As you walk through life, there are many directions and choices that confront you. Attaining some level of wealth is on most people’s mind. Nothing wrong with that. But many fall into the trap of securing enough wealth so they don’t really need much else. It is supposed to buy you happiness. You feel blessed, really secure; that is, until the bottom falls out, or the roof starts to cave in. You and I know plenty of people who have attained great wealth and they are prospering in their family life and mission. But we also know others who have destroyed their lives and others through their pursuit of riches or diligently trying to protect it.
The preacher is telling us that both wealth and wisdom are a shelter in this life. But then he declares that knowledge would tell you that wisdom is the preserver of life. Wisdom, godly wisdom, is retained and is useful for carrying you through the ups and downs of life and even into eternal life. In Solomon’s Proverbs, he makes a very poignant statement. “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle” (23. 4,5).
Money and wealth are a means, but certainly not the end. The only wealthy person in the universe is God himself. He created it all for his own purposes and for our good. But when we set our eyes solely on the benefit of riches, we crowd out the critical essential, wisdom. Wisdom is where we find life. And if God chooses, wealth. My life verse is this. Meditate on it. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Mt. 6.33). Priorities rule!