Solomon’s Fourth Test – Wealth

Solomon now tells us of a fourth pursuit in which he attempts to discover true meaning.  His pursuit and acquisition of great wealth is interspersed throughout the book of Ecclesiastes.

Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.  This too is meaningless.  As goods increase, so do those who consume them.  And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?  The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep.  — Ecclesiastes 5:10-12

and later…

I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on men:  God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them, and a stranger enjoys them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.  — Ecclesiastes 6:1-2

We give Solomon a lot of credit for asking for wisdom from God when he could have asked immediately for wealth.  God chose to give him wealth in addition to wisdom – and I wonder if it is because He wanted Solomon to learn this lesson – that wealth does not satisfy – and write the book of Ecclesiastes for us, so that we might learn from his experience.  Of the four tests so far, this one conforms most closely to our modern society, for the pursuit of wealth is something that most people are deeply engaged in – or at least is something that most people desperately want (consider those who spend hard-earned money playing the lottery).  And yet, we should note that Solomon achieved vast wealth – something most of us will never do – but he found no satisfaction in it.  For with great wealth comes great worry, and eventually someone will take over our fortune when we die.  Who knows what they will do with it?


2 Responses to “Solomon’s Fourth Test – Wealth”

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