King Solomon's confession and warning to generations to come, still sounds loud and clear in the Book of Ecclesiastes. It is a fascinating and humbling wake-up call from a man who was blessed with wisdom directly from the hand of God, and yet, who managed to play the role of the fool quite well in his lifetime, as he readily admits in this honest description of his wanderings "under the sun" a metaphor for the time he spent living his life apart from God.
Lamenting life lived with himself at the center, Solomon confesses:
"I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in my work and this was the reward for all my labor. But when I surveyed all my hands had done and all I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Nothing was gained under the sun." Eccleasiastes 2:10,11 NKJV
Isn't this the truth of our times? So often we "chase the wind" trying to grasp hold of the golden ring that is forever eluding us. It so amazes me that nothing has changed "under the sun". Life is still empty, for king or pauper, if lived without the centerpiece of God's love for us, seeing us through every storm and trial. Today, we may think we know so much more about life than they did in Solomon's day. But, his words describe the despair and emptiness that so many feel today, because, just like Solomon, we have forgotten who God is and chosen to live our lives without Him. Who needs God when we have a great job, good health, plenty of food in the fridge, and money to buy whatever we desire? King Solomon discovered that all the wealth and power of his kingdom could not satisfy his deepest need - to live in relationship with the God of his father, King David.
What do we do when our money runs out, our health begins to fail, our loved ones disappear, and the answers we thought we had to all of life's problems come up short? We hit the wall and we are suddenly jarred into the realization that we need something more. We need God. Every generation, everyone who has walked the earth "under the sun" needs a relationship with his God. Without it, "everything is empty - a chasing after the wind".
T.M. Moore's paraphrase of the book of Ecclesiastes gives us this little golden nugget of wisdom for what to do with life when absolutely nothing makes sense anymore, and the pain is bringing us to our knees.
"Live life in the orbit of His love and trust the character of God, even when nothing else makes sense." Now that is wisdom fit for a king...