More about Riches
Enough for the negatives about riches. Solomon now says something positive about money and
possessions. Of course, we must have a balance view concerning riches. Most of the people
including Christians would rather be rich than poor, and I cannot blame them. I heard somebody say
that if the rich are miserable, the poor are more miserable. Today let’s see more of Solomon’s
observations and advice about riches.
I. Enjoy riches as a gift from God (Eccl. 5:18)
A. It is God who gives us riches (1 Sam. 2:7; Eccl. 5:19)
B. God gives man the power to obtain riches. (Deut. 8:18). It is Christ who gave us our
intellect, our skills, our energies, our visions, imaginations, etc. Our physical and
mental capabilities as well as good opportunities to earn more money and
accumulate possessions are all from the Lord Jesus Christ who gives man good gifts
and who gives to us all bountifully.
C. It is good to enjoy the good of your labour
D. This is almost the same or parallel as Solomon had written in Eccl. 2:24-26.
E. What we are to do as we have seen previously is to eat, drink, and enjoy the good of
F. Similarly, as a summary, we are to eat, receive God’s gift, and enjoy it.
G. Gift of God
1. The term “gift of God” occurs only twice in the OT, here and in Ecclesiastes 3:13.
2. In both instances, the “gift” has to do with material blessings.
3. In the New Testament “gift of God” occurred six times, and it all refers to
spiritual blessings, specially “eternal life”. (Rom. 6:23, Acts 8:20, 1 Cor. 7:7, Eph.
2:8, 2 Tim. 1:6)
Illustration: God Shall Supply
C. H. Spurgeon once said, “God is satisfied with Himself, and sufficient to His own happiness.
Therefore, surely, there is enough in Him to fill the creature. That which fills an ocean will fill a
bucket; that which will fill a gallon will fill a pint; those revenues which will defray an emperor’s
expenses are enough for a beggar or poor man.” Didn’t Paul say, “My God shall supply all your need
according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19)? And He sees fit to bestow these riches on
us as an inherent gift. Thus, all believers possess Christ, but not everyone has all His gifts, for He
gives them as it pleases Him. His pleasure is according to His knowledge.
II. It is God who really gives the power to enjoy it. (Eccl. 5:19-20)
A. The ability and capacity to enjoy whatever amount of prosperity or lack of it is a gift
B. Our life here on earth is short and we cannot take with us whatever riches or
material things we have possessed or accumulated when we die.
C. Whatever we have now, our attitude is to enjoy the food we eat, the beverage we
drink and other things that the Lord Jesus Christ have given us.
D. It is not what you have or possess that counts. It is the capacity to enjoy what you
have that matters. A lot of rich people never enjoy their riches.
E. Let me emphasize here what most people fail to see when they were given gifts and
begins to enjoy it. They forget to enjoy the giver more than the gifts. In time of
prosperity and good times, people forget Christ, the giver of life and all the details of
life. Knowing Christ and trusting Him is still the most enjoying thing in this world.
F. Enjoying what Christ has given you is only half of the picture. Enjoying God’s gift
comes with responsibility also. For me, below is the most important:
1. Devote them to God’s service. (1 Chron. 29:3; MK. 12:42-44). Be a good steward.
2. Give of them to the poor. (Mt. 19:21; 1 Jn. 3:17). Do not hoard them, give
cheerfully and bountifully.
3. Use them in promoting the salvation of others. (Lk. 16:9). Give to missions and
support your local church. Help your pastor financially.
G. God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7) and by giving I have experienced joy
unspeakable also specially when I see the recipients being blessed, their physical
needs are met, and they thank and glorify Christ.
Illustration: What Good Is It?
It is recorded of one of America’s richest men, that before he died he said to a friend: “I don’t see
what good it does me—all this money that you say is mine. I can’t eat it, can’t spend it; in fact, I
never saw it, and never had it in my hand for a moment. I dress no better than my private secretary
and cannot eat as much as my coachman. I live in a big servants’ boarding-house, have dyspepsia,
cannot drink champagne, and most of my money is in the hands of others, who use it mainly for
their own benefit.” This is the testimony of one who put his treasure in “a bag with holes.”
Encyclopaedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.
III. Riches makes us forget the past. (Eccl. 5:20)
A. Verse 20 may mean that the person who rejoices in God’s daily blessings will forget
whatever difficulties or sorrows he has experienced in the past for God gives him joy
by giving the desires of his heart. Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh
rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
B. Our present life can be rewarding and filled with joy. In what way? If we are to be
busy doing what God desires like being a good steward. God made us only managers
C. If we focus more on the gifts than on the Giver, we are guilty of idolatry. If we accept
His gifts, but complain about them, we are guilty of ingratitude. If we hoard His gifts
and will not share them with others, we are guilty of indulgence. But if we yield to
His will and use what He gives us for His glory, then we can enjoy life and be
L. Kraft, head of the Kraft Cheese Corp., who had given approximately 25% of his enormous income
to Christian causes for many years, said, “The only investment I ever made which has paid
consistently increasing dividends is the money I have given to the Lord.”
J. D. Rockefeller said, “I never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I
had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 per week.” (W. A. Criswell, A Guidebook for Pastors, p. 154.)
Nothing evil about riches. Its our attitude that makes it evil. If we use our riches for the
glory of the Lord, it would be a great blessing to you and to people around you. One of
the good thing that the Lord will do to you is He will make you forget the difficult times
you have experienced before because He will fill your heart with joy and gladness by
giving you the desires of your heart. Will you use the things given to you by the Lord for
His glory? You should and you don’t have to be rich to do it.