Thursday, July 22, 2010

No Profit

4 I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards. 5 I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove. 7 I acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me. 8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds. 9 So I became great and excelled more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me.
10 Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them.
I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure,
For my heart rejoiced in all my labor;
And this was my reward from all my labor.
11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done
And on the labor in which I had toiled;
And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind.
There was no profit under the sun.
(Ecclesiastes 2:4-11, New King James Version)

No Profit

Solomon was consumed! In his pursuit of meaning in life he amassed great wealth, being known for his gardens, his servants, and his accumulation of silver and gold. It was not a drudgery to him as shown in Ecclesiastes 2:10.

Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them.
I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure,
For my heart rejoiced in all my labor;
And this was my reward from all my labor.

As we well know, there is enjoyment in labor as well as in the gain of new knowledge. Yet, in all of his wealth, Solomon concluded, "There was no profit under the sun." How can that be? How can that be considered no profit?

Note that he used the phrase, "under the sun." It is hard to believe--we just assume that all of our troubles would go away if we were financially independent. That, however, is not what Solomon discovered; I am sure it surprised him as well. He was back to, "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity." Even in his great wealth and power he felt empty.

What does that say about us? It tells us that we need more to grant us contentment and a feeling of self worth. We are spiritual creatures, and unless we feed out spiritual natures, nothing will give us contentment, but will fill our hearts with the same emptiness that Solomon felt.

It is so amazing that all of the things Solomon had did not blot out the emptiness he felt, and yet the poorest person in the world who has set his heart upon the Lord can find peace, joy, and contentment.

Oh, that we would learn that lesson!

God Bless You,
Linda











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