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Jun 29, 2020

Ecclesiastes 5:10-6:12 10 He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. 11 When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? 12 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. 13 There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, 14 and those riches were lost in a bad venture. And he is father of a son, but he has nothing in his hand. 15 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. 16 This also is a grievous evil: just as he came, so shall he go, and what gain is there to him who toils for the wind? 17 Moreover, all his days he eats in darkness in much vexation and sickness and anger. 18 Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. 19 Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God. 20 For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart. 6:1 There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind: 2 a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous evil. 3 If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life's good things, and he also has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. 4 For it comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered. 5 Moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything, yet it finds rest rather than he. 6 Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good—do not all go to the one place? 7 All the toil of man is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied. 8 For what advantage has the wise man over the fool? And what does the poor man have who knows how to conduct himself before the living? 9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the appetite: this also is vanity and a striving after wind. 10 Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what man is, and that he is not able to dispute with one stronger than he. 11 The more words, the more vanity, and what is the advantage to man? 12 For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?

In this morning’s sermon text, the Preacher of Ecclesiastes exposes the utter futility of materialism: “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). By contrast, the hymns we sing will point us away from the fruitless search for worldly wealth and success, looking to Christ instead. We’ll confess that we will trust only in Jesus, unlike the “worldling” who clings to his toys of dust (All For Jesus). We’ll declare that we need no riches or the empty praise of man, because our treasure is found in the “High King of Heaven” (Be Thou My Vision). We’ll ask for the Lord’s help, that we might not boast in any vain thing, but only in the death of Christ (When I Survey The Wondrous Cross). With this perspective, we can joyfully give thanks for our material blessings with the words of Psalm 68: the Lord gives abundantly, refreshes and sustains His inheritance, and provides for us from His bounty (Sing Praise To God—Psalm 68). After all, as several of our Scripture readings this morning point out, riches and honor come from the Lord (1 Chronicles 29:12). It is the Lord who gives you power to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18). —Henry C. Haffner

Key Words: Money, Wealth, Evil, Grievous, Darkness, Vexation
Keystone Verse: There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt. (Ecclesiastes 5:13)