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?