“What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?” Eccl: 1:3 ESV.
Solomon was the King of Israel after David died. Blessed by God with great wisdom and knowledge, he pursued every selfish desire that money could buy. We are told in the first several chapters of the Book of Ecclesiastes, that he built large buildings, vast gardens, and fruit farms. He acquired a large estate of herds and flocks, silver and gold, and male and female slaves. He was the richest man of his time.
Yet he didn’t stop there. He acquired more knowledge. He wrote books. He pursued every desire known by man seeking to discover the meaning to life. In short, he wanted to know how to best use his time on earth. But his path and experiments led him to despair, sorrow, and even hating life. The reason: everything in this physical life is temporary.
So what was his conclusion from his life’s work? What is there to gain from all one’s effort? Simply this: The appreciation of the joy God shares with you through His creation. He repeats it three times first starting in Ecc. 2:24-26. In summary, enjoy the work of your hands being appreciative for what God has given you. Ecc 3:13 states that it is God’s gift to you. In Ecc. 3:22 he writes that one should rejoice in your work. Again in Ecc. 5:18-20 Solomon writes that to enjoy food and drink and the work of your hands. In addition, he writes that if one has been given wealth and the power to enjoy one’s wealth, to rejoice because it is a gift from God. Remember, when God occupies a person’s heart with joy, the time and life goes by fast.
In Ecc. 7:14 Solomon adds that in times of prosperity be joyful, and when times are tough consider that God made both days so our lives will be less predictable. And because of the unpredictability of life, we don’t know for sure what will prosper, so work like all avenues may succeed or fail (Ecc. 11:6).
What about making money to pay the bills? Here are a few scriptures that the Bible reminds us.
In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23.
Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. Proverbs 13:11.
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. Isaiah 48:17.
Bottom-line: enjoy the work of your hands, learn to live on what you make, save a little each day, and be thankful for everything God gives you.
Rooting For You in Christ!
Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
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