“So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety? Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless. So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him? God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who please him. This, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.”
Ecclesiastes 2:22-26 NLT
Solomon was perhaps the richest and wisest man to have ever lived. He was given great wisdom and riches by God (see I Kings 3:12-13). Solomon took those riches and used them to fulfill his desires (see Ecclesiastes 2:10).
Solomon had written the Song of Solomon in his youth, Proverbs in his mid life years, and Ecclesiastes in his older years. In Ecclesiastes, Solomon was looking back over his life as an old man. His perspective of life was now affected by his regrets and unsatisfied spirit and soul. In many respects, he probably wished he could turn the clock back to live life again. Only this time, he would live it under God's pleasing. He had experienced the best that this sinful world could offer and was left unfulfilled.
How many of us have lived life only to look back in regret? Probably all of us! Just like Solomon, we start out young and foolish. We have our ambitions and dreams. We have the opportunity to enjoy some things in life, yet we still want something more. We are so unsettled. We think that maybe the new car, the new house, the beautiful woman, or handsome man may help us arrive at our ultimate destination. Soon, however, we find ourselves disillusioned by it all. Unsettled by the circumstances of life, we struggle to live from day to day. We get caught in the routine of existence. However, God made us to live, not just exist. When we stop looking for satisfaction in the "stuff" of life and accept the fact that it can only be found in the God of life, then, and only then, can we experience contentment.
Do you have food to eat? Clothes to wear? Shoes for your feet? Eyes to see? Ears to hear? The list can go on. Stop and count your true riches. Money never buys happiness. Sure, it may life easier to live, but it cannot satisfy. Only God can satisfy our deepest longings.
Prayer for today: Father, in Jesus name, I repent of my adultery with the "stuff" of life and ask that you forgive me. Thank you for the day to day provisions You have given me. May I never underestimate the value of loving you and being able to share that love with others. I am truly rich!!
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Rev. Curtis Norris