Summary: Our unquenchable desires for meaning and more declare that we are made for meaning and more, namely God, and therefore we will only find meaning and more (satisfaction) in Him alone.
Blaise Pascal- 17th Century French/Christian Philosopher (Disinherited Prince Syndrome): Someone who had it all, then lost it all, then spends rest of life trying to recover what he knows down deep he once possessed (Meaning and More).
“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the only explanation is that I was made for another world.” – C.S. Lewis
Theme: Our unquenchable desires for meaning and more declare that we are made for meaning and more, namely God, and therefore we will only find meaning and more (satisfaction) in Him alone.
If earth is the natural habitat for human beings, then why are humans basically unhappy, unsatisfied, frustrated, never having enough time, and growing so easily bored, in the very environment we are made to live in, and some say that we evolved from, where all our basic needs are met and our lives are relatively easy?
H. L. Mencken (19th-20th century American writer/critic of Christianity): 'The basic fact about human experience is not that it is a tragedy, but that it is a bore. It is not that it is predominantly painful, but that it is lacking in any sense.”
In fact, why, when a celebrity has everything, from musician Kurt Cobain, to celebrity Lindsay Lohan, to golfer Tiger Woods, to General Tom Petraeus—fame, fortune, fashion, friends—do they commit suicide, become addicts, or commit crimes, or adultery? Because this world and all the fame, fortune, fashion, pleasure, and relationships that can come with it are never enough to quench our deepest desires. They are never enough to give us the meaning our souls are screaming for. Those deep desires are infinite, and that cry for meaning is eternal. And nothing finite and created, can satisfy. Those deep unquenchable desires are rumors that we are made for another world.
The book of Ecclesiastes (King Solomon’s Blog?)
Ecclesiastes is a depressing book. Carl Sandburg (19th-20th Century American Poet): “Life is like an onion, you peel it back one layer at a time and weep as you do.” Encouraged?
Ecclesiastes removes our fig leaves and shines the spotlight on us. Doesn’t allow for shallow answers to universal questions and cries of the human soul. Makes us stop and consider the practical realities that we are living out. To whom or what are you looking to satisfy you? Why do you choose what you choose on a daily basis? What’s driving your mood? Your attitude? What gets you excited? What gets you out of bed? What makes you afraid? Why do you believe, what do you believe, and have you considered where either leads? Whether you have realized it or not, you are living in a way that answers these questions daily in your own life via your choices, your motivations, your inspirations, and your fears. And are you living those answers out in light of this world or another?
More than anything else what drove me to Jesus was emptiness and meaninglessness. More on that next week…. But what I began to slowly realize is that my emptiness and meaninglessness were rumors of another world. I was a disinherited prince!
King Solomon: Unparalleled Fame, Power, Pleasure, Wealth and Wisdom (1 Kings 10:23-34: “Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. And the whole earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind.”) Yet his conclusion to it all we find in Ecclesiastes.
Promptings that reveal that the rumor is REALITY….
1. The Prompting of Desperation (Ecc. 1:1-2, 14, 17)
• Pedigree: “Son of King David, King in Jerusalem”
• “Preacher”- Meant one who spoke before an assembly- Philosophy Professor. But no ivory tower information. He taught from experience. Will often find him saying, “I perceived,” “I said in my heart,” “I gave my heart to consider.” And he experimented with study/observation, education, hard work, self-indulgence, irreverent humor, laughter, pleasure, luxury, self-gratifying excess. Conclusion?...
• Meaninglessness/Vapor. Superlative use like King of Kings. Man’s man. To make ultimate declaration: VANITY!
• “Most men lead quiet lives of desperation.” –Henry David Thoreau
• “Under the Sun”(29 times) The fall of man. Creation (God made us and everything good)/Fall (We broke everything and ourselves and it became bad, and we became dead)/Redemption (God personally came in Jesus Christ to redeem and restore everything we broke and resurrect us). But “under the sun” only speaks of Fallen Creation: [Picture of box with circle (world) in it]
2. The Prompting of Disillusion (Ecc 1:3-7)
What does man gain by all the toil (all of life’s pursuits and activities) at which he toils under the sun?" What is the gain or profit of it to him? Gain/profit (Hebrew) meaning, "that which is left over."
“After he has sucked dry all the immediate delight, joy or pleasure out of something, what is left over, what endures, what will remain to continually feed the hunger of his life for satisfaction?” - Ray Stedman