Thoughts from Solomon on “The American Dream”EGP Blog post from October 26, 2012

Some thoughts from Solomon on “The American Dream”…

Ecclesiastes 2:1–11 (NLT)

[1] I said to myself, “Come now, let’s give pleasure a try. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless. [2] “It is silly to be laughing all the time,” I said. “What good does it do to seek only pleasure?” [3] After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. While still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I hoped to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world. [4] I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. [5] I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. [6] I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves. [7] I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned great herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who lived in Jerusalem before me. [8] I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire! [9] So I became greater than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. And with it all, I remained clear-eyed so that I could evaluate all these things. [10] Anything I wanted, I took. I did not restrain myself from any joy. I even found great pleasure in hard work, an additional reward for all my labors. [11] But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless. It was like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.

Ecclesiastes 4:4–6 (NLT)

[4] Then I observed that most people are motivated to success by their envy of their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless, like chasing the wind. [5] Foolish people refuse to work and almost starve. [6] They feel it is better to be lazy and barely survive than to work hard, especially when in the long run everything is so futile.

Ecclesiastes 5:10–11 (NLT)

[10] Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness! [11] The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what is the advantage of wealth-except perhaps to watch it run through your fingers!

Ecclesiastes 6:9 (NLT)

Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless; it is like chasing the wind.

Ecclesiastes 11:9 (NLT)

Young man, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do.

Ecclesiastes 12:13–14 (NLT)

[13] Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the duty of every person. [14] God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.