He who loves money will not be satisfied with money.
King Solomon was the wealthiest man of his day, and he talked about the futility of money. In Ecclesiastes 5, Solomon gave six reasons that money will never satisfy our deepest needs.
First of all, Solomon observed that no one ever thinks they have enough money. He said, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income” (v. 10). It doesn’t matter how much money you make, you’ll find a way to spend all of it.
Second, money attracts parasites. “When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to look on?” (v. 11). Solomon looked at his palace payroll and thought, “Where did all these people come from?” The more money you have, the more people who surround you–friends, family members, and the IRS–ready to take your money from you.
Third, money produces anxiety. Solomon observed, “The sleep of the working man is pleasant, whether he eats little or much; but the full stomach of the rich man does not allow him to sleep” (v. 12). Solomon noticed that those who punched in for work at eight and punched out at five were able to go home, eat supper, enjoy their family, and go to sleep. But people who had a lot of money thought about the payroll they had to meet, sales figures they had to reach, or government regulations they had to deal with, and it kept them from restful sleep.
Fourth, money can be harmful. Solomon said, “There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun: riches being hoarded by their owner to his hurt” (v. 13). You say, “How can money hurt me?” It robs you of joy. People try to stockpile money instead of enjoying the present day. The Bible also says an obsession with money can rob you of eternal life. It was the love of money that caused the rich young ruler to turn away from Christ. And it was the love of money that caused Judas to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.
Fifth, money can be lost. Solomon said, “Those riches were lost through a bad investment” (v. 14). Think about how tragic it is to accumulate money only to have it be wiped away by a bad investment, catastrophic illness, or lawsuit. Proverbs 23:4-5 says, “Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone.”
Sixth, money is temporal. Solomon said, “As he had come naked from his mother’s womb, so will he return as he came” (v. 15). You came into this world with nothing, and you will leave it with nothing. You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead of you by investing in the gospel or leave some of it behind to keep working for God’s kingdom after you’re gone.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Choosing Contentment over Comparison” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.