What’s Wrong With Wanting Wealth? July 30, 2006 Eccl 4:4; Eccl 5:8-13, 17, 19-20; Eccl 6:1-2
As I have written before, there is nothing wrong with having wealth; but if wealth has you there is a problem. Perhaps you have heard many time the saying, “money can be a good servant, but a terrible master.
Now most of us could use more money, but how much more? Does God not allow us to have more money because we do not handle the money we have wisely? How much of the money given for us to use is given into the work of the Lord? This lesson asks, and gives some suggestions to the question, What’s Wrong With Wanting More Wealth?<>
4 I saw that all labor and all skillful work is due to a man’s jealousy of his friend. This too is futile and
a pursuit of the wind.
The rewards of wealth may cause people to look at other people’s accomplishments and produce jealousy and motivate them to try to do better. Jealousy may comes from conceit. Thinking your work must be better than another’s just because you want to be superior elevates you in your mind, and it will affect your inter- personal relationships. All of us ought to desire to give our best, but not just for money.
2. The Desire for Wealth May Produce . . Corruption. Eccl 5:8-9 (HCSB)
A. The . . Realities of the Corruption from Wealth 5:8
8 If you see oppression of the poor and perversion of justice and righteousness in the province, don’t be
astonished at the situation, because one official protects another official, and higher officials [protect] them.
B. The . . Rewards of the Corruption from Wealth 5:9
9 The profit from the land is taken by all; the king is served by the field.
Solomon’s day and ours bear similarities, as wealth causes corruption in some governments. The immediate rewards of wealth cause some to take money in a corrupt manner. My uncle took a position in a town, but refused to serve again because of the constant attempts to bribe him with money. He quit rather than becoming tainted by the system. Sadly so, many do not have that kind of character, and their desire for money contaminates them.
3. The Desire for Wealth May Produce . . Consumption. Eccl 5:10-13, 17, 19-20
A. Produces An . . Unsatisfied Consumption. 5:10
10 The one who loves money is never satisfied with money, and whoever loves wealth [is] never
[satisfied] with income. This too is futile.
11 When good things increase, the ones who consume them multiply; what, then, is the profit to the
owner, except to gaze at them with his eyes? 12 The sleep of the worker is sweet, whether he eats little or
much; but the abundance of the rich permits him no sleep. 13 There is a sickening tragedy I have seen under
the sun: wealth kept by its owner to his harm.
C. Produce An . . Uncomfortable Consumption. 5:17,
17 What is more, he eats in darkness all his days, with much sorrow, sickness, and anger.
19 God has also given riches and wealth to every man, and He has allowed him to enjoy them, take his
reward, and rejoice in his labor. This is a gift of God, 20 for he does not often consider the days of his life
because God keeps him occupied with the joy of his heart.
Someone asked a very wealthy man how much money was enough, and he replied “just a little more.”
People might consume wealth but the danger remains they might be consumed by money. Solomon used the term “loves money.” The Bible says in 1 Tim 6:10 “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil,” (HCSB)
so we conclude wealth does not satisfy. We define wealth’s consumption as unprofitable when as the “teachers” says it takes away sleep, and motivates a person to keep it rather than use it to help others. This kind of relationship with wealth makes one uncomfortable. Solomon says he eats alone, and does not really have joy in his heart. He has allowed money to be his master and consume him.
4. The Desire for Wealth May Produce . . Contempt. Eccl 6:1-2
A. Produces A . . Heavy Contempt. 6:1
1 Here is a tragedy I have observed under the sun, and it weighs heavily on humanity:
B. Produces A . . Hindering Contempt. 6:2
2 God gives a man riches, wealth, and honor so that he lacks nothing of all he desires for himself, but
God does not allow him to enjoy them. Instead, a stranger will enjoy them. This is futile and a sickening
Wealth may become a heavy burden, The wealthiest people in our world are not usually the happiest. The weight of wealth becomes too heavy. Solomon could see wealth hindering happiness. He gave time, effort, and even money to make more money and then it is enjoyed by another. Solomon’s words ought to answer the question, What’s Wrong With Wanting Wealth? Amen? Amen!