Ecclesiastes

Hi all! Today’s lesson is from a book called Ecclesiastes. Eh-klee-see-as-tees.

all-is-vanity

King Solomon wrote this book and it’s about how the only thing that matters is God.

King Solomon asked God for wisdom…but even still…Solomon was always looking for what would make him happy. “I said to myself, “Look, I am wiser than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. I have greater wisdom and knowledge than any of them.” 17 So I set out to learn everything from wisdom to madness and folly. But I learned firsthand that pursuing all this is like chasing the wind.” 1: 16-17

2:1-11: “I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless. So I said, “Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?” After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world.

I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves.I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned large herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who had lived in Jerusalem before me. I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful wives and companions. I had everything a man could desire!

So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and my wisdom never failed me. 10 Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors.11 But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.”

Solomon looked around at all the world..the people who were doing great, and the people who were working hard, the people who were having a hard time and the people who were hungry or hurt…and he tried to understand it. He knew that sometimes sad things happen to good people…and that sometimes mean people get more money or more praise. Life is not fair sometimes. He found out that money, THINGS, being smart, being in charge like a president or king, or having everything you ever wanted is NOT what makes a person truly happy.

Solomon reminds us that we may never understand ALL the things God is doing or WHY things are happening. 8:16-17: “In my search for wisdom and in my observation of people’s burdens here on earth, I discovered that there is ceaseless activity, day and night. 17 I realized that no one can discover everything God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people discover everything, no matter what they claim.” 3:11 “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”

So life is not always fair, and we may not understand it…but GOD does. We can trust Him. He provides us with food, drink and work (2:24) and He wants us to enjoy all He’s given us in life. (5:19) Even when life is scary or unfair…we can trust God. 12:13 “Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.”

The more King Solomon tried to find happiness with lots of wives, with money, with being smart, being in charge…the more he learned that NONE of that matters. All that matters is obeying God and enjoying what He gives us.

Let’s be thankful today for what God has given us and try to remember that having lots of things is nice, but what really matters is obeying God and following Him.

Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all.

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