People who have money often tell us that it won’t make you happy. But I always think, “I’d like to find that out for myself.” In Ecclesiastes 2:16-18, Solomon says that he hated life, work and wealth. Then he proceeds to explain 16 pricelesswhy he hated it all. He gave three reasons. First, he hated it because you can’t keep it! There is a Jewish proverb that says, “There are no pockets in shrouds.” Of course the American saying equivalent to that is, you’ve never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul! I know that you can’t eat money. But in our society it will buy what you do need to eat. It won’t keep you warm, but it will pay the utility bills. One writer called money something that, “which may be used as a universal passport to everywhere except heaven, and as a universal provider of everything except happiness.” When Solomon sought to find meaning and purpose in wealth, he lost his happiness! It’s the case for us all.

The second reason Solomon hated it all was that you can’t protect it. Since there are no pockets in shrouds and no U-Haul’s with hearses, we have to leave everything behind. We have no idea what’s going to happen to it when we’re gone. Solomon spent years building a united kingdom. He brought all twelve tribes together to rule the world under a unified nation that became the greatest country, the wealthiest country, and the most powerful country in the world. Yet when he died, he left it to his children. Solomon didn’t know what would happen to the kingdom when he died, but he knew it would be out of his hands. Rehoboam, his son, destroyed it all! He also killed all of Solomon’s other sons! (See 1 Kings 11:41f). I would argue that it doesn’t make a lot of difference how specific you get in your will you can’t protect any of it when you’re gone. Solomon resigned himself to this truth. We all must learn to cooperate with the inevitable.

The third reason that Solomon hated all this and felt such great despair is that he realized that we can never fully enjoy it all as we should. The more we have the greater the responsibility. The more we have the more we need to worry about. It takes hard work, dedication, and a lifetime spent in grief, travail and often many anxious and sleepless nights. For what? Ecclesiastes 2:22 says, “What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun?” Then he finally lifts the veil of depression and despair in verse 24 when he says that God is the great giver of it all and one of the greatest gifts he gives us when we enter into a faith relationship with Him, is the gift of joy and contentment with our lot in life. Warren Wiersbe says, “Apart from God, there can be no true enjoyment of blessings or enrichment of life. It is good to have the things that money can buy, provided you don’t lose the things that money can’t buy.” Money can’t buy me love, but God offers it freely on the cross of Calvary: God so loved the world, that’s us! We need but to receive it. John tells us that all who receives Him, Jesus; they are blessed with the gift of becoming children of God.