Do you think that riches would make you happy? If somebody gave you a large sum of money, would you not be pleased? Probably you would. Likely you could think of ways to spend it.
ADMITTEDLY, there are plenty of things to buy to make life more comfortable and enjoyable. Money can also serve "for a protection" against unexpected problems, such as disease or unemployment.—Ecclesiastes 7:12.
But what is the relationship between money and happiness? Do you think, as many do, that happiness is a by-product of wealth? Finding the answers to these questions may be difficult because money can easily be measured, or counted, while happiness cannot. You cannot put happiness on a scale and weigh it.
Then, too, some rich people seem to be happy, while others are miserable. The same is true of those who are poor. Still, most people—even those who are already wealthy—believe that more money will bring them greater happiness.
One person who wrote about such matters was King Solomon of ancient Israel. He was one of the richest men who ever lived. You can read a description of his enormous wealth in the 10th chapter of the Bible book of First Kings. Notice, for example, that verse 14 states: "The weight of the gold that came to Solomon in one year amounted up to six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold." That figure is equivalent to 25 tons of gold. Today, that much gold would be worth well over $200,000,000, U.S.!
Yet, Solomon was not merely rich; he was blessed by God with wisdom. The Bible relates: "King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. And all the people of the earth were seeking the face of Solomon to hear his wisdom that God had put in his heart." (1 Kings 10:23, 24) We too can benefit from Solomon's wisdom, since his writings make up part of the Bible record. Let us see what he had to say about the relationship between wealth and happiness.