Scripture reading for July 14th: Ecclesiastes 1-6
If you try to make sense of life without God in you heart or mind, there is only one term that consistently comes to mind: meaningless! Life is hard to make sense of without God’s Word or knowledge. Man is left with darkness in his understanding and the futility of life under the sun. This life without God has no real purpose or meaning. It appears that we come about by accident and leave earth by calamity or slow death. Some live short lives and others relatively long lives. Some are blessed and others struggle with troubles and pain. Our days are short and they fly by.
Solomon, the richest and wisest man who ever lived outside of Jesus Christ, decided to try to find meaning in life by pursuing riches, fame, and fortune to the maximum. The result is this book of Ecclesiastes! When you read it, you must understand it’s perspective. Solomon finds no meaning in endless days of toil and work of man. He feels that there is nothing really new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1: 9-11) We spend our time working and gathering and death takes us away. In a few years or less, no one remembers us or what we have done!
Solomon tried to find meaning with the pursuit of pleasure and things that brought laughter. He tried wine and folly but found meaninglessness! He then tried great building projects to find satisfaction. He built houses and planted vineyards and fruit orchards. He built lakes and had many servants. His herds and flocks were numerous and his treasury filled with silver and gold. He hired singers and entertainers and even bought a harem of beautiful women to enjoy as he pleased. He had no lack of anything his heart desired and he enjoyed his labor but as he thought about it, it too was meaningless! (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11)
Solomon noted that all his hard work would be left behind when he died and given to someone else who did not work for it. This was a hard thing to grasp. (Ecclesiastes 3:21-23) His conclusion was that if man would eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work each day, that was a gift of God. Without God, we can’t find meaning or enjoyment! (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25)
“He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Solomon concludes that God has made a time for everything under the sun. These times are in His hands and man must accept that with gratitude. Man has an inner knowledge of eternity. Each knows that he is an eternal being who will be judged by God one day, but is darkened in his understanding because of sin so that he cannot understand the plans of God.
Take a moment to thank God for revealing eternity and the plans of His heart through Jesus Christ! In Christ we now have eternity restored in God’s presence! Praise the Lord!