The Eighth Commandment (2) Property and Wealth

What that means in practice is that our use and enjoyment of our possessions will nurture our relationship with God rather than diminish our relationship with God. If we receive God’s gifts with thanksgiving it will increase our love for God and our respect for God. If we receive God’s gifts without thanksgiving it will be a barrier in our relationship with God. So there is a way that our enjoyment of our possession contributes to having God as our only God. And that is a beautiful thing. It contributes immensely to our enjoyment of our possession if that enjoyment treasures the love and generosity of God.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Problems with Wealth

It is very difficult for us to resist the temptation to put too much emphasis on money and the things money can buy. This text is telling us that this is not a satisfying way to live. It is telling us that loving money does not bring satisfaction. It is saying that loving money is vanity. It does not bring fulfillment. It is not a worthwhile way to live. This verse is calling us to think about our own lives in the light of this principle. The Lord here is calling us to examine whether we are guilty of loving money and things too much. He is calling us to think about how we are seeking for satisfaction in our lives. He is calling us to think about whether we are living for what is really worthwhile.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Importance of Community

But within this overall perspective, an important part of the answer to the problem of meaningless is our relationships with other people. The meaning of life has to do with relationships, first of all our relationship with God, but within that context, our relationships with other people. And what these verses in Ecclesiastes that we are looking give us is a spectrum ranging from vanity towards meaning – a spectrum from emptiness to fulfillment.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Sure Foundation of the Lord

Read: Psalm 127

The success of our building, our watching and our sleeping is conditional on what the Lord has already accomplished. We must base our activities, the Bible is saying, on what God has already accomplished. The Lord must first build, he must first watch, and he must first grant rest, or our efforts are always futile. That’s the point of a condition clause like this, it’s always futile unless it is in the Lord. It is always futile, our efforts, all of them. It is a universal statement. Think about that. Everything that we do, every activity that we put our hand to, if it is not done in the Lord, will always, always, always be ultimately futile.
— Rev. Robert Widdowson