Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ecclesiastes 5:9-13 -- On Silver and Eye Candy

"Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field.
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.
When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?
The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt."
Ecclesiastes 5:9-13

This is interesting.  I like the idea that the profit of the earth is for all, and that it hurts us to hoard things just for ourselves.  "What good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?" :)  That's hilarious, and pretty true.  When we have more than we need, it is just eye candy, right?  And it could be used in a better way, to make people's lives better, to feed people, to help them.  It reminds me of Jacob 2:19: "And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted."  Those are the things that God approves of us doing with riches... and maybe too often we're worried about things well beyond the basics.  Another pair of shoes, another car.  More clothes.  With me, perhaps more books and games and LEGOs.  And totally not saying that having some of what we like is bad, or that we can't have fun... but in the context of this verse, perhaps we should take a serious look at our stuff and how big a pile of it we have.  At some point, will it be enough, or will we keep wanting more and more and more?  And, if we can afford the extras... are those things more important than providing the basics to someone else?  That's a hard call to make, for sure.  Today, let's think about it, and pray about it, and if we can do more for others, let's make the effort.

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