These are the words of the Teacher, King David’s son, who ruled in Jerusalem. “Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!” Ecclesiastes 1:1-2 NLT
So, as you can see, we’re off to a great start. 🙂 It’s likely that this is written by Solomon, the wisest man to ever live. He’s coming out of the gate with this statement.
Everything is meaningless. It is completely meaningless. In other words, there’s no purpose to anything, and there’s no purpose in anything. Ouch!
I love that this is in the Bible. Not because i love or feed off of negativity. It’s quite the opposite of that idea. I love it because it’s so real and raw. Sometimes, this is genuinely how we feel. Sometimes, I feel like asking, what’s the point? This week, I’ve felt that way. Now, I can’t wallow in this feeling, but I need to address that it is a very real feeling.
Ecclesiastes doesn’t paint a picture of a perfect life. It doesn’t pretend that everything is always all good. People aren’t positive all the time or even most of the time. Materials don’t make peace and joy. That’s the hard truth we read in this book, and the beauty is that as we journey through it, we’ll discover what really makes peace and joy.
Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere. Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 NLT
I think it’s easy to read it and say Solomon lived a spoiled life to find meaning. I tend to associate spoiled with the lack of hard work. And of course getting everything a person wants. And he said he did that. He didn’t deny himself and whatever he wanted he took.
But as you read you see that he also found pleasure in hard work. Perhaps he became a workaholic and “found” some type of reward in that.
These two ideas are contradictory of course. On one hand, there’s this lifestyle of spoiling oneself, and on the other hand he’s working hard. And honestly, I believe that is the point of all of this.
The point of this is that Solomon has tried to find meaning and value in life in everything. No matter where you fall on the life spectrum, Solomon has tried to find meaning there. Whether it was in doing nothing or doing everything, he tried it. And in the end, the only value he found in life was in God.
That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. Ecclesiastes 12:13 NLT
The next couple of weeks we’re reading Ecclesiastes. I’ll tell you, if you struggle emotionally, brace yourself. Ecclesiastes doesn’t exactly start off with a ray of sunshine. Actually here’s how it begins:
“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!” Ecclesiastes 1:2
Now why such a big proclamation? Well read the book to find out all the details. But its taught that the Teacher is Solomon. Solomon is considered the wisest man (other than Jesus) that ever lived. And yet, he’s here proclaiming that life is repetitive and redundant.
It’s important to read this book because it reminds us that without God life is meaningless. The search for meaning in materials is futile. Apart from God nothing truly serves its purpose to the fullest. It also says a lot about mankind. Read verse 8.
Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content. Ecclesiastes 1:8
That says a lot to me about us as people. No matter how much we see or hear we aren’t satisfied or content. Wouldn’t you agree?
Why the seemingy morbid outlook on life? Why read this? Honestly, I think it speaks to every human being. The questioning and quest for meaning in life is something we all go through. And I truly think this book is a reminder of that. Keep reading and feel free to share what you think.
It’s so hard for us to watch people experience pain. It’s even harder to witness people going through something that they brought on themselves. It’s hard. But as I was praying this morning, thinking about how hard it is for me to witness, I thought about how hard it must be for God.
I can’t begin to understand what God faces. How does God feel?
Think about it. Hear me out on this. He knows that He never created us to experience pain and illness. He never meant for us to feel the way we do at times. He never had heartache in mind when He formed us in His image.
What might that feel like to see the very beings you created for perfection to be anything but that? What would it be like to see those beings live imperfect lives in a world that You originally created to be so good?
How hard would it be to see all that was meant for so much love, for so much good, be used to hurt others? To hurt the other beings You created for perfection. Imagine how hard it is as a parent to see your child choose the wrong path over and over and know that you sacrificed for them to live so much better.
Now, imagine creating something perfect, to be somewhere perfect, and to experience perfection. Think about all that was meant for good and for the good of one another. Now, think about how our world is today. This is not what God had in mind.