This site will feature Bible-based articles some days, silly posts and quotes at least twice a week and facts about Jack the Ripper-to begin with.

Posts tagged ‘wealth’

Ecclesiastes Chapter 2-Wealth Is Vanity

I’ve started a series of posts on the book of Ecclesiastes, where the writer says “life stinks” and “what’s the point?”. In chapter 2, he talks about experimenting with toys that you can acquire in life and what he found out.
Get your Bible because I may not list every verse in these posts. Ecclesiastes can be found halfway through the Bible after Psalms and Proverbs and before The Song of Solomon and the prophets. Let’s begin.
The first 3 verses is sort of a summary of his findings. Do you remember in school, when you had to write a five paragraph paper and the first paragraph you had to summarize what it was about? That’s what he is doing, here. He has one advantage that we don’t have-the wisdom God gave him. He still found it to be vanity.
Verses 4-8 talk about all the things that he acquired-houses, vineyards, gardens, parks, slaves, flocks and herds, silver and gold, singers and concubines. That’s a lot of stuff! You would think he was the happiest man on earth, but all this did not make him happy. In life, we think that if we just get that new car we want, that new and bigger house or whatever else you may want, that we’ll be happy. You know what? I finally got a large, new townhouse a few years ago, and it did not give me the happiness I thought it would. In fact, I was let down after the excitement wore off and I am less happy than I was in the townhouse we had before this one. It was brand new and kind of big, but we were renting it and we needed to buy something to stop throwing money out the window. When I saw this one we’re in now, I was no longer satisfied with the one we had, and thought if we bought this one, I would be totally satisfied. I have actually been depressed.Go figure!
Verse 9-“Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me.”
The wise man’s wealth and status grew-a lot of people want to be great in this life-but does it bring them happiness?
Verse 10-“Amd all that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor.”
This makes me think of a kid in a candy store. What if, when you were a kid, someone took you to a candy store and said,”Go up and down every aisle and get whatever you want.”
You would take off, wouldn’t you? I know I would have. I still might today-but I would grab mostly chocolate-I don’t like the other stuff anymore.
My parents have given me money in the past, for Christmas or my birthday. It is fun to shop and decide what to buy with money just handed to you. What if you earned it? For years now, I have been wanting to make some money with my writing and have the satisfaction that I earned it. It seems more satisfying if you earn money from a job well done. I have a list of things I want to get-a new kitchen table, for one, to match the decor.
This also sounds like many celebrities, not withholding any pleasure from themselves-we can see that in the news. Does it last forever? Look at verse 11.
Verse 11-“Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.”
I would take that to be a “no”. After getting all those things for himself-vanity and he had no profit. What a letdown! We expect more from our toys than that, don’t we? Shame on those toys!
Verses 12-17 are poetic in nature as he describes weighing fun with wisdom. In verse 12, he asks about the man who will come after him. He will probably not be satisfied with what the wise man did and will want to do it himself. You don’t want the hand-me-down, you want the new thing.
In verse 14, he compares the fool and the wise man with light and darkness. If you walk around in the dark, you can’t see what you are doing and you end up doing dumb things, like running into the wall or knocking over a lamp, when you could just turn on the light. At the end, however, they will meet the same fate-no matter what they do in this life.
In verse 15, he asks himself why he has been wise because what’s the point if he is just going to die. In verse 17, he hates life because his work was grievous and everything was vain. Have you ever felt that way?
In verses 18-21, he basically says that life is not fair and he was in despair. He mentions the man who will come after him-will he be wise or foolish? Will he take care of what the wise man acquired? The wise man will have no control over his things after he is dead and it is not fair to have to hand over your things that you worked for to someone else. Sometimes I wonder who lives in my grandparents’ house and if they take care of it? My grandparents worked hard to build the house and took care of it for 50 years. It is only fair for the next person to take just as good care of it. It seems like people don’t take as good of care of things handed down to them, as opposed to working for it themselves.
Verse 22-He repeats his question of the vanity of life.
Verse 23-“Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity.”
Have you ever lain awake, thinking about some project?
Verses 24-26-the wise man says that we should live our life and appreciate what we have because everything we have is a gift from God. He says if you don’t have God in your life, you can’t be happy. Think of all the celebrities who had it all and ended up committing suicide because their life was empty without God. So true. What is it worth without Him?


A Look At The Possible Author Of Ecclesiastes

I have started a series of posts on Ecclesiastes to get a deeper look at the book but I wanted to talk about the writer, or supposed writer. If the writer was Solomon and you are not familiar with his story, I’ll go over it.
I have listed some quotes from verses of the story:
1 Kings 3:5-“In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, “Ask what you wish me to give you.”
Vs 7-“And now, O Lord my God, Thou hast made thy servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.”
Vs 8-“And Thy servant is in the midst of Thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people who cannot be numbered or counted for multitude.”
Vs 9-“So give Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Thine?”
In other words, God was pleased with Solomon’s good behavior (earlier in the book, it says that he loved God like his father, David), soon after he became king and came to him in a dream, offering him whatever he wanted. Solomon asked for wisdom. We know he was young but we dont know how old he was-not old enough to have gained wisdom. Back to the verses:
Vs 10-“And it was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing.”
Vs 11-“And God said to him, ‘Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have you asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice,”
Vs12-“behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you.”
Vs 13-“And I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days.”
Vs 14-“And if you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father, David walked, then I will prolong your days.’ ”
God was pleased with Solomon’s request, taking note that he did not ask for revenge or wealth. In addition, God gives him wealth and a long life. This can show us that if we ask for the right things, not selfish things, God will reward us. He will give us what we ask, if it is His will, plus more, sometimes. I’m not saying every time. Have you ever been going along in your life and something good happens that you wanted but did not ask for? How had you been behaving, lately? We’re you trying to follow God’s commands? I we live like we should, God blesses us, not just materially, but helps our stress, takes care of a problem, steers us in the right way in a confusing time, or in a time where we need to make a decision fast. God blesses us in so many ways, I cannot even list them right now.
Anyway, back on the subject, Solomon was given great wisdom and wealth, which he uses to his advantage, to find out everything he possibly can about life.
Whether or not the author of Ecclesiastes is Solomon, he had a lot of wisdom and had tried everything in life, only to find it vain. How many celebrities can say the same thing, having tried just as many things, and how many ended up putting a gun to their head because they had no hope of heaven. They did not have God in their lives. We can learn from the wise man and from the hopelessness of these celebrities.

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