Pursue God Not Stuff – Ecclesiastes 5

So I was at Target last night. I didn’t go there to shop, but to find a table to sit at and do my Bible study. As I sat there studying the book of Ecclesiastes I found it ironic that I could hear the non-stop beep beep beep beep sound of things being rang up at the cash register!

The writer of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon, was known for his immense amount of wealth and his extravagant palace. In chapter one he sits back and evaluates all he has and says, “Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly Meaningless! Everything is Meaningless!”

Beep Beep Beep Beep – go the cash registers. In chapter 5 King Solomon continues, “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them.”

I get up from my seat to get a refill on my drink – the lines have grown quite long – beep beep beep beep – the cash registers all play in unison.

“And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them. The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep.”

I look out the window and watch as men, women, young and old walk out of the store with overflowing carts – beep beep beep beep – the people continue to flood in through the doors.

Who am I to judge I think? I can see one mother with a baby carrier and diapers. Those certainly are necessary. Who am I to judge? I see another family carrying a bag – the bag is clear and I can see the letters W – i – i . What a blessing – their family now has a Wii – I bet those children are going to have a ball when they get home!!!

Oh what a blessed nation we are!!! Or are we? Have we realized that this is all meaningless? Have we realized how much work we have made for ourselves trying to organize all of our STUFF! We buy bins, shelves, hooks, and baskets just to try to manage all of this stuff!

I sit back in my chair and just ponder for a minute – and the noise of the beep beep beep beep sound has grown terribly distracting and annoying! I cross reference over to Proverbs and read chapter 23:5. “Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky line an eagle.”

Are riches stable? I think about what is happening on Wall Street and Main Street and in our Capital right now. For many, their life savings or retirement just grew wings and flew away. So many have lost so much! All that hard work and labor – gone… meaningless. Beep Beep Beep Beep – the registers continue their song.

What do we do? The book of Ecclesiastes comes to a close with 3 conclusions. Chapter 12 tells us: 1.) “Fear God” 2.) “Keep God’s commandments” and 3) be prepared for judgement day because “God will bring every deed into judgment including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

I read a challenge on another blog that I want to bring to you – I challenge you to try to use every single thing you own in your house this month! What? Did you just say – “It’s not possible.” Me too. What are we teaching our children? Are we fearing God and keeping his commands in America? Are we ready for judgment day?

Beep beep beep beep – the registers continue to sing their chorus. I sense the Holy Spirit urging me – do not pursue stuff – pursue God.

Walk with the King,

This post is linked to InCourage.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    Thanks, Courtney. I find this all very puzzling – I just came from lunch at a godly friend's home. It looks like a museum, it's so lovely. Then I read another blog about a Christian woman in the Phillipines with barely enough to survive. I feel confused. How can we have so much without "pursuing" it to some degree? I always wonder what Jesus'home and life would look like if He lived in 2009? I'm pondering . . . Jenny C.

  2. Courtney (Women Living Well) says

    Jenny – I remember in college a dorm friend who felt guilty for having two blankets – she felt if she had two she should give one away. If she saw the beds in my home which all have multiple blankets on them she may judge that as excessive.

    How much is too much? There is no concrete answer to this in the Bible. But there is one thing we can consider. When things have become so precious to us that they compete with God in our lives – they have mastery over us – then they have become our idols and that is clearly wrong. It is more an issue of the heart rather than an issue of the actual stuff. We must each examine our own hearts to see if they are pure.

    Walk with the King!
    Courtney

  3. Shirley says

    A good read! I read your first comment as I started my own, and I was about to say much of what you said when you responded. It's a matter of checking our heart! This is a matter I am working on in my own life. Retirement has given me a different perspective, but it takes time to break old habits. I go window shopping less often, and I toss out catalogs that come in the mail, usually without even looking at them. I've learned that looking makes me want things, and, overall, I really have about all I need when I think about it.

  4. Theresa says

    Shirley, I love what you said below…

    "I've learned that looking makes me want things, and, overall, I really have about all I need when I think about it."

    I know that this is a struggle for me too and I need to recognize that it is a heart issue… where am I place my worth? Holy Spirit help me.

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