This week, our pastor preached out of Ecclesiastes 8. Frankly, Ecclesiastes has always been a huge downer of a book to me. I’ve only heard 6 sermons at most on it in all my churchgoing life. None of them have lasted in my memory. I have to commend our pastor because he’s done a great job of dissecting a dismal book and making it live. He’s put it in the context of Solomon’s life. Solomon, the king who asked God for wisdom – and got it – ended up with more wealth and wives than most of us could ever dream of. Yet he found himself dissatisfied with this life.
By the 8th chapter, Solomon is starting to come out of his “What’s the point?” mentality. He knows men do better if they serve God and pursue righteousness (v.12). He realizes the inequities in life of good people dying yet uncelebrated for their lives of love.
“I can’t get no…!”
“We need to learn to manage our level of satisfaction,” pastor said. That struck a chord.
I didn’t immediately think of The Rolling Stone’s ageless anthem right away. But it fits. I know the context of the song is about something different, but the pursuit of satisfaction in this life remains. We watch TV. We have another drink. We date another person thinking, this time it will be different. I will feel something. It’ll all tie up in a nice bow.
What does Solomon say about this dilemma?
So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun. – Ecclesiastes 8:15
We should enjoy our routines and our daily interactions. It’s part of the goodness of living to foster relationships and do what needs doing each day.
So, what to do about the unfairness under the sun?
In my search for wisdom and in my observation of people’s burdens here on earth, I discovered that there is ceaseless activity, day and night. I realized that no one can discover everything God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people discover everything, no matter what they claim. – Ecclesiates 8:16-17
We do our best to right wrongs. God cares about people. However, some issues won’t get resolved here on earth. God is the final judge.
Satisfaction is a learned behavior, no matter what Mick says.