November 18, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in work ... to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth...This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind."
Solomon was considered the wisest man in his day. In the prime of his life he pursued every avenue of satisfaction the world had to offer. The gathering of material wealth of every sort, all the pleasures a prideful world could offer, the accumulation of cattle, vineyards...gold and silver seemed to flow endlessly. He said of himself, "I have grown and increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge. Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind" (Ecclesiastes 1:16-17).
Solomon, at one time in his life, was a composite picture of man's futility in seeking to satisfy what his heart craves for in everything but God. Today, we find man facing the same dilemma. An illustration of this is graphically seen in Disney World. People are willing to wait in line for an hour or longer for the two minute thrill of riding on Magic Mountain. Then they will do it again! It is but a picture of how mankind seeks at every turn the "thrill of the moment" with little or no concern about the hunger his heart craves for. Man lives for today, feeding his life with the fanciful illusions that attract him, but leave him with dreams unfulfilled.
When he thinks he has found his ultimate desire, the goal eludes him, leaves him empty, and he seeks another. Solomon experienced this, achieving everything the heart could possibly desire and then concluded it is but vanity, vanity, vanity...all is vanity. But then he reached his final conclusion of the whole matter. "Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
What does it take for us to be awakened to the cry of our hearts? Will we go on from day to day living in denial of what our hearts crave for more than anything else, even to drink from the fountain of God whose spring never runs dry? We are often alerted by a wake-up call of some tragedy, accident, physical need, or devastating circumstance. But all to often we settle back into the same complacent and neglectful routine without any thought of God trying to draw us to Himself.
A friend of ours has a grandson who was involved in an almost fatal accident. Only the grace of God saved him from that tragic scene. We all prayed for his healing, but even more for his spiritual condition, that he would respond to this near-death experience by realizing how God was trying to draw him into an intimate relationship with Him. The healing took place, but life goes on as before, with little concern for his relationship with the Lord. How sad. How longsuffering and merciful the Lord is. Living in the fast lane seems to be the bent of heart and determination of so many. But one day life will not continue as before but may abruptly end. How necessary it is that we are ready to meet God. Man is "chasing after the wind" but is never able to grasp it. It eludes him at his every effort.
"Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is life? You are as a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (James 4:14). Paul said..."For it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).
How will you then live?
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-11-18
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