Summary: Solomon searched life for meaning, and the meaning seemed to elude him.
by Wade Martin Hughes, Sr.
I ponder today, if I knew I only had one more sermon to preach, and then take my last breath, WHAT WOULD I SAY? At best, life as we know it, is just a temporary arrangement. We become better stewards of money than time. I ponder, FOR WHAT ARE WE LOOKING?
I am told David’s best writing was as an old man. I am told the 23 Psalms was written after the many storms and trials David faced, and he wrote the Shepherd’s Psalm from the voice of wisdom looking back over the shoulder of a man that knew bitter defeats and sweet victories.
I would say quit putting the effort behind cleaning cobwebs and kill the spiders. We take many approaches to problems that enlarge the problem. To avoid cobwebs, understanding would know, by killing the spiders, we would eliminate the need to clean the cobwebs.
Solomon wasted much of his efforts on material treasures, this would birth a loss of focus on what was important. He accumulated fine horses, silver, and gold.
Solomon learned to build covenant relationships with other Kingdoms, by using marriage, then to have children. After the marriage, Solomon would have children, the other king would never attack -- for his grandchildren were with Solomon -- the little ones became a buffer zone of safety for Solomon.
Solomon never had to trust the Lord for his safety, Solomon could trust in the arm of the flesh. This was going to be a costly mistake. False gods would soon move into Solomon’s backyard, and Solomon would fine his heart turning away from God’s plan for him.
Solomon chased many rainbows that left him with the sad words -- vanity of vanities, all is vanity. (Useless, useless all is useless!) Why would such a smart man come to such an invalid conclusion? If you base your life on the invalid, everything appears to become invalid.
Ecclesiates shows THE SEARCH FOR THE MEANING OF LIFE. This search led Solomon farther and farther from his Creator. Solomon will turn to more interest in the creature than the Creator. See, Solomon’s search led him closer to emotions and feelings and the pursuit of things. Then one day, the smart boy wakes up so empty. Solomon sees, no purpose of life. How sad Solomon became.
I have a lesson called Solomon’s Search, and how happiness becomes a poor goal for living. Briefly, his search trail leads this way.
1. Search for wisdom: (Ecc. 1:18) ... the conclusion ... much study is a weariness of the flesh ... (Ecc. 12:12)
2. Search of Pleasure: (Ecc. 2:1) ... this is vanity.
3. Search for a substance to alter the mind: (Ecc.2:3) Give myself to wine -- this is folly -- for you wake up in a hangover. The Doctor can give you a sleeping pill with no rest, a nerve pill and no solution. Mind altering pills and drink cannot bring change. We need an internal change.
4. Search of Materialism: (Ecc. 2:4-6) ... I made great works -- Builded me .. Planted .. Swimming pools .. movie stars (hehe) .. Great possessions (vs7) ... though everyone else was impressed Solomon was empty. Things and toys are poor measuring sticks of real success. He that has the biggest toys, dies too.
5. Search of authority: (Ecc. 2:7) power, influence, leadership, boss, commander, master? -- got me servants.
6. Search for security: (Ecc. 2:8) We all seek a life free of worry, fear, and anxiety. We dream of freedom from danger -- retirement -- a nest egg -- treasury -- storehouse. How much is enough?
7. Search of music and entertainment: (Ecc. 2:8) Solomon had a rich heritage in music, his dad David, could play so well his music helped calm Saul’s nerve problems. He was probably a skilled musician and gathered around him the most skilled, elite, musicians of his day. The professional skills were entertaining, but life is more than acting.
If I count right, Solomon says I, Me, Mine, Myself --- at least 59x’s in chapter two -- Big Boy’s focus on self will bring destruction. ( I dare you to read Ecc. 2 and circle I, me, and mine.)
It is a shame ... for one so smart to waste an understanding heart to focus on the flesh. No wonder: Big Boy is saying VANITY ... ALL IS VANITY? useless? Bad attitudes will tell ...
Are we looking for our purpose or HIS PURPOSE? Has life lost its meaning? Has ministry become a drag? Perhaps we have lost our focus? Real meaning comes from great effort and trials! The search must come to the BOOK and the ALTAR. We are not to worship the creation, but the creator.
Ecclesiastes 12, becomes a great literary master piece, wish I had the room to discuss chapter 12, but let’s get to the bottom line -- In the end, when we are gone to the cold grave, only what we have taught, or only the words we have written will remain.