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The Strength of a Wise Man

“Wisdom is the strength of the wise man — more so than ten powerful people who support him in the city.”

(Ecclesiastes 7:19)

This little verse can easily slip by unnoticed in the long list of the balance between wisdom and foolishness, but it reminds us of a great truth. How often we tend to form alliances. We make friends, we get people on our side, and we seek to operate from a place of human strength. In business, we call this networking. In the military world, this is a matter of treaties and alliances. In politics, this is how you build your voter base.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Solomon is not saying that alliances, networking, or relationships you have with people of influence are not important. They are very important on many levels. Yet, what he is saying is that wisdom is more valuable than these powerful friends alone. History is marked by many frail alliances, friendships are often temporary, and business relationships can be fleeting if service falters or prices cease to be competitive. Wisdom will not fail you and it will not flee. It will also provide you the strength to weather the barrages that your enemies throw in your direction.

So, the error of man is not in building those relationships, the error comes when one rests in one’s relationships with others to find strength rather than seeking strength in the Wisdom that comes only from the mouth of God. Indeed, this must be our strength.