Satisfaction; November 1, 2019

Ecclesiastes 5:10 Whoever loves money never has money enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.
This too is meaningless.

Solomon writes a good bit about wealth, which is hardly surprising since he was fabulously wealthy. In all of that, however, this verse might be the most perceptive. It speaks to an important part of the human condition, and that is that the only thing that can satisfy us ultimately is God. That is actually only logical, because only God is infinite. The wealthiest man in America about a century ago was asked, how much money is enough? His answer, perfectly in line with this verse, was, “A little more.” There are enormously wealthy people in the world today. Their wealth brings them influence and notoriety, but it evidently doesn’t bring them real happiness. Among those, Elon Musk stands out to me because he doesn’t seem obsessed with money so much as what he can do with it, with space exploration and other cutting-edge technology that could ultimately be very beneficial to mankind. However, even the physical infinity of space can’t satisfy like God. It’s very important that Solomon used the term, love, here. I keep coming back to Jesus’ definition of the 1st and 2nd Commandments. (Matthew 22:37-29) We were literally created to love God and to love our neighbor, and when we love other things instead, we are in deep trouble. As John said, “For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world.” (1 John 2:16) The world cannot satisfy, period.

This is a lesson I have had reinforced over the years. As a computer geek, I have “lusted after” the latest hardware and software, and though I haven’t had the budget to indulge that completely, I have certainly experienced how quickly the thrill of acquisition passes. The same applies to photography equipment, power tools and the like. I’m very grateful to say that my love for my wife hasn’t faded over the past 50 years. God has protected me from the desire for “more” in that area (as in the money referenced in today’s verse). Rather, I have sought more depth in our relationship, and God has given it to us with no end in sight. That has close parallels to our love for God, because there is always more we can learn of Him, and more of ourselves we can give to Him. My father’s trademark phrase was, “Give all you know of yourself to all you know of Christ.” That is marvelous advice, and completely supplants the lusts that John cautioned us about.

Father, thank You for this reminder. There are still material things I would like to have, but You have taught me where real satisfaction comes from. Thank You. I ask for the satisfaction of sharing Your truth and love with all who will receive it, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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