Plenty & Poverty

By Not Known

King Solomon has extraordinary wealth. He is described as being the wealthiest king of his day (1 Kgs 10:23). Among his several sources of income, he received 23 metric tons of gold annually (1 Kgs 10:14). That’s about $728 million per annually at this week’s gold price!

What could you do if you had that kind of money? Many of us think that life’s problems would all be solved if we had even a tenth of Solomon’s wealth. But is it so?

The Biblical book Ecclesiastes is often linked to Solomon and his circle. It describes a man looking for pleasure. He had great wealth (Eccles 2:8) and used it to buy the ‘good life’ of houses, real estate, servants and livestock. But, instead of buying happiness, eh found that his achievements were meaningless and nothing (Eccles 2: 11). It was ‘hebel’.

The Bible reminds us that we were born without a dollar and die without one. Despite this, some persist in chasing wealth through unscrupulous means and get into all kinds of trouble. The saying that: the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil is as current as today’s news of the latest tale of corporate greed and collapse (1 Tim 6: 7- 10)

For his part, Jesus warns that the earthly wealth can disappear overnight (Lk 12: 18- 21). Earthly treasure is prone to misadventure, as many an investor in a ‘sure thing’ has discovered. But even worse, the pursuit of earthly wealth is a fool’s pursuit for it blocks our pursuit of real wealth (Mt 6: 19- 24). Real wealth is found with God through Jesus Christ (1 Pet 1: 7- 9)

These words are a timely warning to us.

Wealth is better than poverty and wealth does enable a better life in many ways. But, our national and personal obsession with material wealth is a minefield. What if we finish up rich in wealth that does not list, which is ultimately nothingness, and which keeps us from true wealth?

Our problem is not that we want to be wealthy, but that we look in the wrong places for the wrong kind of wealth.

Today’s outreach service is our opportunity to face this challenge, to get wisdom and to become spiritually wealthy. Let us listen as God speaks to us.