Ecclesiastes 2:4-7 (NKJV) 4 I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards. 5 I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove. 7 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.
Horses were Solomon’s hobbies. He had stables all over that land. However, the Mosaic Law expressly forbidden a king to multiply horses. So, what is going on here? Solomon was looking for the meaning of life. He did not find it in education, pleasure, wine and folly. So now he sought it in possessions. Solomon build luxurious houses, and planted vineyards by the acres for himself. He built enormous estates with parks, gardens and orchards. His ego was inflated with the people’s expressions of awe and enthusiasm for the things he collected for himself. If the accumulation of such luxury and magnificence could guarantee peace and happiness, then Solomon certainly had it. He had an army of servants who took care of all his possessions. And they served him day and night. Solomon had it all. And if prestige was the key to happiness, then Solomon held the key. But neither possessions and prestige can bring us peace and happiness. And Solomon, like the rest of us, learned that possessions and prestige do not bring true peace and happiness. Thus, Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 1:2 (NKJV), “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” Such is life without God. Our Lord Jesus Christ said “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10 NKJV). In Christ we find the meaning of life, not in possessions and prestige. Perhaps Rabbi Max Michelbacher’s prayer would serve us well:
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for but got everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all people, most richly blessed.
God Bless and have a great day in God’s Word.