Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”. He is the one that will proclaim the spritiual truths of God to those in his nation and to Christians throughout time.
Keep in mind, Solomon learned these truths by trying to find the meaning to life through experiencing all this world has to offer. Solomon was uniquely suited to learn these lessons and share these truths with the people of God…
First of all, very few men possess sufficient wealth and power to be able to sample all this world has to offer (1 Kings 10:23).
Secondly, only Solomon and a few others throughout time, have been universally respected causing his teachings to be taken very seriously and thoughtfully by all (1 Kings 4:30-34). (Keep in mind, even Christ Himself and His teachings were rejected by many of those around Him.)
Solomon was God’s man, in God’s place, at God’s time, by God’s grace, to learn this most important truth and proclaim it with authority to those he loved. May we all listen carefully as Solomon reveals to us the true meaning to life and answer the question… “What Is Our Life If Not Lived for The Lord ?”.
Eccl 2:1-3 –
“I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it? I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.”
Solomon continues to commune with his inward man and desires…
I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.
Solomon resolved to be about the important business at hand and experience mirth (parties or other celebrations) which bring temporal pleasure (worldly entertainment and happiness) to men.
What did Solomon find out from partaking in a party-lifestyle? “This is also vanity”… simply like a bubble that is short-lived with no lasting value. A party lifestyle will bring very short-term happiness and joy during the celebration, but soon after all that joy and happiness is lost.
I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?
During these party times Solomon experienced “laughter”. “Laughter” comes from a Hebrew word that means to have pleasure/joy from mockery, or scorning others.
Solomon came to understand that the pleasure we get from mocking others is actually a type of “madness”, or a type of foolish boasting in an attempt to make us shine in others eyes. Oh how very true. When we make fun of others, it is normally our sinful attempt to exalt ourselves over them. How sad, stupid and sinful!
Solomon then asks the question what good do these attempts at partying, humor, and mockery really do for us? The implied answer is that these attempts hold no real lasting value to our happiness and purpose of life. In many ways, it sidetracks us from that which will give lasting joy and peace to us.
I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine,
Solomon then turns himself over to drunkenness. “Give myself to wine” isn’t speaking of simply drinking wine moderately, but it is describing a state of drunkenness where wine is the controlling force in his life.
yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly,
While he was experiencing drunkenness he applied his earthly wisdom to find the answer to his question. What does he mean by this?
Perhaps, he was thinking that, perhaps, being intoxication added to wisdom may reveal to him something he could not see with wisdom alone.
Or he is saying that while he was drunk, he was using his earthly wisdom to see if his drunkenness was the real source of happiness and purpose in life or an act of foolishness.
Please keep in mind, several places in the Bible, drunkenness can speak of allowing any of our carnal, fleshly desires to control us. Perhaps in this portion of Scripture, we see Solomon testing out all the desires of his flesh, seeing if any of them will bring him true joy and purpose to life.
till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.”
As Solomon tested drunkenness to see what would hold lasting benefit to mankind. In other words, he wanted to see into what men should invest their lives to bring to them the greatest amount of lasting, eternal benefits.
Folks, in Solomon’s search for the true meaning to life, he first eliminated living a “party-life”, or in other words, living to fulfill the carnal desires of his flesh. Solomon came to understand that these things only led to a living a wasted, unfulfilled life.
May we all learn from Solomon’s experience and seek after the things which are above, not the things that are found in a fallen world that is “under the sun”.
Solomon’s pursuit of the meaning of life included:
|1.||2:1-3||The pursuit of carnal desires (the base pleasures found in a fallen world)|
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