Guest post by Jeanette Andrade
September 21 Scripture Selection: Ecclesiastes 1-6
Food for Thought: Eccl. 2:4-11, 17; 5:13
After mounting up countless riches and the fame that went with it, King Solomon came to the conclusion that all his efforts and life were vanity (or absurdity, frustration, futility, nonsense). That’s because, while prosperity is not a bad thing in itself, and God indeed desires that His children prosper, building his wealth for self-amusement and pleasure became his sole purpose. This is like so many in this world who devote of all their energies to accumulating wealth, leaving themselves with nothing to nurture their relationship with the Lord and their families, and even causing themselves great physical, emotional, and spiritual harm. All their money leaves them feeling “empty” and comes at a very high cost.
The Lord has a much better way for us to prosper. In fact, according to Deuteronomy 8:18, He gives us power to get wealth. The Word also says in Proverbs 10:22, “The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.” It is always about priorities. If we are obsessed with work and mounting up riches for ourselves, we are already off the Lord’s track and not in faith. (See Matthew 6:19, 20, 31-34.)
God’s way of blessing us is through our giving, something entirely contrary to the world’s way. Jesus explains His system in Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” He also is quoted in Acts 20:35 as saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Of course, this kind of giving is the cheerful, loving kind—not the selfish kind that gives just to gain something in return. It is an absolute joy to be able to give to others.
The apostle Paul explains this concept in II Corinthians 9:6-8: “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” It’s not about the amount one gives; rather, it is about the heart attitude of love and generosity and a desire to have a part in “every good work.”
If King Solomon would have seen his position as a way to positively affect other people’s lives instead of making it all about himself (even his house was larger than the Temple!), then he never would have thought of all of life as “vanity.” His life would have been full, one big adventure with great purpose instead of one big empty, unfulfilling bore.
Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):
Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):
Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God, and I receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior.):
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):