Summary: True meaning in life is found by true Christians in seeking to know and do God's Will wisely not foolishly.
WISDOM FROM HUMAN SOURCES MATTERS FOR NAUGHT RELATIVE TO WISDOM FROM GOD
Solomon presented himself as Exhibit A – the “devil’s advocate” - to help those searching for meaning in life to contrast the emptiness of life apart from God versus the fulfillment of life lived with and for God. Consider me Exhibit B.
Perhaps you, like me, have had it said about you, “He (she) was born wise,” or, “He (she) is wise beyond his (her) years.” With either assessment, let me take issue.
If wisdom was ever an asset of mine, question: Where did it go? Did my wisdom disappear at the same time that my “get up and go” got up and went?
At least a few unwise decisions have been made by me (and perhaps you) in the past. Yet, God is merciful . . . forgives mistakes and errors of judgment by His children - IF we admit . . . submit . . . commit . . . as did Solomon when he realized that he was not as smart as he thought, nor as wise as others thought.
Solomon had his shortcomings, and at times acted foolishly like all human beings. So, as “devil’s advocate”, he admitted his faults, submitted his imperfect self to the scrutiny of critics, committed himself to the proposition that wisdom from human sources matters for naught relative to wisdom from God – Proverbs and Ecclesiastes (selected) . . . Maybe Solomon was thinking: “There’s no fool like an old fool.”
Henry Ward Beecher, a well-known preacher in the nineteenth century, is said to have arrived one Sunday at his Church to find several letters waiting for him. He opened the letters and read them, but one letter simply had one word written on the piece of paper: “Fool”.
A short while later, he went into the sanctuary to begin the worship service, whereupon he made this announcement to his congregation: “I have known many an instance of someone writing a letter and forgetting to sign their name, but this is the only instance I have ever known of someone signing their name and forgetting to write the letter.”
Our “devil’s advocate” confessed that it was beyond him to understand the difference between the destiny of a fool and his own - apart from trust in Creator God.
Try as secularists might, “human thinking at its very best” cannot fathom let alone explain the intelligent design of our vast universe, nor the origin of complex human bodies, nor the reason why humans express different emotions . . .
Whereas unbelievers reject, while believers accept, the biblical explanation, “In the beginning God”, both will experience death. Death is no respecter of persons!
However, wouldn’t you agree it is better to be in the category of “believer” rather than “unbeliever” when the “great beyond” is factored into the equation.
People who do not find true meaning in life often find themselves hating life itself . . . their families . . . themselves . . . their gender . . . their country . . . Church . . . God. All too often haters strive diligently to spread their misery to everyone!
The French philosopher Voltaire said to a close friend: “I hate life, and yet I am afraid to die.” Life apart from God is vanity. Without God, we might as well spend our time trying to catch the wind. But, with God in our lives, we have so much to live and die for.
In his autobiography, Billy Graham illustrated the contrast between a life lived solely for self, based on human wisdom, and life lived for others as well as for self, based on wisdom that comes from God:
“Years ago Ruth and I visited an island in the Caribbean. One of the wealthiest men in the world asked us to come to his lavish home for lunch. He was 75 years old; throughout the entire meal he seemed close to tears. ‘I am the most miserable man in the world,’ he said. ‘Out there is my yacht. I can go anywhere I want to. I have my private plane, my helicopters. I have everything I want to make my life happy, yet I am as miserable as hell.’ We talked to him and prayed with him, pointing him to Christ who alone gives lasting meaning to life.
“Then we went down to the small cottage where we were staying. That afternoon the pastor of the local church came to call. He was an Englishman, and he too was 75 – a widower who spend most of his time taking care of his two invalid sisters. He was full of enthusiasm and love for Christ and others. ‘I don’t have two pounds to my name,’ he said with a smile, ‘but I am the happiest man on this island.’