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)
 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.  “It is silly to be laughing all the time,” I said. “What good does it do to seek only pleasure?”  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.  I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards.  I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees.  I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves.  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.  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!  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.  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.  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)
 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.  Foolish people refuse to work and almost starve.  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)
 Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness!  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)
 Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the duty of every person.  God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.