In the time we live, it seems like our culture continues to be driven by an instant gratification mentality. Unfortunately, despite popular opinion, human kind has always been entertainment or pleasure driven; the indulgences of today are just different from the indulgences of yesterday. Yet, the principles of idolizing entertainment are timeless, dating back even to biblical times. Our study today focuses on King Solomon, a man who spent much of his life in pursuit of pleasure.
It is fair to say King Solomon was infatuated with entertainment. He successfully went through just about every worldly vanity. Solomon constructed massive structures, pools, royal gardens, fell to drunkenness, had sexual escapades, owned slaves, amassed large quantities of money, and chased philosophy and wisdom. This does not sound all too different than today, does it?
I am sure we can all relate to at least one if not several of the avenues of entertainment Solomon pursued. People in our time still find pleasure in the pride of building huge homes, laughing at dirty jokes, exploring sexually, acquiring and/or spending large sums of money, and getting drunk. But can any one of these truly give pleasure, better yet joy?
Let us heed the words of the man who experienced all of these “pleasures” and even more. Despite having “everything” defined by worldly standards, Solomon says it is all “Meaningless! Meaningless… everything is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). He had quite literally tried everything, acquired everything, and pursued every bit of knowledge he could obtain; yet he found it all to be meaningless.
Solomon realized true joy is found in a relationship with God. No worldly pleasure will ever compare to satisfaction of the hope of eternity found in the cross. Paul writes to the church in Philippi saying, “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ” (Philippians 3:8-9).
We can gain everything; we can idolize the search for pleasure in anything, yet true joy cannot be experienced outside of a relationship with, and pursuit of, the Lord Jesus Christ. Have you made your personal pleasure a god? Lay these entertainment idols at the foot of the cross today in prayer.
-Taylor Bennington (TAB)