TipriTV.com One of the richest men in history ended up calling life, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity!,” or put another way, “Meaningless, meaningless! All is meaningless!”
After having made his way down the buffet table, sampling all of life’s powers and pleasures, the Biblical King Solomon related his convictions in his book, Ecclesiastes:
I refused my heart no pleasure
My heart took delight in all my work,
And this was the reward for all my labor;
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
And what I had toiled to achieve;
Everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind,
Nothing was gained under the sun” (2:10-11).
I must say that King Solomon’s perspective on life offers a much bleaker start to 2012 than perhaps the simpler words of John Lennon:
“And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear…”
T.S. Elliot, in a 1934 play titled “The Rock,” sounds very similar to the words found in the book of Ecclesiastes. He writes:
O perpetual recurrence of determined seasons,
O world of spring and autumn, birth and dying!
The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of The Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to God.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Bring us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.”
T.S. Elliot and King Solomon both expose the futility of life. Where is there meaning? What is the point?
King Solomon offered a depressing one-word assertion: meaningless. “Nothing was gained under the sun,” he observed, insisting on the futility of a life on earth lived apart from God and without any belief in an afterlife. Today, his words reach across the ages into our lives, suggesting that we too could find ourselves living a life without true significance.
Hundreds of years following King Solomon’s death, Jesus Christ was born, and his teachings became for the world a roadmap that is both infinitely higher and contrary to “typical” life.
“The poor in spirit are blessed!”
“The meek inherit the earth.”
“The first are last and the last are first.”
“The greatest man is the one that serves others.”
“The one who loses everything is the only one that will have everything.”
Jesus taught that the primary aim in life is to love God and serve others, and millions today can attest to the joy and satisfaction that comes from doing so. Thankfully, King Solomon ended Ecclesiastes with a similar message, pointing us to a life lived for God, in which hope and meaning are found in Him alone: “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of men” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
I leave you with a road map for a wonderful 2012. It is a roadmap that for some may be easy to follow, but for others, all too easy to ignore: “Hope and trust in God and in what He has in store for you.”
God tells us something wonderful in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
While it is true that outside of God there is no real hope, it is also true that in God, we have His unfailing promises. In Him, we have life, true life.
“You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance” (Psalm 65:11).