Money without peace, contentment, and someone to share it, money for money’s sake, is futility. And if we take it for granted or live like there is no tomorrow, we may find we are working only to give it away or wake up and find it all gone.
1 Corinthians 9.1-27
Money for Money’s Sake
Money without Peace & Contentment
In this portion of Ecclesiastes, Solomon begins talking about the futility of money for money’s sake.
Better a handful with quietness Than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind (4.6).
What good is an abundance of money with no peace or contentment?
There is one alone, without companion:
He has neither son nor brother.
Yet there is no end to all his labors,
Nor is his eye satisfied with riches.
But he never asks,
“For whom do I toil and deprive myself of good?”
This also is vanity and a grave misfortune (4.8).
What good is much success and no one to share it with?
“Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?” (5.6).
How easy it is to let our mouths get us in trouble!
There is also a warning against discontent and greed. Look at verse 10 in the New Living Translation:
Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! (5.10).
And chapter 6 warns against taking the blessings of God for granted.
2 A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction (6.2)
We might say it this way: it’s better to find peace and contentment with a modest income than to be constantly working to pay a huge mortgage and trying to keep our heads above water, while appearing to “have it all.”
7 For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
As God provides for us, let’s pray for the wisdom to use it wisely. If we take it for granted and live like there is no tomorrow we may wake up and find it all gone.
Today’s Other Readings:
God and His Word the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever
Verse 27, speaking of God, says:
“But You are the same, and Your years will have no end.”
Many today want to say the Bible is out of date and that Christians who hold to its truths are narrow minded, intolerant, homophobic, mean spirited, unloving, and more. But God, His Word and His standards do not change with the culture, the times or the whims of people. Hebrews 13.8 says about Jesus, the Living Word:
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Do you have wise counselors?
Verse 6, “For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety.”
That doesn’t mean we talk to everyone we know about our problems and decisions, but all of us should have trustworthy, godly people from whom we can seek counsel.
Laying Down Our Rights for the Cause of Christ
In chapter 9 Paul continues and expands on the theme of freedom in Christ. He points out that as believers, it’s wrong to focus on our freedoms and rights.
Today, it’s easy to get caught up in those things. People want their “right” to live as they please, to be treated justly, to get paid what they believe they are worth, etc. While it’s not wrong to defend legitimate rights, it is wrong to make that the primary thing. It’s far better to lay down our rights and freedoms for others and for the cause of Christ.
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