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What’s Wrong With Silver?

June 21, 2011

Eventually, everything that I have on the earth is going to be gone from me.  There is a point coming…a point distant in the future, or maybe just moments away…where every stitch of clothing, every square foot of house, and every dime in the bank account will either be lost…or be left behind.  Now listen, I’m not saying that is an especially happy thought…but, it is certainly the truth.  The most natural thing, the most common thing, and the one thing that we are guaranteed (along with taxes of course), is that we are going to die.

 If that intro hasn’t completely scared you off…seriously hoping it hasn’t…take a moment and read through Ecclesiastes 5:8-20.

 Now, Solomon understood a thing or two about possessions.  I mean, just to be frank, he had a lot of stuff.  Just turn to 1 Kings 10 and look at the type of wealth he had.  When people start traveling great distances just to marvel at how rich you are, you have effectively reached the upper echelon of worldly privilege.  And beyond that, in 1 Kings 10:21, it says, “Silver was not considered as anything in the days of Solomon.”  What that means is that if I lived back in that day, every piece of jewelry I have given my wife would amount to nothing.  Simply put, he had wealth beyond what we know to be wealth.  And look what he says in verse 10, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income.”  Now, this is coming from a guy who knew that from experience. 

 We live in a strange time culturally.  This generation is one that is constantly being told to follow their heart.  “Just do what you want to do…go where you want to go…and be who you want to be…as long as all of those things lead to a college degree, a sweet job, a healthy retirement plan, and all the comforts imaginable.”  So yeah, follow your heart…just make sure it leads to high tax bracket.  What a strange time we live in?  Solomon understood this foolishness.  He understood the insanity that has been labeled as the “American Dream” and carefully disguised under the banner of the pursuit of happiness.  What he is telling us in this text…is that it’s going to leave us wanting.

 He’s going to say in verse 15, “As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand.”  This is what’s coming…it’s not a threat…it’s not a scare tactic…it’s simple reality.  And in this text, Solomon sounds almost like an old man who has given his life toward the aim of self pleasing and worldly satisfaction, only to see the end on the horizon and the inevitable separation from his treasures.  He doesn’t just leave us hanging in the balance…he says in verse 18, “Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him.”  It’s not that life is hopeless; it’s that a misguided life is wasted.  Jesus spoke about this in Matthew 6 when He said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  You see, it’s not that wealth is a bad thing…it’s that we have a messed up definition of what wealth truly is.  God, in His grace is offering life.  And we, in our folly, are chasing after the perishable.  It’s no wonder Solomon sounds so aggravated…it seems so simple…even free…and yet, in our efforts, we run toward temporary pleasure at the sake of eternal joy.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Adam Bruyere permalink
    June 21, 2011 11:02 pm

    I wonder to what degree all of this living “in the now” is a reflection of how we view ourselves. I mean, if we truly viewed ourselves as children of the living God, co-heirs to His kingdom and His cherished possessions, why would any of this “stuff” matter? I find it too easy to forget my worth in Christ and focus on the worthlessness the world has to offer. What a challenge…

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