Ecclesiastes 5:8-20 Life Under the Sun series #8
I. You can be rich and unrighteous (8-17)
A. The more you have, the more corrupt you become (8-9) B. The more you have, the more you want (10) C. The more you have, the more you are exploited (11) D. The more you have, the more you worry (12) E. The more you have, the more you leave (13-17)
II. You can be rich and righteous (18-20)
A. God gives work as His gift (18) B. God gives wealth as His gift (19-20)
"The Moneylender and His Wife" is a famous painting by the Flemish painter, Frances Massys. It hangs in the Louvre in Paris.
In the painting, you can see husband and wife sitting at a table. The moneylender is counting his money. He's examining a coin in between his fingers. His wife has a book in front of her, maybe a Bible, yet she can't help but glance over at the money.
Massys at the time lived in Antwerp a capital of banking. And he realized how tempting money can be-even to Christians. And this brings up a controversial question. "Is it better for a Christian to be rich or poor? Is it more spiritual to be a rich Christian or a poor Christian?"
There are two sides to the debate. Some would say, "Rich people are evil. They're villains who steal from the poor. They make their money on the backs of the working class."
But the other side says rich people are better because they work hard and spend their money wisely. They say, "Poor people are poor because they're lazy and spend all their money on lotto tickets and Rickers pop. Even if you gave them a million dollars, they'd head to Hoosier Park or Vegas. They'd buy a bunch of new cars and big screen TVs and probably be broke by the end of the year."
So what does the Bible say?
The Bible's not concerned about being rich or poor, but whether you're righteous or unrighteous.
We like to make the dichotomy between rich or righteous. But it's not "either...or."
You can be rich and righteous or poor and righteous. You can be poor and unrighteous or rich and unrighteous.