January 29 – Hard Work and a Nice Meal

Read Ecclesiastes 1:12-2:26

“Chasing after the wind…”  Ever tried doing that?  Probably not.  You know that you cannot see it, let alone catch it!  It is no wonder Solomon uses that word picture of futility to describe man’s attempt to experience meaning in life apart from God.  It is just not possible!

Solomon knew from his own experiences that life, without connection to the Creator, was one filled with vanity.  He had attempted it in many ways.  He tried education and wisdom (vv. 1:16-18; 2:12-16) but found them to be a dead end street.  When he pursued pleasure (2:1-3), he discovered it to be empty.  Building projects and acquisition of wealth (2:4-11) proved to be unsatisfying.  Even hard work done without God in your life and purpose is futile toil (2:17-23).

Based on those conclusions, it sounds like life is worthless.  It is enough to cause a person to say, “What’s the use?”  But Solomon doesn’t leave you in a hopeless state of depression.  Even though he withholds his final conclusion for the last chapter, he gives you a glimpse of hope and purpose in the latter verses of chapter two.

A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?”  (2:24, 25)

In other words, when Christ is part of your life, you can find joy and satisfaction in work.  Even menial tasks can be done to please God whom you serve (Col. 3:23).  But that’s not all.  You can also enjoy food and drink, because you recognize Him to be the source of every good and perfect gift (Js. 1:17) and even eating and drinking can be done to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31).

In short, when life is lived without God, everything lacks meaning and satisfaction.  When life is lived with God, everything has meaning…if you will recognize it…and everything can bring satisfaction…if you will allow it!

If you are a Christ-follower, perhaps your perspective on the things you do needs to change.  If you are not a Christ-follower, why not surrender the control of your life over to Him?

Steve Kern

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