Have you ever pursued the accumulation of possessions for significance? Significance includes the word, “sign.” In essence, significance says, “Hey, look at me.” Sometimes, we think possessions will bring us the attention and meaning we seek. No one has attempted this at the level of Solomon.
The King of Israel constructed the temple in seven years (see 1 Kings 6:38); however, he invested thirteen years to build his palace (1 Kings 7:1). He constructed the wall around Jerusalem (see 1 Kings 3:1), built a fleet of ships (1 Kings 9:26), and developed many cities (see 1 Kings 9:15-18). The fact that kings and queens sought out his advice was evidence of is renown. He was a formidable leader. The community of Israel was climbing the ladder of socio-economic power, proving Solomon’s influence to even the harshest of skeptics.
Solomon reflected: “I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces” (Ecclesiastes 2:4-8a).
The pursuit of significance apart from God left Solomon empty, feeling insignificant: “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:11).
True significance is only found in love, so unmerited, so undeserved, it is called grace. Jesus Christ is the love of God (see John 1:14; 3:16; 2 Corinthians 8:9). He offers us eternal significance when we say, “Hey, look at Him.”
This week, ask yourself a simple question about your possessions: “Do I own the stuff, or does the stuff own me?” Remember to trust in the Giver, not the gifts.