“Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun” (Ecc 2:11).
There is a popular Nigerian song that says: ‘Life is all about the money.’ It’s an interesting phrase. Here is another: ‘You aren’t truly rich until you have the things money cannot buy.’
There was a time when the first statement resonated with King Solomon. He decided to enjoy all the good things money could buy.
“I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour” (Eccl 2:1,10).
King Solomon was living the life. He bought everything in eyes desired. Got musicians to sing to him night and day. If there was something he liked, he did it. He worked so hard, he deserved it right? Surely he must have been fulfilled. But that was not the case. See his response in Ecc 2:11: “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.”
Riches can be used for good, but in itself, money is empty. It can buy you a momentary thrill, but never joy. It can buy you sex, but never love. It can buy you a house, but never a home. It can buy you the best healthcare, but never health. It can buy you man’s approval, but never God’s justification. The truth is, you’re poor if all you have is money. Even if you don’t believe me, surely you can believe one of the richest men who ever lived.