When a person receives wealth, possessions and honour, many people do not respect that person. Instead, they try to work out how they themselves can benefit from that wealth, those possessions, or that honour.
A rich manís enemies often pretend to be his friends. They can start to borrow things that they will never return. They can do business with him for their own advantage. They can look after his property in a manner that benefits themselves but not him. They can give him too much wine to drink, then urge him to make unwise promises to them.
Other thieves pretend nothing. They make schemes to rob the man. They would gladly murder him in order to get just a small amount of his wealth.
People believe that wealth, possessions and honour are some of the best things that anyone can possess. They will do almost anything to get these things. They believe that these things will give them a good life.
But the author of Ecclesiastes has told us about a man who had all these things. They were Godís gift to him; he did not even have to work hard to get them. If wealth, possessions and honour really could give a person a good life, then this man would have a good life.
We do not know why God did not allow the man to benefit from these things. Perhaps it was to show the man that he must not trust in his wealth, possessions and honour. Such things belong in this world only; they cannot help us after our deaths. Only trust in God benefits us both in this life and after death.
Next part: What is a good life? (Ecclesiastes 6:3-6)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.