I have also seen this example of wisdom under the sun, and it seemed great to me. 14 There was a little city with few people in it. A great king came against it and besieged it, building great siege works against it. 15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man. 16 So I said, “Wisdom is better than might; yet the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heeded.” 17 The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouting of a ruler among fools. 18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one bungler destroys much good.
Wisdom is an elusive quality that many admire, but few achieve. The writer of Ecclesiastes aptly reminds us that we are all too easily dazzled by the grand words and visionary promises of the rich and the powerful – while the words of the wise often call us into the unpopular and uncomfortable path. And even when the words of a wise man are heeded, they are claimed by the powerful, while “no one remembered that poor man”.
The invitation for today is to push past the clamorous words and the noisy distractions of powerful people to listen for the quiet words of the wise.
Ordinary 25 / Pentecost +18
47 Wise Stewards
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 287.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.