Have you ever just sat back and asked, “Why I am I here”? What is the point of life? Why do you do what you do? What is the meaning of everything? The author of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon, lays out this question in the opening verses in the book of Ecclesiastes. King Solomon, who was the son of King David, was regarded in the Bible as the wisest man that ever lived. He also wrote many proverbs in the book of Proverbs.
“The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.” ~ Ecclesiastes 1:1-4
Solomon is painting a picture of life without God. What does he say? Without God, life is meaningless! There is no point. Everything is futile!
“The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again. All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? ~Ecclesiastes 1:5-10
Solomon continues his description of life without God. Day after day, everything is the same. The sun rises, the sun sets. The wind blows south, it blows north, it blows and never stops. The rivers are always flowing into the oceans, but never runs out of room to flow. Everything makes us weary. There is no rest. What has been done before will be done again eventually. Nothing is truly new. At best it is just recycled information. So what is the point in life? Well without God, there is no point. It’s all just one never ending cycle.
“There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.” ~1 Ecclesiastes 1:11
No matter who you are, you will be forgotten eventually. Nothing lasts forever in this world. Even if you were the most influential person ever, you will one day be forgotten. So again, what is the point? Without God, it’s meaningless.
“I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men! I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. What is twisted cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted. I thought to myself, “Look, I have grown and increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” ~Ecclesiastes 1:12-18
Have you ever set a goal that you knew would be really really hard to obtain. Think about how hard you worked to gain that goal. It may have taken you years to get it. Then after all that hard work, you finally reach that goal. Then what happens next? You’re not satisfied. You may be satisfied for a little while, but eventually you’ll want more. But happens when you already have all you could ever get in this world? You feel empty. Unsatisfied. I need of something more than this world can give you. This is exactly what Solomon is expressing. He was king over all Israel. He devoted himself to study and explore all that is done under heaven. He knew that he had become the wisest person ever. But that only lead him misery and grief. Because once he was finally at the top, he was alone. Ever hear the saying, “It’s lonely at the top”? That is a very true statement.
But, when God is in your life, suddenly things begin to make sense. You start to realize that there is a Creator behind this world. He is working everything to the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. You realize that you were created in God’s image and made for communion with God Himself. You are loved, cared about, and known by God. He has given every person a purpose in life and wishes to share that with you. See how different life looks when God is in your life? Everything is not meaningless. In fact, everything is meaningful!
I am going to be working my way through the book of Ecclesiastes and I am going to write a blog about each chapter of the book. I pray that God will give me insight into His Word and I pray that we learn more about Him as we walk through this together. I would like to hear your thoughts on the book. This is a very deep book in the Bible and would love to hear what others have to say. May God bless you!