Judah and Israel were as many as the sand by the sea. They ate and drank and were happy. Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life. —1 Kings 4:20–21 (ESV)
Do you remember how God told Solomon, at the beginning of his reign, to ask Him for whatever he wanted? Solomon asked for wisdom to lead God’s people. In response, God also promised to Solomon both riches and honor. In today’s text, we see a summary of God’s amazing blessings: Solomon ruled over a united nation that was prosperous and at peace: “They ate and drank and were happy.”
In a sense, Solomon had everything, personally, politically, and nationally. But was he really happy? While we can only speculate about the specifics of how he felt, we can say with confidence that genuine joy and contentment is only found in right relationship with God. Further, as the author of Ecclesiastes, likely Solomon himself, says: “I said to myself, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.’ And be hold, it too was vanity.” He describes all of the wealth and pleasure he had and enjoyed and concludes: It is empty.
Take it from the wisest, wealthiest man of the ancient world: money and pleasure won’t make you happy in the long term. True joy is found in a right relationship with the Lord. Are you prioritizing that relationship right now? Invest in your spiritual 401k. Spend time cultivating your relationship with Lord and pursue the advance of His kingdom.