The Vanity of Wealth Under the Sun | Ecclesiastes 5:8-20


Ecclesiastes 5:10 | He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.    

Ecclesiastes 5:19 | Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toilthis is the gift of God.   


No book inside or outside the Bible is quite like Ecclesiastes. Probably written by Solomon (referring to himself as the Preacher), Ecclesiastes is a brutal analysis of living life post-Genesis 3. In order to analyze the world, Solomon decides to conduct a grand experiment with his life by throwing his time, attention, and heart into various things, hoping to discover a source of lasting meaning, purpose, and joy in the world. Yet the Preacher’s ultimate conclusion is that everything is vanity, a striving after wind.

After taking a brief intermission to discuss how to properly fear and worship God, the Preacher now resumes the report of experiment by turning to the vanity of wealth. Money and the love of it are some of life’s chief motivators. Actions are driven by it. Thoughts are captive to it. Partnerships are forged with it. Betrayals are bought by it. Money and the power that it buys is seductive to nearly every human. Yet even though Solomon was one of the wealthiest men to ever live (if not the wealthiest), he writes from personal experience that the quest for more money is never ending nor satisfying. Wealth will always fail to provide true lasting joy and meaning in life.


Read Ecclesiastes 5:8-20 and discuss the following.

  1. Which verses stood out most to you as you read Ecclesiastes 5:8-20 this week? Why? What do these verses teach you about who God is?
  2. In verses 8-9, the Preacher continues his discussion of oppression. Why is oppression inevitable? Why is authority a biblical and necessary concept?
  3. What are the three statements about wealth that Solomon presents? What examples have you seen of them in media, your life, or those around you?
  4. What alternative to the love of money does Solomon present at the end of the chapter and why? How does Luke 12:16-34 further elaborate on the truths of this text?


Because all Scripture profits us through teaching, reproving, correcting, and training us, reflect upon the studied text, and ask yourself the following questions about the present text.

  • What has God taught you about Himself?
  • What sin is God convicting or reproving you of?
  • How is God correcting you?
  • How is God training and equipping you for righteousness?



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