Brains Over Brawn (Ecclesiastes #11)

Text: Ecclesiastes 7:19-20

Wisdom is greater than physical strength

  • Strength is simply the ability to do a work. Proverbs 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small, meaning if the adverse situation renders you unable to complete the task, then you lack strength. But strength is not only accomplished by power or force, in fact there is more strength in wisdom. Ecclesiastes 7:19 Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city. One man can do the job of ten if that one man is wise.
  • It is more than a replacement for strength, wisdom multiplies power and ability to accomplish things. Solomon says wisdom is better than ten strong men.
    • Technology has proven this to be true. Some harvesting machines do 30-40 times the work at the same cost as hiring laborers.
    • Information technology is off the charts in this. The ability of machines to remember, process, and gather information is extremely advanced.
    • Military technology and weapons of war also have proven this point out.
  • Wisdom is in the balance between extremes; and that balance is strength.
  • Verse 20 means that you don’t have one without the other. The just man does good and sins also. Solomon is making the statement about these two extremes being present in one person. Doing good and sinning are present in one person.
    • Solomon has said thus far that material life is vanity and fleeting, but there is value and you can still be content in the vanities of life.
    • Solomon has said thus far that there is too much contradiction in this life to figure it out. Why do bad people live long, but good people die young? Yet, amid injustice, you can still fear God and live patiently through injustice and nonsense.

Biblical examples of wisdom being superior to strength

  • Gideon’s 300 beat an army of 135,000 Midianites. He started with 32,000, so the odds were never in his favor. He would have to exercise wisdom to get the victory.
  • David fights Goliath in the strength of the LORD. David fully expects the LORD to defend His own name if someone will represent the LORD on the battlefield.
  • A woman who saves the city from destruction by negotiating a peace deal (2 Samuel 20:13-22)
  • Daniel’s ability to trust God when all the wise men in Babylon would be killed.

Four examples of wisdom as strength in the animal world from Proverbs 30:24-28

  • Preparation is wisdom
    • An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure
    • The ants find strength in preparation
    • The ants are a people not strong. But they survive and thrive under adverse conditions because they prepare for them. Proverbs 6:8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
    • Wisdom is often found in the preparations that are made.
    • When you fail to prepare you prepare to fail.
    • Save the green with the blue.
    • The ants prepare for what they know will happen.
    • You should know judgment is going to happen.
    • You should know meeting God is going to happen.
    • You should know retirement may happen to you.
    • You should know bad health may happen to you.
  • Leverage the strength around you
    • The rabbits find strength in surrounding themselves with rock
    • These conies recognize their own weakness.
    • Rabbits hide themselves in the rock!
  • Organizational wisdom
    • The locusts are strong because they know their place
    • The strength of the locusts is that they know their place among other locusts.
    • Furthermore, they know their place without having a visible head.
    • Because the locusts know their place and are able to organize themselves, they can find strength in numbers.
    • The labor is divided by the multitude.
    • There is protection in the multitude. A swarm of locusts can accomplish what one locust can’t.
  • Diligence is wisdom
    • Spider is an opportunist. Spin a web in a strategic place and wait. Then take the web down and hide in the morning. The spider’s diligence in using her hands to build her house and catch her pray soon puts her in kings’ palaces.
    • Looking through the grand embroidery, the wonderful architecture of the palace, the exquisite and costly vessels, but none of that is what is to be considered. Not the grand surroundings of the palace, but the spider taketh hold with her hands and is in palaces
    • Seeming insignificance is no excuse for inactivity. Hers is a diligent pursuit. 2 Thessalonians 3:13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.