He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.
There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, and those riches were lost in a bad venture. And he is father of a son, but he has nothing in his hand. As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand. (Ecclesiastes 5:10-15 ESV)
In one respect, Ecclesiastes is the diary of a man of God who on many occasions finds himself desiring to experiment and experience (Ecclesiastes 1:17) the false happiness of the secular world. Each time he finds the experience unfulfilling. Why? The man of God can only find true happiness in doing everything to the glory of God. Robert G. Lee (1886-1974) shares his thoughts on the verses above:
Wisdom, the many things he knew, brought him not to the house of abiding happiness…brought him not that joy which is ever rich and abiding. Wine turned out to be a mocker, as it always does-mocking him with the shadow instead of the substance of good things, mocking him with the desert where it promised an oasis.
And wealth had no power to satisfy. Amid all his abundance there was a lack? Something that rested not and was not still, something that hungered and was not fed, something that was thirsty and found no satisfaction… Solomon built palaces. Solomon established great public works. Solomon increased the size and magnificence of his city. Solomon transported forests.
He did mighty things in the matter of building cities and other great public works. He accomplished such things as multitudes have expected to provide satisfaction for life’s labors. But when he had finished all his great works he looked out upon them and cried, “Vanity of vanities!”
“And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men…and his fame was in all nations round about.” (I Kings 4:30,31)
“But Solomon was building…He built also the house of the forest of Lebanon…And he made …Then he made…Solomon made…” (I Kings 7)
“And Solomon built Gezer, and Beth-horon the nether, and Baalath, and Tadmor in the wilderness, in the land, And all the cities of store that Solomon had, and cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen, and that which Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.” (I Kings 9:17-19)
Which, moreover, brings us the willingness to obey the exhortation given in I Cor. 15:58, namely:
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (“Paths of Disappointment”)
Filed under: Bible, Christianity, Faith, God, Grace, History, Living Life | Tagged: Baalath, Books of Kings, Ecclesiastes, Gezer, God, Lebanon, Lord, Solomon | Comments Off