All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.
For what hath the wise more than the fool? what hath the poor, that knoweth to walk before the living?
Heaping up the material wealth and gain of this world will never satisfy the appetite. A man can feast all day, and still be hungry in the morning. Our appetites for our own comfort are ravenous, and will control us completely if we don’t recognize them for what they really are: Man’s effort to go beyond what God can do!
Man’s search for happiness is all for the satisfaction of worldly desires. There is little for the head, the spirit, the heart of man in this mad search for satisfaction.
Really, the wise man has very little more than the fool; even a poor man can learn how to behave among other men in a way that gains respect and honor.
I can almost see Solomon as he ponders these things, perhaps wondering what all his wisdom has gained him, and what real value there is in all his possessions. After all, as he said in yesterday’s passage, we all end in the same place. We all die and go to the grave, and all our wealth won’t do us any good there.
Kind of a gloomy perspective, isn’t it? That’s because, again, Solomon is looking at all this from man’s perspective (under the sun) and not from God’s viewpoint.