Oppression, Pursuing Wealth and The Gift of God: Ecclesiastes 5:8-20

17 September, 2023

Series: Ecclesiastes

Book: Ecclesiastes

Service Type: Evening Worship Service

If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the [a]sight; for one [b]official watches over another [c]official, and there are higher [d]officials over them. After all, a king who cultivates the field is beneficial to the land.

The Foolishness of Riches

10 One who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor one who loves abundance with its income. This too is futility. 11 When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to [e]look at them? 12 The sleep of the laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the [f]full stomach of the rich person does not allow him to sleep.

13 There is a sickening evil which I have seen under the sun: wealth being [g]hoarded by its owner to his detriment. 14 When that wealth was lost through bad business and he had fathered a son, then there was nothing [h]to support him. 15 As he came naked from his mother’s womb, so he will return as he came. He will take nothing from the fruit of his labor that he can carry in his hand. 16 This also is a sickening evil: exactly as a person [i]is born, so will he [j]die. What then is the advantage for him who labors for the wind? 17 All his life he also eats in darkness with great irritation, sickness, and anger.

18 Here is what I have seen to be good and [k]fitting: to eat, to drink, and [l]enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he labors under the sun during the few [m]years of his life which God has given him; for this is his [n]reward. 19 Furthermore, as for every person to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also given him the opportunity to [o]enjoy them and to receive his [p]reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God. 20 For he will not often call to mind the [q]years of his life, because God keeps [r]him busy with the joy of his heart.