To ground his view of contentment, Paul draws on Old Testament wisdom. Both Job 1:21 and Ecclesiastes 5:15 expound the principle that material things belong only to this world. Things have no lasting value and provide no eternal advantage. Therefore one's contentment cannot stem from things. Human contact with the material world begins at birth and terminates at death. But Christian hope takes the believer beyond the material limit to a boundless eternity, and logically, then, eternal values must shape our view of temporal things. To put it simply, Job and Paul mean that "things," their value and usefulness, pertain to this world, which is but a temporary home (compare Heb 11:10).
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
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