Solomon possessed an abundance of both riches and godly wisdom. But he linked happiness with wisdom, not with money. He said: “Happy is the man that has found wisdom, and the man that gets discernment, for having it as gain is better than having silver as gain and having it as produce than gold itself. It is more precious than corals, and all other delights of yours cannot be made equal to it. Length of days is in its right hand; in its left hand there are riches and glory. Its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its roadways are peace. It is a tree of life to those taking hold of it, and those keeping fast hold of it are to be called happy.”—Proverbs 3:13-18.
Why is wisdom superior to material possessions? Solomon wrote: “Wisdom is for a protection the same as money is for a protection; but the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom itself preserves alive its owners.” (Ecclesiastes 7:12) While money provides a measure of protection, enabling its owner to buy what he needs, wisdom can safeguard a person from taking risks that may jeopardize his life. Not only may true wisdom save a person from a premature death but, since it is based on a proper fear of God, it will lead to the gaining of everlasting life.
Why does godly wisdom lead to happiness? Because true happiness can come only from Jehovah God. Experience proves that genuine happiness can be gained only through obedience to the Most High. Enduring happiness depends on an approved standing with God. (Matthew 5:3-10) By applying what we learn from a study of the Bible, we will cultivate “the wisdom from above.” (James 3:17) It will give us happiness that riches can never bring.