S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”
I 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. So I said, “Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?” After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world.
I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves. I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned large herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who had lived in Jerusalem before me. I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire!
So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and my wisdom never failed me. Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere. Ecclesiastes 2:1–11 NLT
Are you surprised that even the wisest king struggled to find lasting happiness?
What do you believe is worthwhile and worthless in your life right now?
When you have “everything” you could desire and you are not happy or fulfilled, what do you do next?
We are eternal beings on a broken and cursed world. Is it any wonder that we are built for more than what we can find or experience during this life? What should be our focus?
Lord, thank you for coming to bring us from darkness to light, from death to life, from meaningless pursuits to genuine love for you and other eternal people. Help me be fulfilled as I long to be with you for eternity.