Could you explain Ecclesiastes 2:24-26?
What is meant in verse 26 by "... while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God's sight ..."?
The book of Ecclesiastes is exploring the purpose of life. Solomon shows that many of the things people convince themselves as being meaningful in reality have little or no meaning. The latter part of chapter 2 is looking at labor.
"Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me. And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity. Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun. When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge and skill, then he gives his legacy to one who has not labored with them. This too is vanity and a great evil. For what does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors under the sun? Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity" (Ecclesiastes 2:18-23).
Labor doesn't always benefit the person who puts in the work. You can spend most of your life accomplishing something only to have to leave it to someone else after your death (Ecclesiastes 2:18-20). Thus, you use your wisdom, knowledge, and skill to give the results to someone who has not put in the effort and you didn't get the benefits (Ecclesiastes 2:21-22). You don't even get to rest (Ecclesiastes 2:23).
"There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God. For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?" (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25).
Thus, Solomon concludes that the best thing a person can do is enjoy what he produces in the present. Such is a gift from God. The righteous person is given wisdom and knowledge through God's teachings and from these he can have joy in life.
"For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God's sight. This too is vanity and striving after wind" (Ecclesiastes 2:26).
Instead of being the person who works himself to death to only leave it to someone else, leave that useless labor to the wicked and he'll end up leaving it to someone who is good and knows how to put it to good use. Sin doesn't benefit the sinner in the long run. However, God is able to use the sinner to benefit the righteous. "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).