Amassing wealth is within the grasp of average Americans. Some years ago a former Wal-Mart employee was interviewed on a national news program. The woman had retired with more than $1 million after working only 20 years. She had managed this by living on a shoestring and investing every possible cent in the company’s profit-sharing plan.
Unfortunately, money deceives its possessors even more quickly than it accumulates. This is why we must never forget the great truths about wealth taught in the book of Ecclesiastes. In the fifth chapter (vs. 10-15) Solomon draws the following conclusions:
Money Doesn’t Deliver. “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money” (Eccles. 5:10). Are rich people usually content with what they have gained, or are they driven to get more and more?
Money Draws Leeches. “When goods increase, they increase who eat them” (Eccles. 5:11). Sudden wealth turns distant cousins into clinging relatives and forgotten acquaintances into expectant friends.
Money Steals Peace. “The abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep” (Eccles. 5:12, NIV). After a long day of hard work, a common laborer sleeps soundly—whether his dinner is filling or not. But the rich man goes to bed with a satisfied stomach and a restless mind. Will a downward turn on Wall Street erase his gains?
Money Is Unpredictable. “Riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, and those riches were lost in a bad venture” (Eccles. 5:13-14). Contrary to popular opinion, wealth doesn’t equal security.
Money Stays Behind. “As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil, which he may carry away in his hand” (Eccles. 5:15). Death is the great equalizer. Rich and poor alike will stand before God with empty wallets.