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 2:24-26 –
(24) There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God. (25) For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I? (26) For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.
After Solomon saw that devoting our lives to accumulating this world’s riches was a vain pursuit. He begins to understand that our material possessions were given to us by God to meet our physical needs and give us comfort in this life…
There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour.
One of the great purposes for the creation of this world was to meet the needs of mankind. When man labors, it allows him to meet his physical needs and bring temporal joy during his life on earth.
This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.
Solomon understood that the ability to labor and the receipt of the riches of this world come only through the gracious intervention of the Lord in our lives.
It is the Lord that created the world and all things in it, He is the One who gives us the ability to labor to reap the world’s offerings, and it is He who gives us the wisdom and knowledge to know how to use the world’s possessions for our good and His glory.
For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?
Solomon understood the blessed societal standing that he had been given by the Lord. Solomon was perhaps the most wealthy man on the face of the planet during his lifetime. If anyone could enjoy the material blessings this world had to offer, it would have been Solomon. He could enjoy the best foods, drinks, and joys this world had to offer.
For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God.
Solomon attributes to the Lord earthly wisdom, knowledge and joy which enables him to labor and receive the goods this world has to offer. For the man that is Godly, he uses his God-given wisdom and knowledge to use properly and bring much joy to his heart.
However, for the wicked man, earthly wisdom and knowledge results in great pains. This is because he uses his abilities to accumulate and hoard great wealth. This then leads to discontentment, selfish hoarding and constant coveting of another man’s goods.
Also, the Lord, in many cases, will meet the needs of his people through the wealth accumulated by the lost man which eventually can end up in the hands of the saved. This can take place in many ways, through inheritance, business transactions, or charitable giving etc.
This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.
Solomon saw that this is “vanity” (short-lived with no lasting value) and “vexation of spirit” (grasping for the wind that can never be caught).
May we all come to understand the futility of living our lives for the accumulation of worldly wealth and may we learn to use our assets wisely to care for our needs, enjoy life that the Lord has given to us and give to help meet the needs of God’s people and work.
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)|
|2.||2:4-11||The pursuit of material possessions through human labors|
|3.||2:12-17||The pursuit of worldly wisdom, madness and folly|
|4.||2:18-23||The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #1|
|5.||2:24-26||The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #2|
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