Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part VI: Finding Lasting Fulfillment In View Of The Vanity Of Life's Circumstances
E. Handling The Futility Of Accumulated Wealth
(Ecclesiastes 6:1-12; 12:13-14)
  1. Introduction
    1. In today's world, a person who is already independently wealthy is considered to have a fulfilled life.
    2. Yet, as Solomon notes in Ecclesiastes 6:1-12, one who is already independently wealthy has no assurance of fulfillment in this life, so he must look to some other source of fulfillment as Eccles. 12:13-14 reveals:
  2. Handling The Futility Of Accumulated Wealth, Ecclesiastes 6:1-12; 12:13-14.
    1. Sometimes accumulated wealth cannot be enjoyed by its owner, producing much vexation, Eccl. 6:1-6:
      1. Solomon observed a great evil regarding accumulated wealth, and that if life is considered empirically ("under the sun"): he had known of a case where God granted a man enormous wealth, riches and honor but did not give him the means to enjoy these, and where God had even allowed another man to come along to enjoy them to the vexation of the original owner, Ecclesiastes 6:1-2.
      2. Indeed, Solomon revealed that were a man to have the great blessings in his day of siring a hundred children and living for 2,000 years, were he yet not able to enjoy his wealth so that he was given a lowly burial, he was more to be pitied than a stillborn who didn't know his frustration, Eccles. 6:3-6.
    2. Even when the wealthy man can enjoy his financial "nest egg," he is vexed by the fact that his wealth can not fill all of his earthly desires: he tends never to be satisfied with the amount of wealth he currently has, so he thus still suffers frustration in life, Ecclesiastes 6:7.
    3. These same limitations of fulfillment regarding accumulated wealth are as true for the poor wise man as it is for the rich fool: wise and poor men may adjust their goals to function as smoothly as possible due to their limited wealth, yet they do not have the advantage over even a very wealthy fool as all men are vexed by failing to have all their desires of life met due to the intrinsic inability of wealth itself to fulfill, 6:8.
    4. Amassed wealth can offer only limited assurances of fulfillment for man's future, and that to his vexation:
      1. Solomon concluded man was happier trying to be satisfied with what wealth he currently has rather than trying to accumulate a "nest egg" for the future, 6:9a; however, doing so is a vexation since everyone knows he is foolish not to make some financial plans for the future, Ecclesiastes 6:9b.
      2. Yet, trying to plan for a sure financial "nest egg" in the future is futile in view of God's sovereignty:
        1. Eccles. 6:10a refers to God as the Creator and Sovereign Lord, for naming parallels "creating" in Isa. 40:26 and "knowing" parallels "appointing" in Jer. 1:5, cf. Bib. Know. Com., O.T., p. 991.
        2. Thus, Solomon argues that the Creator Who is stronger than man has determined what will occur regardless how man plans or even tries to argue about it (6:11), making man's plans futile for him or for his heirs (6:12-13), Eccles. 6:10-13; Ibid.; Ryrie St. Bib., KJV, ftn. to Ecclesiastes 6:10-12.
    5. Since accrued wealth fails to fulfill in this life as empirically considered ("under the sun"), Solomon's final summary to the book of Ecclesiastes offers us the solution to the vexation of those with such wealth:
      1. Solomon's conclusion in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 applies to all of his book, including Eccles. 6:1-12.
      2. As such, where accumulated wealth can not fulfill man, he must view this life as Scripture claims it to be -- a stage upon which he has been placed to pass (among other things) the test of choosing to respect and obey God rather than to do evil with what accumulated wealth God has granted him, Eccles. 12:14.
      3. In summary, the believer is to use the accumulated wealth God assigns him for eternally productive ventures rather than hoarding it as his ultimate goal in this earthly life, 1 Timothy 6:8-10, 17-19.
Lesson: Since it is futile to expect amassed wealth to SATISFY us in THIS life as considered empirically "under the sun," and that because wealth carries no intrinsic power to meet all of man's earthly desires, and since wealth is an uncertain source for future fulfillment, if we ALREADY HAVE some collected WEALTH, may we respect God so as to USE it BEST for His ETERNAL will in this life.

Application: God calls us to stop loving (may agapate) this world and the amassed wealth we have in it, for the world and its things are not of God, they are unable to satisfy and they are fading away at that. He calls us to use our wealth for His will to earn eternal rewards, 1 Jn. 2:15-17; 1 Tim. 6:8-10, 17-19.