Be Not Conformed
He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who lives abundance, with increase. This also is vanity. 11 When goods increase, They increase who eat them; So what profit have the owners Except to see them with their eyes? 12 The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, Whether he eats little or much; But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep. Ecclesiastes 4:10-12
Solomon the Preacher, the King of Israel speaks of the vanity of Gain and Honor and tells us that in abundance, in wealth there is no sleep, no contentment.
John the beloved Disciple of Jesus commented on this in I John 2:15-17. Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 and the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
Interestingly, John is commenting or expounding upon Ecclesiastes 4:10-12. Most commentators, when they look at I John, do not include verse 15 in this commentary on Ecclesiastes. Yet verse 15 actually helps to explain verse 12 of Ecclesiastes 4. Let me explain.
In verse 15 of I John 2, the beloved disciple uses the word love twice. Yet the two words do not have the same meaning and therefore with proper understanding changes or give us better understanding of the rest of the passage.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him.”
The first “love” is from the Greek word Agapao: which means to welcome, be entertained or fond of. Additional it can me to love dearly and be well pleased or content with something. Notice the word does not include being in love with someone but something.
Our second use of the word “love” is from the Greek word Agape which describes brotherly love, affection, good will toward others, love and benevolence.
Therefore when we use the correct meaning of the word love in each place, it give the verse the meaning of. Do not welcome or be entertained or even fond of the things of the world. For if anyone dearly loves or is content with loving the things of this world, the brotherly affection of the Father is not him. Therefore, the good will or benevolence of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
Those that have this brotherly love and affection, this good will toward others, that show love and benevolence to others, will not pass away, when the earth passes away and those that lust after the flesh will also pass away with the earth. Therefore my friends, let us not become comfortable with the things of this earth. Instead let us build a relationship, a relationship of brotherly love with our heavenly Father, which will flow out from us to others. Then we will receive our just reward in the day that Christ comes in the clouds to take the elect home with him.
Do not love the world or the things in the world or be content in them, but love the Lord with all your heart and soul and love others as yourself.