So much has been said about the rat race, the figure of speech that seems to summarize our life in this world, under the sun. But often the answer to this predicament is not itself helpful. We strive for wealth to have good things, and then later we realize that our wealth does not satisfy us.
He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. (Eccl. 5:10)
The Preacher writes about this predicament in Eccl. 5:8-6:9. When we get more, then more people want a piece of it. When we get more we lose it in a bad venture, or a bad economy. Or we achieve what we want but God doesn’t give us the power to enjoy it. This seems absurd. What is the answer?
Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart. (Eccl. 5:18-20)
Enjoy the gifts and the enjoyment of the gifts that God has given you. This is a recurring them throughout Ecclesiastes. Everything is a gift from God, even the enjoyment of those gifts. Enjoyment is not natural, it is spiritual or super-natural. Enjoyment is from God.
One commentator (Fox) makes this point: we can never be satisfied (that is, full or filled) by anything in this world, but we can derive satisfaction from these things, deriving satisfaction as a gift from God by acknowledging him as the giver. Man’s appetite is never satisfied, but God can give us joy and pleasure in the gifts and toil that we have, keeping us occupied in this vain world with joy in our hearts, which is from Him.
Part of an ongoing series on Ecclesiastes