“Command those who are rich in this world’s goods not to be haughty or to set their hope on riches, which are uncertain, but on God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17 NET).
While it may be tempting to gravitate toward the “…all things for our enjoyment” portion of this verse, it is the “…God who richly provides us” segment that carries the most importance. Those who have an opportunity to enjoy good things in life should not overlook the fact that it is God’s gracious provision that allows us to do so.
For instance, those who take part in a hobby, pastime, or other pursuit that offers a respite from the pressures and demands of daily life should be thankful to the God who provides such things. A person who engages in a leisure sport should acknowledge the Creator who graciously provides the ability to do so. The same is true for things like vacations and holidays; the ability to partake in such things comes from the “…God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment.”
However, God’s gracious provision goes far beyond these examples. For instance, it has often been said that “the best things in life are free.” Thus, the ability to enjoy the aroma of a good meal, the beauty of a sunset, a cool drink on a hot day, or a myriad of other little pleasures in life all proceed from God’s goodness and benevolence towards us. Such things often go unnoticed or undervalued as we navigate the challenges of daily life.
This explains why Israel’s King Solomon, a man who possessed an abundance of earthly wealth, came to the following conclusion regarding this matter…
“What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man” (Ecclesiastes 3:9-13).
We’ll consider some additional wisdom from King Solomon and how we can apply that wisdom in light of 1 Timothy 6:17 next.