#DailyDevotion Are You Striving After The Wind?
Eccl. 18And I hated everything I had worked for under the sun. I have to leave it to the man who comes after me. 19And who knows if he will be wise or foolish? He will take control of everything under the sun for which I worked and used my skill. This also is pointless. 20Then I started to despair of everything I worked for under the sun. 21 Here is a man who has worked hard with intelligence, knowledge, and skill only to turn it over to one who didn’t work for it and so it belongs to him. This also is pointless and a terrible tragedy. 22What does a man get for all his work and striving with which he wearies himself under the sun? 23All his life is painful, and his work is troublesome. Even at night his mind can’t rest. This also is pointless. 24There is nothing better among men than eating, drinking, and finding satisfaction in your work. I also saw that this comes from God’s hand. 25Without God, who can eat and enjoy himself? 26To anyone who pleases Him He gives wisdom, knowledge, and pleasure. But to one who lives in sin He gives the job of gathering and collecting wealth only to turn it over to one who pleases God. This also is pointless, like trying to catch the wind.
Wow! Those are some pretty strong words from the Preacher. He hated everything he had worked for under the sun. Why? Because he had to leave it to someone else one day. Maybe that’s why we find all these ancient tombs stuffed with stuff, not only precious metals and jewels but all sorts of stuff. They didn’t want to leave it to someone else. Well as we can see in the museums, even that doesn’t work.
Perhaps we shouldn’t too hard about such things. We may go into despair like the Preacher here. Of course it isn’t like he has no idea of who might get all his stuff he exercised his intelligence, knowledge and skill to get. Someone else is going to get it all unless you practice something someone came up with I think in the seventies which was to die broke. Spend it all until your dying day.
He complains that his life is painful, his work is troublesome and he can’t sleep at night. All of this is pointless he thinks. But then he gains a little bit of wisdom. “24There is nothing better among men than eating, drinking, and finding satisfaction in your work. I also saw that this comes from God’s hand. 25Without God, who can eat and enjoy himself?” It is a gift of God to find satisfaction in the work we do, in and of itself and to enjoy some of the fruit of our labor. Yes, it is a gift of God to enjoy the fruit of one’s labor and to take enjoyment in the work we do itself. He says that without God, who can eat and enjoy himself. Why is this? Because with God we have another purpose which isn’t tied t this world. Without God we are nothing more than animals and it doesn’t really matter much if we are here today and gone tomorrow.
The God he is talking about is the God of Israel. That God is manifest in our Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ we know we are blessed with many good things to spend them just on ourselves or to hoard them away. He blesses us with more than we need so Eph 4:28 “that he may have something to share with anyone in need.” The Lord in his great generosity blesses us with many worldly goods but even more so he blesses us with many riches in heaven above to reward us for our faith and the works we done in faith. Jesus said, Luk 12:33-34 “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. (34) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” So where is your heart today. Jesus’ heart was down below, i.e. you are his treasure. Set your heart above where Jesus Christ is.
Heavenly Father, so grant us wisdom that we may enjoy the work we do and the fruit of our labor but do not let us set our hearts on such things but let us set our hearts in heaven above where Christ Jesus sits at your right hand. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.