13 There is a severe evil which I have seen under the sun:
Riches kept for their owner to his hurt.
14 But those riches perish through misfortune;
When he begets a son, there is nothing in his hand.
15 As he came from his mother’s womb, naked shall he return,
To go as he came;
And he shall take nothing from his labor
Which he may carry away in his hand.
16 And this also is a severe evil—
Just exactly as he came, so shall he go.
And what profit has he who has labored for the wind?
17 All his days he also eats in darkness,
And he has much sorrow and sickness and anger.
(Ecclesiastes 5:13-17, New King James Version)
Can Riches Hurt?
As Solomon continues his discourses on riches, he addresses the rich person who strives to keep his own riches. Can riches hurt? Yes!
The issue, again, is not the riches; riches do not have to hurt. The real issue is one's attitude toward riches. We perceive that this person accumulated riches just for the sake of accumulating riches. In essence, Solomon asks the question, "To what end did he accumulate these riches?"
Is this all he can give to his son? No! If we believe that the only responsibility in life is to provide financially for our children, we are missing the point. If we teach them that the accumulation of wealth is the true purpose of life, then we are introducing them to a life of emptiness.
Can he take these riches with him when he passes from this life? No! As he came into this world, naked, so shall he return at the end of his life.
It is interesting that Solomon calls this a severe evil! If a person has only labored for riches, then he has labored for the wind. He will find himself consumed in darkness, sorrow, sickness, and anger.
Can riches hurt? Yes, if obtaining riches is our only purpose in life, but life can be so much more. As Christians, understanding our true purpose in life and living to that end brings us much peace, satisfaction, and joy.
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
God Bless You,