“Money answers everything”, said Solomon, (Ecclesiastes 10:19b). David George Moore, author of The Battle for Hell, explains in his commentary on Ecclesiastes, “Although verse 19 is somewhat enigmatic, it does seem to point to the fact that the fool believes that earthly things are the way to achieve the good life.”
Allow me to point out at least three things money can’t buy.
Money can’t buy happiness. Someone quipped, “Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy you the kind of misery you prefer.” In a similar way Dr. Lawrence O. Richards, writes, “On wealth ([Ecclesiastes] 10:19). No, money won’t buy happiness, but it will buy most other things. You’re much better off with it. After all, you may as well enjoy your misery!”
Dr. John Phillips (1927-2010) comments, “We remember the sad conclusion to the book of Ecclesiastes. In a wail of despair over his wasted life, Solomon (traditionally considered the author) recounts his search for happiness.”
Former President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) reportedly said, “Most people are about as happy as they choose to be.” Someone exclaimed, “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything!”
Dr. T. M. Moore, former president of Chesapeake Theological Seminary, comments on Ecclesiastes 10:19, “We seek for happiness and hope to find all that we need in things: We’ve lost our mind if we expect that food and drink alone will bring us happiness or will atone for our iniquities before the Lord on high. We act like wealth’s the final word in life, but what a joke.”
Money can’t buy holiness. Dr. Luke writes in Acts 8:18-23, “And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, ‘Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’ But Peter said to him, ‘Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.’”
You cannot have holiness without the Holy Spirit. Paul the apostle reminds us in Romans 8:9b, “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” Paul warns in Ephesians 4:30, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” He exhorts in Ephesians 5:18, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” Paul explains in Galatians 5:22-25, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Money can’t buy healthiness. Dr. Jerry Vines reminds us, “Money can buy a bed, but it cannot buy sleep. Money can buy food, but it cannot buy an appetite. Money can buy medicine, but it cannot buy health. Money can buy a house, but it cannot buy a home. Money can buy a diamond, but it cannot buy love. And most important of all, money cannot buy salvation.”
Although he was fabulously wealthy, Solomon died a dejected, sick, old man. Just because a person amasses a fortune, it does not guarantee health any more than it guarantees happiness. With riches comes great responsibility and greater accountability before God.
Queen Elizabeth (1533-1603) said on her death bed, “All my possessions for a moment of time.” Let me assure you no amount of money can cancel your appointment with death and no amount of money can exempt you from the judgment. We read in Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” Money can’t keep you out of hell and money can’t get you into heaven.
Happiness, holiness, and healthiness are three things money can’t buy.