June 8th, 2023
What’s it all about, in the final analysis? What’s the meaning and purpose of life when you get to the very core of the matter? This is the subject that the teacher, King Solomon, deals with in the book of Ecclesiastes. Before he gave his final answer in Chapter 12 at the very end of the book, he explored the various alternatives there are in the search for meaning in life.
His search encompassed many of the things that foolish people try to center their lives around. He tried wine, women, and song. He tried to find meaning in great projects like the building of homes, vineyards, gardens, parks, and reservoirs. He bought himself everything money could buy—slaves, flocks and herds, and goods and services of every kind imaginable. He amassed gold and silver and got himself a harem. He searched everything and everywhere and denied himself nothing in the process.
What he discovered is that focusing one’s life around these creaturely things is meaningless: “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:11). Nothing could satisfy his search for meaning and purpose, because everything he tried was temporary and limited in nature. You heap up wealth, for example, but you have to leave it to somebody else when you die. Thus, “this too is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 2:17-19). Even the search for wisdom itself is meaningless if it is done for its own sake.
Here in Chapter 12 the teacher comes to the end of the matter. The final purpose of life cannot be found within the created order. Every good thing within the creation has its time and place, but if it is set up as the very focus of one’s life it turns into an elusive and meaningless chasing after wind.
Only the reverential fear of and love for the transcendent God of heaven and earth can provide us with a life whose significance will last for all eternity. Only the keeping of His commandments can offer us a purpose that will never fade away or lose its meaning
Inspirational Image of the Day