Ecclesiastes 6

* The vanity of riches. Also of long life and flourishing

families. (1-6) The little advantage any one has in outward

things. (7-12)

1-6 A man often has all he needs for outward enjoyment; yet the

Lord leaves him so to covetousness or evil dispositions, that he

makes no good or comfortable use of what he has. By one means or

other his possessions come to strangers; this is vanity, and an

evil disease. A numerous family was a matter of fond desire and

of high honour among the Hebrews; and long life is the desire of

mankind in general. Even with these additions a man may not be

able to enjoy his riches, family, and life. Such a man, in his

passage through life, seems to have been born for no end or use.

And he who has entered on life only for one moment, to quit it

the next, has a preferable lot to him who has lived long, but

only to suffer.
7-12 A little will serve to sustain us comfortably, and a great

deal can do no more. The desires of the soul find nothing in the

wealth of the world to give satisfaction. The poor man has

comfort as well as the richest, and is under no real

disadvantage. We cannot say, Better is the sight of the eyes

than the resting of the soul in God; for it is better to live by

faith in things to come, than to live by sense, which dwells

only upon present things. Our lot is appointed. We have what

pleases God, and let that please us. The greatest possessions

and honours cannot set us above the common events of human life.

Seeing that the things men pursue on earth increase vanities,

what is man the better for his worldly devices? Our life upon

earth is to be reckoned by days. It is fleeting and uncertain,

and with little in it to be fond of, or to be depended on. Let

us return to God, trust in his mercy through Jesus Christ, and

submit to his will. Then soon shall we glide through this

vexatious world, and find ourselves in that happy place, where

there is fulness of joy and pleasures for evermore.
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