March 1, 2023
Thank you for praying today for revival and for our prodigals. An article in Sage Journals suggests that having one quality conversation with your best friend every day will boost your well being.
The “Biblical journals” (God’s Word) make it abundantly clear that having a talk with your God each day will also enhance your wholeness of life. Prayer will deepen your relationship with your God. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8).
Life without God will lead to meaninglessness. This is one of the lessons learned from the book of Ecclesiastes.
Ecclesiastes is a book that has caused many to stumble, and has produced a multitude of false doctrines. William MacDonald says, “If we remember that Ecclesiastes is a compendium of human, not divine, wisdom, then we will understand why it is that while some of its conclusions are true, some are only half true, and some are not true at all.”
It is essential to understand that this book is written from man’s perspective and not God’s. The phrase, “under the sun,” is found 29 times in this little book. It defines a point of view as coming from human reasoning rather than from God’s infinite wisdom. The writer, Solomon, who presents himself as “the teacher” (1:1), was giving his audience a standpoint of life without God.
G. Campbell Morgan, in his book Unfolding Message of the Bible, writes about Solomon’s outlook, “This man had been living through all these experiences under the sun, concerned with nothing above the sun…until there came a moment in which he had seen the whole of life. And there was something over the sun. It is only as a man takes account of that which is over the sun as well as that which is under the sun that things under the sun are seen in their true light.”
The Hebrew word hevel is used 38 times in Ecclesiastes and forms the basis of life without God. The word means emptiness, futility, vapor, vanity, and meaningless. One professor described hevel as “whatever is left after you break a soap bubble.”
Dr. Arthur Pierson, an American missionary statesman and pastor, once said:
The key to Ecclesiastes is that a man is too big for this world.
Dissatisfaction exists among the rich and poor, among the learned and unlearned, and among the kings and his subjects alike. This book teaches us that we cannot find true satisfaction in this world.
Solomon states the reason in chapter 3. He says, “He (God) has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 ). We were made by God, in the image of God, and for God. Having eternity set in our hearts means that we have the capacity and the need to live for something bigger than ourselves — something that transcends time. This is why Paul said, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2).
Solomon raises a number of subjects like wisdom (1:17), pleasure (2:1-3), architecture (2:4), gardening (2:5-6), livestock (2:7), amusements (2:8), day-to-day living (2:11), philosophy (4:16), ritualism (5:4), wealth (6:2), and even reputation (7:1), all with the same dismal conclusion that they are meaningless without God. Or as the NIV puts it, “chasing after the wind.”
In conclusion, you may be asking, “Where is the true meaning of life to be found? Where can a person find real satisfaction?” The closing verse of this book gives us a little glimpse into the answers.
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
In the New Testament there are many verses that help us discern the true meaning of life. One such place is in Colossians 3. Paul says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).
This raises the mundane tasks and pursuits of life to a whole new level, to an eternal level. It reminds us that life can be lived with meaning and purpose when what we do is “in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Doing what we do in the name of the Lord Jesus not only helps us discern what we should do, but also enables us to know why we do what we do. We live our lives for the glory of God!
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel