Scripture reading for July 13th: Ecclesiastes 1-6
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. He wrote the book of Ecclesiastes as a result of his quest! Solomon found no meaning in endless days of toil and work of man. (Ecclesiastes 1: 9-11) Man spends his time working and gathering and suddenly death takes us away. In a few years or less, no one remembers us or what we have done!
Solomon tried to find meaning through the pursuit of pleasure and material things. He tried wine and folly but found them meaningless! 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 but by themselves, all 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. (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 concluded that God had made a time for everything under the sun. These times were in His hands and man must accept that with gratitude. Each person knows that he is an eternal being who will be judged by God one day. Life is not meaningless, but counts for eternity!