Solomon discovered that the world doesn’t satisfy. Solomon was King David’s son and ruled Israel from 971 BC to 931 BC. As a young man, he followed God. He had asked God for wisdom to lead the nation, and God not only gave him wisdom but also riches. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Many of these ladies worshipped idols and led Solomon away from God later in his life.
Solomon had it all and tried it all and still was dissatisfied. He spoke from experience, which colors much of the literature he authored. Scholars credit Solomon with writing most of Proverbs, the entire books of Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes, and several Psalms.
Solomon Looked for the Meaning of Life
Here is Solomon’s search in his own words: Ecclesiastes 1:14 I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind… 17 So I set out to learn everything from wisdom to madness and folly. But I learned firsthand that pursuing all this is like chasing the wind… 2:1I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless… 4 I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards… 9 So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me… Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure…11 But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind… 17 So I came to hate life because everything done here under the sun is so troubling… 24 So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.
It is Meaningless Without God
As Solomon began the book of Ecclesiastes, he looked at life from the world’s point of view. He built idols to please his many wives and ended up far from God. Because of his wealth and position, he could sample things in life that most of us can only dream of. Yet, as he tried everything the world had to offer, he found it meaningless. Only when Solomon added God back into the equation did anything begin to make sense.
Scripture never records that King Solomon repented and turned back to the Lord, but we have a suggestion in our text that he may have. If you have tried things of the world and been disappointed, look to God. Jesus, God’s Son, came to restore us and give meaning to our lives. John 10: 9 Yes, I (Jesus) am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
Jesus restores our relationship with God so we can find the real meaning in life. The world doesn’t satisfy us because God has created us with a need for Him. To learn more, listen here:
[1-2] Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188.