Bible Reading: Ecclesiastes 2:12-17
Key Verse: 17 – “Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit."
Key Words: Therefore I hated life
Solomon is comparing the wise man with the foolish man. He reaches the conclusion that wisdom is better than folly (verse 13). He also concludes that the wise man uses both his head (brain) and his eyes. He thinks and sees correctly. But the fool’s thinking and sight are all wrong (verse 14). But he reaches another conclusion in verse 16 that they both (the wise and the foolish) die and neither of them are remembered anymore. As a result he says, “I hated life” (verse 17).
Sometimes we become discouraged with life and ask ourselves, “Does life have any new meaning?”
The mythical story is told of Tantalus, a king who had been found guilty of giving the secrets of the Greek gods to mortal men. His punishment was to be placed in the river called Hades. The water came up to his chin. Hanging and dangling over his head were branches of voluptuous fruit. The punishment, however, was this. Every time Tantalus got thirsty and lowered his chin to drink water, the water would recede. Every time Tantalus reached out to grab a piece of fruit, the branch would rise. So the refreshment for his thirst was right there at chin level. Food for his stomach was right above his head. But the harder he tried, the less he got. The punishment for his crime was to be in the vicinity of a blessing and not be able to get it.
The point is simply if you reach out for fulfillment in the things of this life, you'll discover that it's just out of your reach. For nothing in life was designed to give you fulfillment except God. Everything else is but a cheap imitation. The things in life that many of us cling to most for meaning, zip, and purpose must continually be hoarded because they so quickly elude us. The only lasting satisfaction in this life can be found in our relationship with God.
So the answer to, “Does life have any new meaning?” is yes! When you make life about Jesus and others rather than yourself, your life is not meaningless.
What to do:
✞ Live your life, not so you will be remembered, but so Jesus will be remembered.
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