December 3, 2011
The Futility of Materialism


Ecclesiastes 2:4-11 —

2:4 I increased my possessions: 26 

I built houses for myself; 27 

I planted vineyards for myself.

2:5 I designed 28  royal gardens 29  and parks 30  for myself,

and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.

2:6 I constructed pools of water for myself,

to irrigate my grove 31  of flourishing trees.

2:7 I purchased male and female slaves,

and I owned slaves who were born in my house; 32 

I also possessed more livestock – both herds and flocks 

than any of my predecessors in Jerusalem. 33 

2:8 I also amassed silver and gold for myself,

as well as valuable treasures 34  taken from kingdoms and provinces. 35 

I acquired male singers and female singers for myself,

and what gives a man sensual delight 36 a harem of beautiful concubines! 37 

2:9 So 38  I was far wealthier 39  than all my predecessors in Jerusalem,

yet I maintained my objectivity: 40 

2:10 I did not restrain myself from getting whatever I wanted; 41 

I did not deny myself anything that would bring me pleasure. 42 

So all my accomplishments gave me joy; 43 

this was my reward for all my effort. 44 

2:11 Yet when I reflected on everything I had accomplished 45 

and on all the effort that I had expended to accomplish it, 46 

I concluded: 47  “All these 48  achievements and possessions 49  are ultimately 50  profitless51  –

like chasing the wind!

There is nothing gained 52  from them 53  on earth.” 54

    Matthew 6:19-21 —

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.