Ecclesisates 5:13 There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, 14 and those riches were lost in a bad venture. And he is father of a son, but he has nothing in his hand. 15 As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand. 16 This also is a grievous evil: just as he came, so shall he go, and what gain is there to him who toils for the wind? 17 Moreover, all his days he eats in darkness in much vexation and sickness and anger.
18 Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. 19 Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God. 20 For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.
So this is where we get, “You brought nothing into this world and you’re not taking anything out with you.” We are not called to hoard our riches. God gives us riches to enjoy for certain but with riches come a responsibility to help others to whom God has not given riches. The book of Proverbs tells us numerous times to be generous to the poor and to not turn our hand away from them. The Lord even promises to that to give to the poor is to lend to God and he will pay you back. To use wealth and riches in this way is to pleasing to God because it is acting in his image and likeness as he provides for us.
But those who toil for riches only to hoard them, the Scriptures here picture them as eating in darkness in much vexation, sickness and anger. Why? Because they are always concerned about losing their wealth, their god. Other people often want what they have and are trying to take it away, so they are angry about it and resentful. That causes illness to afflict them.
But there is a good here. The good thing is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in our work during this short life God has given us. If we recognize our work is a gift from God, if we recognize the fruits of our labor are a gift from God, then we can enjoy them as gifts from not and not as God himself. The Lord wants us to enjoy our work and to enjoy the fruits of our labor. The best ways to do that is to give thanks to God for the labor and the fruits and then to share that fruit with others.
Life will cause us no untold amount of trouble because this world is full of sin and sinners (of whom you are one of them). But the gift of God is to keep busy with the work he has provided. When we are engaged in the callings of our life then we get to forget the trials and tribulations of life and receive joy from all our work. It delighted God to create the world and us. But for the joy set before him Jesus suffered and died on the cross so we may live. The Lord calls us to delight I the work he has set before us.
Heavenly Father, in six days you created the heavens and the earth in joy and you still preserve them. You bestow upon us the fruits of our labor. Grant unto us such faith in you and grateful hearts that we may find joy in our work and eat and drink the fruits of our labor with generosity towards the poor as you are generous towards us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.