The inestimable value of wisdom – How valuable is Wisdom?
In the first episode of the Wisdom series, we attempted to discover the origin and meaning of the word ‘wisdom’. We attempted to define wisdom by looking at the original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic contexts in which the word was used.
In this second episode, we shall briefly explore the inestimable value of wisdom. If we don’t value a thing; a vision, a relationship, a job, a business deal, contract etc., we tend to invest less time into making it work optimally. Whatever you place value on, you tend to spend more time on, curating, nurturing, feeding, and safeguarding it because you consider it an important part of who you are and where you are going.
So, understanding the value of wisdom will help you seek for it, cherish it, and safeguard it. Because just like all living things, wisdom feeds, grows and develops, but wisdom can also shrink or even die if not well nourished and protected.
To understand the value of wisdom, we shall look at what one of the wisest men that ever lived, a Professor of Wisdom, had to say concerning wisdom. We shall also highlight what other wise people said concerning wisdom.
As humans, to understand the value of a thing, we often attach a price tag to it. Since money is what we use to barter for goods and services, we often attach monetary values to things. Another way we estimate the value of a thing is through comparison with other objects, whether similar or dissimilar, but which has a known generally accepted value among humans. So, many times wisdom is compared to these valuable objects.
Wherever these valuable objects are present, adequate security is provided so that they are secured from thieves. Also, they are kept away from natural or human agents that may in some way damage them.
a) No human storehouse is secured enough to store wisdom.
Now, wisdom is so valuable that no storehouse in the land of the living is worthy to keep it. Job 28:13 – No man can know its value, since it cannot be found in the land of the living.
Wisdom is stored away from the birds of the air and kept where death and destruction cannot uncover it. These last two creatures only hear the fame of wisdom but can’t tell where it is located exactly. Wisdom is so valuable that not even the depths of the earth nor the seas can house it. Therefore, nothing on earth nor in the depths of the sea can compare to wisdom. Ocean explorers would be disappointed, archaeologists will search in futility, devils will waste their time, birds will be wearied, and space travellers will grow old and die if they sought wisdom anywhere in the created universe. Why? Because all those places are unfit to house a precious jewel as wisdom. That is how valuable and important wisdom is.
b) Wisdom is more valuable than the precious gemstone ruby.
Rubies are the red-coloured gemstones that is one of the most popular traditional jewellery gems. The name Ruby comes from red in Latin. It is very durable and owes its red colour to the Chromium element present in it. The value of a ruby is dependent on its colour, cut and clarity, and of course, the carat weight. According to some estimates in 2020, two to three carats of rubies cost between 25,000 to 50,000 US Dollars. The most expensive ruby ever sold during an auction (The Sunrise Ruby) worth 30.42 million US Dollars is nothing compared to wisdom. The kings, queens, celebrities, and richest men of the earth can’t afford wisdom, because it’s priceless.
King Solomon had this to say:
She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. – Proverbs 3:15
For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. – Proverbs 8:11.
When Job was talking about wisdom in Job chapter 28, he said “… for the price of wisdom is above rubies.” This means that you cannot barter rubies for wisdom, no matter how red, well-cut, clear and heavy those rubies are. A carat of ruby is nothing compared to a carat of wisdom.
c) Wisdom is better than human strength
There is a short story by King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 9:13-16a that illustrates this point. It reads thus:
There was a little city, and few men within it, and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:
Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city, yet no man remembered that same poor man.
Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength:
Another perspective you want to see from this point is that a wise person understands that the source of his strength is from above, from the Omnipotent God. So, he draws supernatural strength (wisdom) from above that supersedes human ability.
Have you read the story of the fight between David and Goliath? That is a perfect example of wisdom in action, and an attestation to the fact that wisdom is better than strength.
d) Wisdom is as valuable as the light.
Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness. – Ecclesiastes 2:13
To understand the importance of this comparison of wisdom to light, it’s important to bear a few things in mind about the light.
The presence of light is the absence of darkness as light dispels darkness (John 1:5). The presence of light illumines and gives direction (Psalm 119:105). Light drives away the evil beasts and makes the path safe. Light brings joy and hope; it gladdens the sorrowful heart. Light gives the true colour of other objects that are brought under it. So, anyone that loves good things, come to it, while the evil people distance themselves from it (John 3:20-21). So, when wisdom is compared to light, it means that the presence of wisdom drives away the darkness of ignorance and imprudence. And grants the needed direction and safety.
e) Wisdom is more important than your greatest desires.
“…all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.” Proverbs 3:15
You may desire to become famous, to become the greatest in your field, to help millions of dying children in poor areas of the world and so many other noble desires. In addition to these desires, however, the greatest should be wisdom. For with her, you can achieve and sustain the others, but without her, attaining the other desires and maintaining the same would be impossible.
f) Wisdom outweighs money.
For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it. Ecclesiastes 7:12.
Wisdom is one of those things that money can’t buy. And the things that money can’t buy are very costly.
We’ve seen people whose parents left fortunes for them, but they squandered it in a few years. We’ve also seen those who had little resources, but with wisdom, they were able to manage the meagre resources well and even grew them to unimaginable proportions.
There are problems that only wisdom can solve even if you have money. We’ve seen wealthy people experience “irreconcilable” marital issues that led to divorce.
Also, wisdom gives life to the person who has it. Let’s remember that although money is an important factor in the human realm, money can’t get you salvation nor the Holy Ghost (Acts 8:20-23). Also, money can’t get you eternal life. But wisdom (the fear of God, which is to depart from evil and keep God’s commandments) guarantees eternal life with God.
Another rendering of Ecclesiastes 7:12 says, wisdom is protection as money is protection, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of its owner. So, wisdom is superior to money, in that it not only protects you, it also preserves your life.
Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please share it everywhere. God bless you.
Next in this series: The Price of Wisdom.