“Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand. This too is a grievous evil: As a man comes, so he departs, and what does he gain, since he toils for the wind? All his days he eats in darkness, with great frustration, affliction and anger.” (Ecclesiastes 5:15-17)
Solomon makes his final point in the case against money’s ability to satisfy us. We’ve already seen that money gets confiscated by the government, that the thrill of getting it is always temporary, that it is surprisingly expensive to have money, and that money is fickle.
But Solomon’s darkest words are in these verses. To paraphrase a popular saying, “The person who dies with the most money . . . is dead.” A lifetime spent piling it up gains you nothing because there’s no way to forward the cash to the afterlife. There are no ATMs in heaven (or hell).
You start with zero and end with zero; how much does it really matter the number of dollars you had in between? What is money worth if you’ve got to leave your debit card at the door to the next life?
Think: We’ve heard Solomon’s case against relying on money to give our lives meaning. What are some things that money is good for?
Pray: Ask God to give you the courage not to trust money or to believe that it can ever take care of your deepest needs. Ask Him to help you to always trust Him above all else.
Do: Read 1 Timothy 6:17-19 and notice how money can be used to invest in the next life.