Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 97:7-12 | Ecclesiastes 1:1 – 3:22 | 2 Corinthians 6:1-13 | Proverbs 22:15
Today’s Scripture Focus: Ecclesiastes 1:1 – 3:22
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher “Utterly Meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” “All things are wearisome; more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing” (Ecclesiastes 1:2, 8 NIV).
The Teacher is bored. “Everything is meaningless” “All things are wearisome.” He has tried stimulating every one of his senses with the best life could offer. Where did it take him? Nowhere. He was bored.
In these chapters, he describes a search for meaning in life through education, money and possessions, power, position, relationships (hundreds of them—the most beautiful women of all the earth), and the pursuit of pleasure. He had it all, by the world’s standards, and still he felt that he was coming up short.
Somehow, he knew that there must be more to life than hedonism and materialism. Ecclesiastes is about that pursuit for life’s meaning and purpose. It speaks about the dead end of trying to live life “under the sun”—in the pursuit of money, pleasure and things. If it seems a little hopeless at times, perhaps that is because life lived that way is hopeless, meaningless and indeed, boring.
But the Teacher points us to another way of life—a way worth pursuing: “To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness” (2:26). Where is purpose and meaning in life to be found? Pleasing God. All other pursuits only lead to a dead end. Pleasing God brings wisdom, knowledge and happiness.
Many of us live as the Teacher did, pursuing life’s meaning and purpose through the pursuit of money, pleasure and things. Perhaps we haven’t gone done that road far enough yet to realize that it is a path that goes nowhere. But the Teacher had tried it and found it a journey that leads to meaningless and hopelessness. We do well to heed his words and seek the wisdom, knowledge and happiness of pleasing God.
Heavenly Father, I am sometimes tempted to pursue life under the sun as the teacher did. Remind me that these pursuits are a meaningless dead end. Help me to find meaning in pleasing God in the wisdom, knowledge and happiness he only can give. Amen.