite that shorten life; riches make possible the excessive indulgence of appetite and thus may be the means of leading a man to ill-health and eventually to death. But something more than mere physical life is suggested here. Wisdom in the highest sense leads to the practice of true piety (Prov. 3:13–18; 8:35). It is in the realm of the spirit that the true preservation of life, leading to immortality, is worked out (John 5:21; 6:63). [The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 3. 1977 (F. D. Nichol, Ed.) (1088). Review and Herald Publishing Association.]

Application:  Every few years there is a drop in the stock market, the economies of the world go on a nose dive, and in general people, rich or poor, feel the effects and many go into panic.  During the last economic crash of a few years ago (of which some economists claim we’re not quite out) investors took their life, many lost their job and as a result they lost their homes, and for many they even lost their marriage.  Trusting in money or material things is bound to disappoint you at some point in time or another.  Often that reality becomes clear when our health, or a loved one’s health, is threatened through a serious disease or accident.  No money in the world can buy health or life. . .wealthy people, such as Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, and who died as a result of pancreatic cancer, showed us.
Wisdom, however, is more permanent.  Wisdom helps us to live even through a terminal illness.  Wisdom helps us to manage even when our life seems out of control.  Wisdom helps us to look beyond disasters, work through difficulties, walk through fiery situations.  Wisdom helps us sort through crisis, manage conflict in a positive way, and find solutions even to the most challenging situations.  Money may never save your marriage, but wisdom can.  And the wisdom that really matters is that which comes from God, one solidly established on His Word.
Seek wisdom more than you work for money.

A Prayer You May Say:  Father God, give us the wisdom to help and heal our marriage and to keep it whole for our children and for You.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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