4 Again, I saw that for all toil and every skillful work a man is envied by his neighbor. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
5 The fool folds his hands
And consumes his own flesh.
6 Better a handful with quietness
Than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind.
7 Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun:
8 There is one alone, without companion:
He has neither son nor brother.
Yet there is no end to all his labors,
Nor is his eye satisfied with riches.
But he never asks,
“ For whom do I toil and deprive myself of good?”
This also is vanity and a grave misfortune.
(Ecclesiastes 4:4-8, New King James Version)
Solomon continues to depict life without God. As we read through these verses let us remember that this is the world that millions see every day.
The world depicted here is not foreign to us. How often, when a man works hard and becomes successful do we here the grumblings of jealousy all around? The fool is eaten with jealousy, but does not put forth his own labor that he may accomplish the same thing.
In verse 6, Solomon stops his discourse to make a comment. The person who does not have much, and rests in quietness is better than the one who has much, but is continuing to grasp for more.
Here is another familiar story to us. We see a person all alone who seems to have no end to his labor, yet is never satisfied with his riches. Though he may accumulate much, he always wants more. Yet he never asks, "Why am I doing this? For whom am I laboring so hard?"
Yes, it is true. A life such as this is a life of vanity or emptiness.
How important is God in our lives? Do we tend to live our own lives without God? Oh, we believe in Him, we go to church, and even read our Bibles, but in our daily lives we toil with no other purpose that to amass more and more wealth.
There is nothing wrong with being wealthy. The real question is, what drives us? Are we driven by the lusts of this world, or are we driven by the desire to live to the glory and honor of God, our Father. What is our purpose?
Let us pray that we will not live our lives without God, but will live with the purpose He has given to us: to know Christ and to make Him known.
God Bless You,