Living The Abundant Life
“So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:9-11
Today’s reading in Ecclesiastes reveals that Solomon, son of David, king of Jerusalem, was a man who admittedly had the opportunity to indulge in many good things. He said, “And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure.” Solomon accomplished more than most in his pursuit of power, position, possessions and pleasures. In addition to all of this Solomon reports that wisdom remained with him. It was, in fact, this wisdom that enabled Solomon to review the narrative of his life and repeat, some 37 times, that despite everything he’d experienced, all was “vanity.”
What is God teaching us through the words of Solomon? What can we glean from our reading on this Good Friday, the day Christians all over the world commemorate as the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His death at Calvary?
On this solemn day let us consider our Lord’s life. We remember his birth in a lowly stable and his death on a cross at Calvary, and we are witness to a life lived with purpose and significance. Conversely, the life of Solomon, who despite his life of privilege, lived as a god unto himself and was often unfulfilled and left with a sense of emptiness in and through his experiences.
Solomon’s writings teach us that a life lived with pleasure or happiness as its most important goal is a life void of meaning and purpose. Idols have a way of leaving us with yearnings that cannot be satisfied; hence, we continue our endless striving in pursuit of something or someone that is essentially powerless to provide the contentment we are seeking. Pleasure or happiness may provide momentary gratification but ultimately prove unsatisfactory. At this point, we may be tempted to cry out as Solomon, “All is vanity and striving after the wind; and there is nothing to be gained under the sun.” Solomon’s conclusion speaks less about the meaninglessness of life, than it does about the meaninglessness of life lived apart from God. He teaches us that human effort, however noble it may be, represents a life lived in futility.
In John 10:10 Jesus explains, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” The abundant life that Jesus is speaking of is not found in the things that we acquire or even in our human relationships. The abundant life that Jesus is speaking of refers to the life offered mankind as a result of Jesus’ death on Calvary’s cross. It is the supernatural relationship with God, through Jesus, enriched and empowered by His Spirit that gives meaning and purpose to an otherwise meaningless life.
As Solomon completes his discourse, he writes that the whole duty of man is to fear God and keep His commands. Solomon found his way to God and in the process found true meaning and purpose in life. May we prayerfully and humbly consider our lives in light of Jesus’ sacrifice and commit afresh, as did Solomon, to loving God and keeping His commands.
Let’s talk: What can we glean from our reading on this Good Friday, the day Christians all over the world commemorate as the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His death at Calvary?
Joan serves Love God Greatly in the area of Community Development as well as writing the WomenofLGG Saturday feature. She’s been married to her God-given best friend, Bobby, for 37 years. They have been blessed with two precious children, their cherished spouses and five adorable and much-loved grandchildren. Thirty four years ago God mercifully became the Lord of Joan’s life. From that moment she has been dedicated to serving Him faithfully. Whether advocating for children in the court system or leading women’s Bible studies at her home church, she longs for others to know the love of Jesus that transformed her life. Romans 8:37-39.
Did you miss Wednesday’s post? View it here!