More about Riches (Part 2)
Solomon continues to tell us his observations and advices regarding the futility of riches. Some of
the situation he is mentioning here have been spoken earlier. Not that he runs out of topic but his
purpose is to emphasize since he knows that riches, fame, honor, blinds the minds of man. Once
more he reminds us that everything is from God.
I. Riches without enjoyment (Eccl. 6:1-2)
A. A common situation during his time and our present time is being portrayed here.
B. Solomon tells us that some men are given great wealth – they are so rich that they
have everything they desire – but, they are not enabled by God to enjoy it. Someone else does.
C. Solomon mentioned this topic in Eccl. 5:19 and hinted at it in Eccl. 3:13.
D. To him, it was a basic principle that nobody can truly enjoy the gifts of God apart
from the Lord Jesus Christ who gives the gifts.
E. To enjoy the gifts without the Giver is idolatry, and this can never satisfy the human heart.
F. Enjoyment without the Lord Jesus Christ is merely entertainment, no satisfaction, no
contentment, no joy, no peace, no fulfilment.
G. But enjoyment with God is the one that brings true joy and satisfaction.
H. If you are unhappy in the midst of riches, wealth, or success, it means that you do
not have the empowering of Christ to enjoy the prosperity. This is one of the reason
why lots of rich people are unhappy and miserable.
I. God gave riches and wealth to you without the ability to enjoy it to teach you to
know Him and depend upon Him. With this, comes the chance for you to repent and then to obey Him.
J. We are to enjoy the blessings of God now and thank Him for all of them.” Don’t plan
to live — start living now. Be satisfied with what He gives you and use it all for His glory.
Illustration: John Rockefeller
John D. Rockefeller, Sr., was strong and husky when small. He early determined to earn money and
drove himself to the limit. At age 33, he earned his first million dollars. At age 43, he controlled the
biggest company in the world. At age 53, he was the richest man on earth and the world’s only
Then he developed a sickness called “alopecia,” where the hair of his head dropped off, his
eyelashes and eyebrows disappeared, and he was shrunken like a mummy. His weekly income was
one million dollars, but he digested only milk and crackers. He was so hated in Pennsylvania that he
had to have bodyguards day and night. He could not sleep, stopped smiling long since, and enjoyed
nothing in life.
The doctors predicted he would not live over one year. The newspaper had gleefully written his
obituary in advance—for convenience in sudden use. Those sleepless nights set him thinking. He
realized with a new light that he “could not take one dime into the next world.” Money was not
The next morning found him a new man. He began to help churches with his amassed wealth; the
poor and needy were not overlooked. He established the Rockefeller Foundation whose funding of
medical researches led to the discovery of penicillin and other wonder drugs. John D. began to sleep
well, eat and enjoy life.
The doctors had predicted he would not live over age 54. He lived up to 98.
Encyclopaedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.
II. Still born is better (Eccl. 6:3)
A. Untimely birth here can be used for miscarriage, an abortion, or a still born.
B. Untimely birth resulting in the death of the infant is better than a life lived away
from God. The infant is safe in Christ and will be with Him eternally, those who live
without Christ no matter how rich and powerful they are here will spend eternity in hell.
C. A man’s heirs were responsible to give him a proper burial. But here all the heirs are
interested in is what is left behind and how much of it they get.
D. Think of what it would be like to live a life void of any satisfaction. This would lead to
the bitterness Solomon spoke of Eccl. 5:15-17.
E. Solomon says, better to not have been born.
F. A rich man is described in terms of extreme blessing:
1. Great wealth (“he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth),
2. Great number of children (a hundred children), and
3. A long life (he lives many years, does not receive proper burial).
G. Stillborn is described in terms of ultimate futility:
1. He cometh in with vanity (that is, it is no good to be born), it disappears into
2. He is forgotten (his name shall be covered in darkness),
3. He has not seen the sun (“the light of day”), and
4. He did not know anything (he never knew what life is like.
H. A wealthy person and a stillborn share the same fate; they go to the same place –
the grave. (Eccl. 6:6). Again, Solomon tells us about the universality of death.
I. And yet the stillborn is, better because it has more rest (freedom from toil, anxiety,
and misery;( 6:5) than a richly blessed person whose soul is never satisfied.
J. A man not given a proper burial indicates complete disrespect and disregard for one’s life.
K. To die without mourners or honours was considered worse than being born dead, even is one
had many children and a full life
Illustration: Man who did not have proper burial
King Jehoiakim (Jer. 22:18,19). Son of the Godly King Josiah, the second son of Josiah, and eighteenth
king of Judah, which he ruled over for eleven years (B.C. 610-599). His original name was Eliakim.
Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah. Jehoiakim was taken prisoner and carried captive to Babylon (2Ch.
36:6-7). It was at this time that Daniel also and his three companions were taken captive to Babylon
(Dan. 1:1-2). Nebuchadnezzar reinstated Jehoiakim on his throne but treated him as a vassal king.
He was the king who cut in pieces and burned the roll containing the Word of God written by
Jeremiah (Jer. 36:23). He committed other sins like, “His eyes and heart were only for covetousness,
shedding innocent blood, oppression, and violence” (Jer. 22:13-17). “He built his house by
unrighteousness and wrong, using his neighbour’s service without wages,” using his people’s forced
labour to build himself a splendid palace, in violation of Lev. 19:13; De. 24:14-15; Mic. 3:10; Hab.
2:9; Jas. 5:4.
He rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar. The king came to a violent death, (Jer. 22:18-19, 2 Kings 23:36,
2 Chr. 36:5) and his body having been thrown over the wall of Jerusalem, to convince the besieging
army that he was dead, after having been dragged away, was buried beyond the gates of Jerusalem
“with the burial of an ass,” B.C. 599 (Jer. 22:18-19; 36:30).
III. Riches Cannot satisfy
A. Labour, and its rewards, can never give us satisfaction. Man wants more and more. (Eccl. 6:7)
B. The wise and the fool shares the same condition. Both depend upon the labour of themselves or
others to live. Both must eat and drink in order to survive. The necessaries of life are the same
for them, and their condition in life is nearly similar; they both will become sick and then die. (Eccl. 6:8).
C. By this, we can say that riches don’t make the wise better than the fool for basically
they are the same.
D. Apart from a relationship with Christ and being dependent upon Him we can never
know what lies ahead.
E. Verse 9 is Solomon’s version of the familiar saying, “A bird in the hand is worth two
in the bush.” The Greek biographer Plutarch wrote, “He is a fool who lets slip a bird
in the hand for a bird in the bush.” Solomon is saying, “It’s better to have little and
really enjoy it than to dream about much and never attain it.” Dreams have a way of
becoming nightmares if we don’t come to grips with reality.
F. To be content with that which God has given is better than to follow the desires that
can never be satisfied. However, man always wants more, always looking at things
that he does not have.
G. Eccl. 6:10 reminds us who is in control. Not man but God. We should not set our
plans against God’s plan. We need to fit into His plan, we cannot dispute with Him. We cannot win.
H. Life is short, we do not even know tomorrow. How do we even know if we will enjoy
the outcome of the plans we make? We do not. Yet God is already there (Eccl. 6:11)
and His plan never fails. Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD
directeth his steps.
I. Who knows then what is good in this life? (Eccl. 6:12). Is it wealth or poverty?
Proverbs 30:8-9 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor
riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say,
Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
This seems to be the best answer.
Riches can never really satisfy. No Christ, no joy, no happiness, no satisfaction, most of
all no salvation. Riches, wealth, material things cannot buy you a ticket to heaven. It’s
your choice. Choose life choose Christ.