12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith. 14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. 15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered. 16 I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. 17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. 18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. Ecclesiastes 1:12-18
Solomon, the wisest king, who ever lived (I Kings 3:12) searched for wisdom. He searched everywhere. “His giving himself to the study of natural history, philosophy, poetry, etc., are sufficient proofs of it. He had not intuitive knowledge from God; but he had a capacity to obtain every kind of knowledge useful to man.” –Adam Clarke
In all the studying and searching he came to the conclusion, “all is vanity (emptiness) and vexation (a feeding upon, that is, grasping after) of spirit.” All the studying and searching of subjects was useless and without a purpose.
He knew he had more wisdom than all those before him but still felt an emptiness. The more wisdom he had the more grief he felt. When one increases knowledge the sorrow also increases. What a peculiar thing to say.
Pondering this verse I see it as; the more wisdom we get the more grief because our eyes are open to the happenings (in all realms i.e. Christian, world and politics) in the world. The more God reveals to us (knowledge & wisdom) we are grieved because we can understand more clearly what is taking place in the world around us. As one reads the prophecy to come it saddens the heart. When we speak to others about it, most will not listen.
It is up to us to continue to be witnesses and testimonies in this dark world realizing this world is not our home.
Have a blessed day,