I believe we all know that this can’t be taken literally, for experience has taught us just the opposite. The old saying, “money can’t buy happiness” still holds true, so why did Solomon make this statement? To answer this we have to understand the CONTEXT in which he said it, so let’s read verses 16-19 from the New King James Version: “Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and our princes feast in the morning! Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, and your princes feast at the proper time—for strength and not for drunkenness! Because of laziness the building decays and through idleness of hands the house leaks. A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry; but money answers everything.” The contrast in verses 16-18 is clear; a country with a noble king who rules with sobriety and strength is blessed, but the country with a lazy and drunken ruler will come to ruin. With this in mind verse 19 shows us the attitude of the drunken ruler. They live for PLEASURE (“a feast is made for laughter”) and becoming DRUNK (“and wine makes merry”), and MONEY will provide everything they need to continue their life of partying. So, this is NOT Solomon’s personal opinion, but as he observed life around him, he found this to be the opinion of lazy, pleasure-seeking kings. A good example of this kind of king was Belshazzar, the King of Babylon (see Daniel 5:1-4).

We had mentioned that “money can’t buy happiness” and it also can’t buy you a ticket to heaven. Many believe they can purchase a place in heaven by giving to charities or by putting money in the collection box on Sunday morning, but Scripture is crystal-clear that eternal life is a GIFT. God has given everyone a beautiful INVITATION to receive eternal life in Isaiah 55:1-3. Those verses say: “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you WHO HAVE NO MONEY, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk WITHOUT MONEY AND WITHOUT PRICE. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live.” Let’s break this down and see what we can learn:

  1. We must THIRST for eternal life. In other words, we must feel our need of God’s gift of eternal life.
  2. We must COME. It’s not enough to desire eternal life, we must come to the One Who offers it. In verse 3 it says, “Come to Me.” Jesus said this very thing on several occasions. In Matthew 11:28 He said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” In John 6:35 He declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” And in John 7:37-38 He issued an invitation very similar to the one in Isaiah 55: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” Jesus is the source of eternal life!
  3. We must come WITHOUT MONEY AND WITHOUT PRICE. We have nothing to offer God to merit eternal life. As we said, it is a GIFT. Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  4. We must HEAR AND LIVE. The gift of eternal life is ours the moment we hear and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. John 5:24 says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (240.7) (DO)