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  • Henry Omotayo

No, Brother Solomon, You Can't

Ecclesiastes 2:1-24

Message No. 0582 | Twitter @GodandUs |

Among all the kings of Israel, King Solomon stood out for many things: wisdom, wealth, flamboyance and madness. He started right, by asking God for wisdom, for which God blessed him beyond anyone who lived before him. Then, along the line, he derailed, because the wealth he had and the foreign wives he married took over his brain and he completely lost it. King David had seven wives, and his son, Brother Solomon, had 700. He had 100 times the number of wives that his father had. Beyond these, he had 300 concubines. How ‘madder’ (excuse my choice of word) could a human being be!

When it comes to enjoyment, the king spared nothing. Look at the first eight verses of Ecclesiastes chapter 2:

I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore, enjoy pleasure”; but surely, this also was vanity. I said of laughter—“Madness!”; and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives. I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards. I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove. I acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds.

However, amid all of the wanton living and other unbelievable things that the king did, there was a more subtle worm that was eating him away, and this could have contributed to his erratic behavior. Solomon was basically depressed. Why? Because he was so rich and yet, he knew that he would die one day and would not be able to take any of his wealth with him. Just read the book of Ecclesiastes and you would see how many times Solomon whined about this fact. Look at what he wrote in chapter 2 verses 18-21:

Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me. And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity. Therefore, I turned my heart and despaired of all the labor in which I had toiled under the sun. For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, knowledge, and skill; yet he must leave his heritage to a man who has not labored for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.

For people who have excessive wealth and are scared to die, there is no better person to learn from than King Solomon. At the time he was writing these things in Ecclesiastes, all he wanted was there to be a different way to die for the rich, than the poor, and he concluded that there wasn’t. All he wanted was for him to be able to carry his wealth and possessions with him when he died, and he concluded that he couldn’t. With these conclusions, he questioned many things; why did he even labor to acquired wealth? Why did he have wisdom since he would die the same way as a fool died? What was the purpose of life? The landing page for all his questions and whining and complaining was “all is vanity and grasping for the wind.”

I have heard many stories of people who were so rich when they died and were buried with gold caskets and some with gold wrist watches in hand when buried. At night, thieves went to their graves, dug them up and removed all valuable items and buried them empty. There is a country where casket builders are so creative that they build caskets in the shapes of cars and beautiful houses and other amazing designs to depict the wealth and societal classes of the dead. Unfortunately, these don’t matter to the men who were buried in them, because they would wake up at the Judgement Seat one day and answer for all they did here on earth.

I watched the story of a man who became fairly comfortable by being a ‘money collector.’ His wife immigrated to the U.S. and had lived there a long time before going back to her birthplace to find a husband. When the man arrived the U.S., he was good, found a job, worked hard, paid off his mortgage and as he saw that he was making money, he became a bully and was very abusive toward his wife and children. He was so stingy that he could not part with as little as one cent, for any reason. He did not cater for any member of his family. He would lend his teenage son money to buy McDonalds and he would hunt him later to collect it back, including the tax. When the wife could not take it anymore, she asked for a divorce. In order to ensure that he kept all of the family’s money to himself, he hired people to have his wife killed. The police investigated and discovered what he did, and he is today in prison for life.

In Luke 12:15, the Bible warns us of greed, because a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of what he possesses. Your greatest investments in life are the things you do for other people. They are the souls you win to Christ, the hungry that you feed, the naked that you clothe, the sick that you care and provide for, and many more that you do for others. Brother Solomon was very sad that he could not carry his wealth with him to the grave, and neither can you.

Solomon spent his money on 1000 women and many things that did not give him the happiness that he wanted. How are you spending the money that God gave to you? Are you spending it in wanton and riotous living like the prodigal son or are you giving part of it to make other people’s lives better? Are you sponsoring some of God’s projects? Are you taking care of the widows and the orphans and those who live lives in abject poverty? Are you donating some of your goods to the people who need them most or are you hoarding them all? King Solomon realized that someone who did not labor for his wealth would inherit them one day and there was nothing he could do to stop that. If you currently sit on everything you have, you should take a quick look at Ecclesiastes. The Bible was written for us to learn from. What are you learning and how are you utilizing it?

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 If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer:
 Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!
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