Is there a more powerful renunciation in literature of our endless pursuit of wealth or possessions than in today’s reading? I will let the more well-read answer that question, but I find two sentences particularly insightful. Solomon states, “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). Later, he echoes the theme with a focus on appetites saying, “Everyone’s toil is for their mouth, yet their appetite is never satisfied” (Ecclesiastes 6:7).
Some readers that have never had much money might be incredulous at the idea of the wealthy being dissatisfied with their financial portfolio. Even so, all of us experience the regular rise and fall of our appetites and thirsts. So when Jesus tells a Samaritan woman hundreds of years later that he offers water to people that will cause them never to thirst again (John 4:13-14), He is expressing the intention to break this cycle of never having enough possessions, wealth, or even future bodily needs. Before Jesus’ arrival, Solomon, seeing how difficult it is to satisfy all our appetites—financial, physical, or sexual—again encourages the enjoyment of hard toil that enables a good night’s sleep.
I will say a hearty Amen to Solomon’s idea that a good night’s rest is a great gift (Ecclesiastes 5:12), so enjoy working hard today unto the Lord and the peaceful sleep that comes from serving our God and King with all of our strength (1 Corinthians 10:31).