Let’s try an experiment. Do you speak Hebrew? No? But you know about shekels. Or Japanese? That’s right, it’s the yen. Pesos? Lira? I’ve traveled the world and never had a communication problem when I pulled out some greenbacks. Money talks. It’s the international language.
But what does it say? King Solomon wrote a fair bit on the subject. His version of the title goes: “Money answers everything.” (Eccl 10:19) Here’s some of his wisdom.
1. Money can’t stop the Last Big Move from occurring. Money is hard to come by, hard to keep, hard to invest, and hard to lose. And whether it leaves us or we leave it, writes the wise man, “I myself perceived that the same event happens to them all.” (2:14) In other words, fools or wise, we all exit the way we entered—naked.
2. Life is a Monopoly game; in the end, it all goes back in the box. The king opines, “I hated all my labor in which I had toiled…, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me.” (2:18) As they say, you never see a U-Haul behind a hearse.
3. It’s possible to be wise for time but a fool for eternity (12:1-8). The heart-stopping question is: how rich will you be five minutes after you die? The apostle Paul suggested we invest our money in people heading to heaven, and they’ll take our wealth there for us. (See 1 Thess 2:19.)
Heading back from Europe on a 747, I was bumped up to First Class and seated beside a wealthy business woman who had paid 17 grand for her ticket. I mentioned to her that I belonged downstairs, but the airline had moved me up. The only reason I could think of was that I was a servant of God and He wanted me to invite her to heaven with us.
“Not interested,” she said.
“Well, I guess the Bible’s right about that, too.”
“About what?” Her words were just a little icy.
“I thought you weren’t interested,” I replied.
“About what?!” she responded with force.
“That rich people can’t go to heaven.”
“It doesn’t say that.”
“Well, yes, Jesus said that.”
“Show me.” I turned to Luke 18:24 and read, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” It’s easier for a camel to get through a needle’s eye.
“That’s not fair!” she exclaimed. So she was interested after all!
“What’s not fair? The airline moved me here to sit beside you and I wanted to invite you to heaven but you weren’t interested. But look at this! Jesus’ disciples asked, ‘Who then can be saved?’…He said, ‘The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.’” (vv 26-27)
“You’re convinced you’re rich because you have all this flammable green paper. But it can’t buy you any of life’s important things, let alone eternal life. But God offers you forgiveness, peace, purpose, and hope for the life to come, simply as a gift. If I could put it kindly, your material wealth is hiding from you your spiritual poverty.”
The conversation continued for an hour as she searched the Bible with me, finding words by which she could be saved. I pray she found true wealth.
Jabe Nicholson of Starkville is an author and publisher. He loves engaging with people on life’s key issues. Reach him at [email protected] or visit www.uplook.tv.