Read: Ecclesiastes 1:1-2:25
“I devoted myself to search for understanding and to explore by wisdom everything being done under heaven. I soon discovered that God has dealt a tragic existence to the human race.” Ecclesiastes 1:13
“So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?” Ecclesiastes 2:24-25
First of all, let me say…dude bums me out. Reading through these two chapters and trying to come up with something to say that will help grow people in their relationship with Christ is a little difficult when one of the first things Solomon says is,
“I soon discovered that God has dealt a tragic existence to the human race.” (chapter 1, verse 13b)
Not the most encouraging verse in the Bible, but don’t worry, it gets better. And by “better,” I mean “not better.”
He goes on and on about how meaningless everything is.
“This is terrible and meaningless. That is terrible and meaningless. I thought this was good, but it’s terrible and meaningless as well.”
On and on he goes; but I think, at times, we can all relate to that. Get up. Go to work. Go home. Go to sleep. Repeat. If that’s how you’re seeing life right now, you just might be reading this and saying, “He’s got a point, though.”
And to some degree he does. Cyclic routine can be wearisome. It can make our lives seem pointless. And it can make us do some crazy things in an attempt to try and remedy the darkness that comes from having this perspective. Solomon makes some pretty wild attempts at finding meaning in life. In chapter 2, he seeks out pleasure – drinking, foolishness, extravagance, servants, property, money, entertainment, and women. He ends this seeking with the statement, “I had everything a man could desire!” And later (verse 10) he says, “I denied myself no pleasure.”
This sounds so familiar! This sounds like…US! We seek out everything else looking for meaning and happiness only to find out … IT’S ALL MEANINGLESS. Except that life is not at all meaningless. Not unless you fail to come to the same revelation that Solomon did at the end of chapter 2:
“Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?” (chapter 2, verse 25b)
We can pursue anything in this world looking to find pleasure and meaning. People do it all the time. And people often find what Solomon found in these two chapters. Life is meaningless. But why wouldn’t they? For apart from God, there is no meaning. There is no worth. There is no point. There is no pleasure or happiness.
But with God, there is light. There is joy. There is peace and there is “a rich and satisfying life.” (John 10:10)
Put your every value in Christ, for it is only He who gives value to life and all that we find in it.
Lord, help me to value You more than anything I can find in this world. Help me to see You in every part of my life so that I can truly understand the meaning of it all. I pray for Your wisdom in my life. I pray for Your guidance as I strive to let You be the focus of everything I do. Give me strength and bless me with clear vision. Do not let the world cloud my eyes from what You are showing me. Encourage me today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.