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Money Answers All Things

08 Jun

Ecclesiastes 10:19, “… But money answereth all things.”

Ever have someone say something to you and it doesn’t sit well?  I have and I hate to admit it but this is one of those “somethings”.  It wasn’t just anyone who said it.  It was spoken by King Solomon but inspired by God.  The problem with this is that when just anybody says something I don’t like, I can dismiss it but this isn’t just anybody. This is the One who loves me and if He saw fit to include this in His Word for my life, then I can’t live without it, now can I?

With that in mind, I began searching.  God, how can you say this? 

When I pulled in my driveway last night and shut the car off, I sat there, seat belt on and wrestling. 

I was prompted (with this question screaming in the background), to read Psalm 49:6-20…

Those who trust in their wealth 
And boast in the multitude of their riches, 
None of them can by any means redeem his brother, 
Nor give to God a ransom for him– 
For the redemption of their souls is costly
And it shall cease forever– 
That he should continue to live eternally, 
And not see the Pit. 

For he sees wise men die; 
Likewise the fool and the senseless person perish, 
And leave their wealth to others. 
Their inner thought is that their houses will last forever
Their dwelling places to all generations
They call their lands after their own names
Nevertheless man, though in honor, does not remain;  
He is like the beasts that perish. 

This is the way of those who are foolish
And of their posterity who approve their sayings.Selah 
Like sheep they are laid in the grave; 
Death shall feed on them; 
The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; 
And their beauty shall be consumed in the grave, far from their dwelling. 
But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, 
For He shall receive me.Selah 

Do not be afraid when one becomes rich
When the glory of his house is increased
For when he dies he shall carry nothing away; 
His glory shall not descend after him. 
Though while he lives he blesses himself 
(For men will praise you when you do well for yourself), 
He shall go to the generation of his fathers
They shall never see light. 
A man who is in honor, yet does not understand, 
Is like the beasts that perish.

Clearly, money does not answer all things.  It doesn’t. 

I know God doesn’t contradict Himself.  A lie cannot be in Him. 

So, God, how can you say this?

Money, in the context of this passage, is the Hebrew word keceph, meaning silver from it’s pale color, money or price.

Price.  It speaks of value and worth and induces consideration.

So, could we then interpret Ecclesiastes 10:19 like this?  “There is a price for all things.”

Digging a little deeper, the Hebrew word money, keceph is rooted in the word kacaph, which means to pine after, long for, to fear or desire.

Is it safe to perhaps interpret a little further?

Desire determines the “things” we have.  Are we willing to pay the price?

There is a personal standard that each of us set, whether knowingly or not, the worth of a “thing”.  In fact, even society sets certain standards.  If it meets our standards, we give to it. 

For example, say I’m a millionaire and I am looking for a particular car.  Not a brand new one.  This one’s a bit dated.  I find that car and the book price (the standard) is $4,500 but the asking price is $7,000. 

Just because I’m a millionaire doesn’t mean that I should foolishly invest and pay that kind of price for something, when it is not worth that much.  That’s wisdom.

Ecclesiastes 7:11 & 12 says,  Wisdom is good with an inheritance, And profitable to those who see the sun.  For wisdom is a defense as money is a defense, But the excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it.

Luke 14:28-30 speaks to this end.

 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?  Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,  Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

There is a cost that must be counted.  What’s beautiful is that Jesus was warning them that we must take into consideration the complete work, the whole matter. 

Not coincidentally, the word “all”, that is seemingly insignificant; that one little word that we take for granted that we know what it means.  It means, just what Jesus was trying to get at.  All means the whole, to make perfect and complete.

Money does answer all things.  Consider the cost.  What is it worth to you?  What is it worth to God?

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10 Comments

Posted by on June 8, 2011 in Money, Wisdom

 

10 responses to “Money Answers All Things

  1. Melissa Flores

    June 8, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    I love your exegesis of this passage. “Contradictions” make us dig for truth, causing things to spring forth. Thank you for revelating this so carefully, it’s new and wonderful to me.

     
  2. Melvin Kaabwe (@Kaabwe)

    March 3, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Hi, this troubled me as well. I heard it and felt, at first blush that it was an exoneration for greed. Then I looked at the wjole of Ecclesiastes and the message was that all things are vanity except one true thing. All things pass away, even money…except one thing which grants eternal reward. So in the context of Ecclesiastes (all things are vanity) this verse makes perfect sense. You cannot serve God and Mammon simultaneously as Jesus said. So in this context, the verse “fits” in an explanation of what happens here on Earth which we know is the place of men who are sinful by nature…But I like your explanation better! :)

     
  3. EUGENE WAKAMA

    August 26, 2013 at 10:15 am

    IT’S SO TRUE, WELL AGGRANDIZED TO MY AMAZEMENT, I THINK I’M HAPPIER NOW THAN EVER BEFORE BECAUSE THIS PASSAGE HAS KEPT ME STARTLED FOR A LONGTIME NOW, GOD CANNOT LIE….

     
  4. Heath

    February 27, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Good article. These things make us search. While I do agree with you I would like to add something to it. I believe the way a person handles finances speaks volumes of their character. A person that borrows money and takes vacations on credit cards, but is loosing the house because the mortgage isn’t being paid has zero business preaching and telling others how to live. I’ve known them to have bad credit and bad reputations from manipulating funds and cheating in business while hiding behind the vial of ministry. I do believe that this would certainly be a meaning . I have tried to do work for my pastor and donate or give a discount. He asked me, “what do you normally charge?” When I tell him, he says, “thats what I’m paying you”.

     
    • Stacey Blubaugh

      February 28, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      Your pastor sounds like a wonderful, Godly example of what you are sharing. I would guess he is a very blessed man. And yes, I certainly agree on this aspect as well. Money speaks volumes about our character. Thanks for reading!

       
  5. Damion

    May 7, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Hi,

    I like your explanation, as i like others have struggled with this verse. The problem i run into is that the word Keceph is used 4 additional times in Eccl. (2:8, 5:10, 7:12, 12:6) and its not translated into “price”. Do you have any thoughts on that? thanks!

    Damion

     
    • Stacey Blubaugh

      June 12, 2014 at 5:10 am

      Damion, thanks for reading and engaging me to look into this a bit more. I’ve read through those particular passage and indeed, keceph could be applied as actual sliver or money in all of those, rather than price. In the verse mentioned above however, price seemed most applicable to me. The “cost” will answer all things. How much is it worth to us? Ecclesiastes 5:10 could also coincide with such a thought process. If the price is too high for the things which money can buy, and we indebt ourselves to it… we will never have enough. We live in a world riddled with inflation, unfortunately and in which the economic systems have turned upside down. Because of debt, many are not satisfied with their income. I hope that answers your question but believe me, I’m not the end all on this subject! No scripture is of private interpretation. It’s for all of us to discover together!

       
  6. swansparkle

    June 4, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    i really love this article….thank you
    read http://www.swansparkle.blogspot.com too

     
  7. Tony

    June 30, 2014 at 2:28 am

    I like to see that people still have a sense of truth within themselves. For many read and just accept regardless how they feel. Although are feeling can be confusing and even not true at times ultimate truth still exist within, (God exist within us).

    My take on this verse was this….

    Although the verse says “….money answereth all things.”, when put into proper context by reading some verses before it and after it, they seem to be showing the different between Wisdom & Folly. And as we review that verse (Ecclesiastes 10:19) starts off referring to the ladder…folly. it states
    ” A feast is made for laughter, wine makes life merry, and money is the answer for everything.” (New International Version) But verse 10:17 tell us that food & drink is for strength. Strength for the body is the reason we eat and drink. That is its purpose.

    The happiness of a land depends on the character of its rulers. The people cannot be happy when their princes are childish, and lovers of pleasure.

    Lesson…. “Wisdom and money can get you almost anything, but only wisdom can save your life.” (Ecclesiastes 7:12)

     
    • Stacey Blubaugh

      June 30, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      Amen! Thanks for the insight!

       

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