Ecclesiastes 4 & 1 Timothy 6

Ecclesiastes 4

    Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.

    Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man's envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

    The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh.

    Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.

    Again, I saw vanity under the sun: one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business.

    Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

    Better was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice. For he went from prison to the throne, though in his own kingdom he had been born poor. I saw all the living who move about under the sun, along with that youth who was to stand in the king's place. There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

(Ecclesiastes 4 ESV)

1 Timothy 6

    Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.

     Teach and urge these things. If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

    But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

    As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

    O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.

    Grace be with you.

(1 Timothy 6:2-21 ESV)

1 Timothy 6: The love of money leads to a wide array of evils, but perhaps one of the most despicable forms of evil is the distortion of Christian doctrine that uses godliness as a means for personal gain. Those who wrongly preach that God grants health, wealth and prosperity to those who possess enough faith tragically “plunge people into ruin and destruction.” If God is a means to making more money then making more money is your god. 

The life of greatest wealth is a life that possesses godliness, gratitude and contentment. The Christian is a man who is fully aware that he owns nothing in this world and has true wealth waiting for him in the next. Therefore, the Christian is a man who has learned the secret of contentment that is unaffected by circumstances. He knows how to be brought low, and he knows how to abound. In any and every circumstance, the Christian has learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need (Philippians 4).
 
Therefore, may those who have little be content with what they have. And may those who have much be “generous and ready to share.” How foolish to set our hopes in the uncertainty of riches. Instead, may we set our hopes on the richness found only in our God and finally take hold of that which is truly life.