Meaningless (Ecclesiastes 1:1-3:8)
What is striking in the opening chapters of Ecclesiastes is the contemporary relevance of Solomon’s complaint. He is considering the value of the things he has pursued in the face of his own mortality. His conclusion is that they are all meaningless. When he dies, all that he accomplished will pass to another, who may be a fool, and in a short time he will be forgotten. What was it all for? What was really accomplished? What did any of it matter?
The apparent core values of our contemporary culture encourage the pursuit of the same things that Solomon pursued: Material possessions, personal pleasure, knowledge, experiences and accomplishments. Solomon concluded that none of it ultimately matters in the face of mortality. So the best we can do is just enjoy our work while we’re doing it (2:24).
Now, Ecclesiastes is a tough book because one must read it through to the end to get the full meaning of the journey that Solomon describes. But where he is at this point is quite depressing. Even the familiar word of Ecclesiastes 3 offer no hope. Life is simply a series of pre-ordained times for certain activities. A time for this and a time for that. What meaning is there in any of it?
This is an honest and truthful assessment of life without the Holy God. Our meaning and significance comes not through our work, our possessions, our experiences or anything that we accomplish or initiate. Our meaning and significance come from our identity in Christ and His life in us and through us.
So my pray today is for those who feel themselves stuck in the depressive futility that Solomon describes, that they find in Christ the meaning that they seek. And my prayer is also one of thanksgiving for the life that I have in Christ. I praise God for the grace He has shown me in giving me a life of true meaning, having my identity in Him, participating in His creation to bring blessing to others, participating in His mission of reconciliation through my words and deeds, engaging in work every day that is eternal and significant because He has assigned it and is present in it (1 Corinthians 15:58, Matthew 6:20). I pray that by living this life He has given that I may bring glory to Him and blessing to others.
What is the Word leading you to pray about today?
To subscribe to Abide Daily Devotion e-mail please click here