Summary: Life "under the sun" has no satisfaction!



Introduction: The title was borrowed from a line in Ed Young’s book Been There, Done That and Now What? Mick Jagger is a rock star. He’s the lead man for the group called “The Rolling Stones.” In the 60’s one song shot the Stones to stardom. The title was “Satisfaction.” The opening line says, “I can’t get no satisfaction…” Isn’t that the theme of Ecclesiastes? Whether it’s the bewildered philosopher, Bandy the rodeo clown (he makes everybody laugh, but keeps a pint hid out behind chute number one to drown his own sorrows), Hugh Hefner and his Playboy band or good time Charlie who’s got the blues; they’re all looking for satisfaction. Here’s the point: looking for satisfaction “under the sun” is only chasing the elusive butterfly of love. It’s spitting into the wind. It’s the Mick Jagger syndrome. Life “under the sun” has no satisfaction!

In chapter six please note Solomon’s insight. Observe:

I. The Unfulfilled Life of a Rich Man (1-6)

In the NIV the word “enjoy” is used four times. Here’s a person with all the “toys,”

but none of the “joys” (verse 2). To whom is Solomon referring. I agree with Church Swindoll (Living on the Ragged Edge) when he writes this is “the self-portrait of a troubled king.”

Allow me to draw three principles from these verses.

A. It’s the Giver not the Gifts that Brings Real Joy (v. 2) – You cannot enjoy the gifts of life without the God who gives the gifts.

B. Your Joy can be Stolen (v. 2) – See the word “stranger” (NIV); foreigner (KJV). Who’s stealing your joy? See John 15:11; Gal. 22; John 16:21-22. Is it circumstances, things, people, worry, adversaries, sickness, family conflicts? When we focus more on the gifts than the giver, God has a way of causing us not to enjoy the gifts! It is then we start to question and evaluate God.

C. Many Children and More Years Don’t Always Add Up to More Joy (3-6)

No doubt a hundred children and two thousand years is an exaggeration although, with regards to the hundred kids, there’s a mayor and state senator in west Tennessee working on that one. More kids may not get you out of depression, but may drive you further into it. Let’s face it, when they are babies they run at both ends. When they’re toddlers they are spoiled little brats who think they have to have every toy Wal-Mart has ever peddled. When they are teens they live on another planet.

What about the “many years?” If your life is marked by pain and hardship that only

prolongs the agony. Also note here Solomon’s reference to “proper burial” and being “stillborn.” What does all this mean? There was no proper burial (nobody grieving) because his family didn’t love him. They only stayed around long enough for the reading of the will! The stillborn is referred to as “it” five times. Not given a name was thought to help the parents get over their grief quicker. Here’s the bottom line: If you can’t enjoy life/riches and no one grieves when you die, what does that say about your life? You’ve be better off never to have been born! Such is the case of the unfilled life of a rich man. “I can’t get no satisfaction.”

II. The Unsatisfied Soul of a Poor Man (7-9)

You can be an unsatisfied poor man as well as you can be an unfulfilled rich man!

Again, allow me to bring three principles to light here.

A. You Can Experience Labor without Reward (v. 7) – “Efforts” = labor. Why work? So we can eat. Why eat? So we can live (add years to our life). What good does it do to add years to your life if you don’t add life to your years? Note the word appetite (v. 7, 9). It’s the Hebrew word (Nephesh) than means soul. Hard word doesn’t necessarily satisfy an empty life. (Remember the story of Mary and Martha?) The most important moments of your day will not be at your desk, but in your prayer closet!

B. You Can Attain Wisdom Without Advantage (v. 8) – He’s not belittling education or self-improvement, but these of themselves cannot satisfy.

C. You Can Have Big Dreams and No Results (v. 9) – Like Swindoll said, “Give me a hamburger, fries and a coke rather than a dream about a steak, dreams don’t fill empty stomachs.” Come to terms with reality. The real thing you see is better than the dreams you hope for.

III. The Unanswered Questions of a Confused Man (10-12)

In the text (NIV) you will find six questions (v. 6, 8, 11, 12). Solomon’s search

didn’t provide answers, only more questions. The fact is, some questions can never be answered! Let me make three observations from these verses.

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