“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.” (Eccl. 1:8)
Boy, isn’t that the truth. It seems like we’re always on the hunt to know more, to do more, to see more, to hear more, to attain more. More, more, more, more, more. That’s the motto of our American life.
As I read through the first couple of chapters of the book, I got the impression that Solomon; in his quest for ultimate wisdom; conducted a controlled experiment in life. In many scholarly circles, Solomon is known as the half-hearted king. Meaning, that when he began his reign, he was serving the Lord God; however by the end he’d become a victim of his lifestyle. He’d amassed great wealth, power, women, and notoriety. Despite all he had gained (at least by the world’s standards), in the end, he sums it all up by saying, this life seems so pointless – that all his searching for wisdom and madness and folly (outside of the Lord) was pointless (Eccl. 1:17 paraphrased). In his search for pleasure Solomon found none that was lasting. He concluded that laughter fades. Accomplishments are forgotten. People disappoint. Life is hard. Inheritances will be squandered by those who never worked for them. Justice is thwarted. Good people suffer greatly, and evil people prosper. Fairness is relative. Our bodies will fail. And on it goes.
You see, the essence of the book is that a life lived outside of Christ is pointless. Period. There can be no joy without the acknowledgement and acceptance of Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the cross. Oh, we can be happy. We can feel contented. We can even be ecstatic over things. But joy isn’t an emotion, it’s a state of being; and that state of being only comes when we’re truly at peace.
Solomon concludes his sad book with this beautiful and poetic proclamation:
“Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.” Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky. Remember him before your legs—the guards of your house—start to tremble; and before your shoulders—the strong men—stoop. Remember him before your teeth—your few remaining servants—stop grinding; and before your eyes—the women looking through the windows—see dimly.
Remember him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Now you rise at the first chirping of the birds, but then all their sounds will grow faint.
Remember him before you become fearful of falling and worry about danger in the streets; before your hair turns white like an almond tree in bloom, and you drag along without energy like a dying grasshopper, and the caperberry no longer inspires sexual desire. Remember him before you near the grave, your everlasting home, when the mourners will weep at your funeral.
Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Don’t wait until the water jar is smashed at the spring and the pulley is broken at the well. For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.” Eccl. 12:1-7
Serve the Lord now my dear friends. Serve Him whole-heartedly – neither turning to the right nor the left. Take hold of wise King Solomon’s advice and serve Him before it’s too late. Jesus promises to fill your life with immeasurable joy if you’ll let him; and life will no longer be meaningless.