by Tammy Phillips
December 3, 2021
“I explored with my mind the pull of wine on my body – my mind still guiding me with wisdom — and how to grasp folly, until I could see what is good for people to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.” (Ecclesiastes 2:3 CSB)
Solomon grasped that life under the sun is just a few days. Some days seem like they last for an eternity, but really, they are a blink of an eye in light of eternity. Solomon contemplated the meaning of life throughout the book of Ecclesiastes. I think it is funny that the same man who wrote, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones “ (Proverbs 17:22 CSB), in the next book of the Bible questioned what does pleasure really accomplish? He implies the following in Ecclesiastes 2.
PLEASURE IS EMPTY (Ecc. 2:1-3)
Laughter makes you look like a fool. What does it accomplish?
POSSESSIONS ARE EMPTY. (Ecc. 2:4-11)
Solomon had everything “under the sun.” He had…
- gardens and parks
- every kind of fruit tree
- reservoirs to irrigate
- male and female servants
- slaves who were born in his house
- livestock -large herds and flocks - more than all in Jerusalem
- mass amounts silver and gold
- the treasure of kings and provinces
- male and female singers
- many concubines, the delights of men
- became great
- surpassed all in Jerusalem
- had wisdom, wisdom, wisdom
- all that his eyes desired and did not deny himself
- did not refuse himself any pleasure
“When I considered all that, I had accomplished and what I had labored to achieve, I found everything to be futile and a pursuit of the wind. There was nothing to be gained under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 2:11 CSB)
The wisest and the richest man who had gained everything “under the sun” proclaimed it all to be empty and nothingness. In America we are conditioned to believe that we can have it all. We are driven to believe that more, more, and more will complete us. Solomon begged to differ. His wisdom knew that there was more than what is “under the sun.”
WORK IS EMPTY (Ecc. 2:18-26)
Solomon hated all his work that he labored at under the sun because he had to leave it behind in death. He questioned, “what does a person get with all his work and all his efforts that he labors at under the sun?”(Ecclesiastes 2:22 CSB)
He spoke the truth when he said workdays are filled with grief and sorrow. Like many workers He also talked about not being able to leave his work at work. He stated, “even at night, his mind does not rest. This too is futile.” (Ecclesiastes 2:23 CSB)
Ecclesiastes 2, Solomon, the man who had everything “under the sun,” concluded pleasures, possessions and work were all empty nothingness. Pleasure for pleasures sake, possessing just to possess and working just to work brings nothing. However, he believed, “There is nothing better for a person than to eat, drink, and enjoy his work. I have seen that even this is from God’s hand because who can eat and who can enjoy life apart from him?” (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 CSB)
Life, meaning, and enjoyment are only found in and from God. Without Him it is all for nothing!
“For to the person who is pleasing in his sight, he gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and accumulating in order to give to the one who is pleasing in God’s sight. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind. “ (Ecclesiastes 2:26 CSB)
If we do for doing sake, it brings naught. It is futile and a pursuit of the wind. How do you think Solomon became so wealthy? He gained the spoils of those who did not honor nor listen to God.
I enCOURAGE you to make your life count in the few days that we have under the sun. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31 CSB). It will bring meaning to life. Otherwise, you will continue to wade in the see of futility. Do you ever ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing? Life has meaning and it is not found in work, possessions nor pleasure. It can only be found in doing all we do for Jesus. We are only complete in Him.