Today: Psalms 94:12-23; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ecclesiastes 1, 2, & 3
“When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ Your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94:18-19
Having a relationship with God gives meaning to this life. Without God, we are just soulless animals, doomed to live a directionless, pain-filled life that ends in pointless death. This is true even for people who amass great wealth, fame, or power in this life. As the saying goes, ‘You can’t take it with you!’
Knowing God, His unconditional love for us, His personal plans for each of us, and that our souls are eternal changes everything. Suddenly everything has a purpose. Death is no longer the end but just another beginning. When we know God, He grants us relief from days of trouble. He gives us help, safety, and joy. When we know God, we know that some day, some glorious day, there WILL be justice on earth.
Ecclesiastes is a confusing book. Many Psalms often start with a lament and then shift to praise. Ecclesiastes is all lament. There is no shift, no resolution at the end. It can make the reader feel lost and depressed… which was exactly the state of King Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes, at the end of his life. Solomon was the richest, most powerful man on the planet. He had everything anyone could ever want, obscene wealth, land, material possessions, hundreds of wives and concubines. Even with all of that, Solomon found everything to be “utterly meaningless!” (v.1:2)
He tried everything to find fulfillment, laughter, wine, projects, acquisitions, treasure. He denied himself nothing, refused his heart no pleasure. But still “everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind…” (v.2:11) And so he hated life, “hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me.” (v.2:18)
Most of us will never be famous, super rich, or powerful. We don’t have to imagine what that is like because Solomon describes it for us. And it isn’t very pretty…