Friday, 16 November 2007

Ecclesiastes 5:8-20

On a scale of 1 to 10...

How content are you with your life?
How much do you enjoy your life?

Ecclesiastes 5:8-20

Contentment is the main idea that comes to my mind when I read this passage.

We see the lack of contentment (particularly with material wealth and possessions) and where it leads. When people who have any kind of power over others aren't content, it inevitably leads to poverty and oppression. Solomon says we shouldn't be surprised to see poverty and struggle in our world when we know that most of us are never happy with what we have. 'Those who love money, never have money enough' (v10).

Solomon also shows us something the poor have above the rich though. They have sleep (v12)! Since they aren't in a position to acquire wealth and endlessly desire and strive for more, they are free from that stressful cycle. They still have huge problems to deal with but at least they can have a peaceful night's sleep rather than stay up worried about gaining everything (v13) or losing everything (v14).

Solomon gives us a couple of big clues as to how we can find real contentment:

1. Find satisfaction in our work (v18)...
Even though the work is 'toilsome', Solomon assures us it is possible to find satisfaction in it. How can we do this? I think it's about the other big clue...

2. Thank God for his gifts (v19)...
If make sure we're grateful for all the good gifts God has given us, this will help us to find great satisfaction in our work and in every place we live.

So how content are you with your life? Reflect on what you have to thank God for today!