The Wise Man’s Eyes are in His Head

ARTICLE BY DENNY PETRILLO

This is certainly one of the interesting statements made by Solomon.  At first we might respond “of course they are in his head! Where else would they be?”  But Solomon is saying more than a given physiological fact.  Notice some significant truths.

1)    Wise men have prepared their minds so that their eyes can see.  In Proverbs wisdom is personified as a woman crying out in the streets, looking for someone to listen to her (1:20-33).  In Ecclesiastes Solomon said he “set {his} mind to know wisdom” (1:17). Wisdom comes from study, learning, observation and experience.  Wise men and women became wise because they used their lives to learn.  Today’s world seems to be dominated by fools.  Numbers abound of those who have not prepared their minds.  Therefore they are blind.

2)    Wise men use their eyes to prepare for coming events and problems.  Solomon notes that wisdom will not keep one from death (1:16), therefore he needs to live in such a way that recognizes this inevitable end.  Equally a wise man “knows the proper time and procedure” (8:5).  He is certainly aware of the pitfalls of not knowing the world environment around him – including the social, economic and political environment.  Wisdom today enables one to see that dishonesty and deceit will not ultimately help the deceiver.  Wisdom allows him to see that riches will not provide the happiness or peace that he needs, but will bring destruction (1 Tim. 6:7-10).

3)    Wise men use their eyes to choose the right path.  Solomon “saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness” (2:13).  He notes that “the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors (7:12b), and that “a wise man’s heart directs him toward the right” (10:2a).  The world must not be the standard-setter for the wise man.  He knows better than to be “conformed to the world” (Rom. 12:1, 2).  The wise see beyond the supposed “foolishness of the cross” (1 Cor. 1:18) and see in it the wisdom of God.  They also see the manifold wisdom of God in the church (Eph. 3:10).

4)    Wise men use their eyes to see that they will never know it all.  Solomon, who was blessed with divine wisdom, recognized this truth (8:16-17)  When men think they “have arrived” and no longer need God’s council, direction and wisdom, he is a fool (Jer. 10:23).  Wise men turn to God, study His word and prepare for judgment (Ecc. 12:13, 14).

Paul asked “where is the wise man?” (1 Cor. 1:20).  He could have asked “do you have eyes in your head?”  Let’s hope we do.

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One thought on “The Wise Man’s Eyes are in His Head

  1. I too search for wisdom, and like Solomon I have found that I will never now everything and I know nothing, so with saying that I will not worry myself about what is to come for who knows the future, for any matter who knows the truth ?

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