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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Does Life Have Meaning? (Ecclesiastes 2)

I bet we all have certain personality types which grate against us. One of the top on my "avoid" list are negative and pessimistic people. So naturally when a book of the Bible starts with "everything is meaningless," I find it hard not to power read through it.

Every year I read through the Bible, cover to cover. I look forward to many of the 66 books of the Old Testament and New Testament. But some I dread such as Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon, the two books I'm now moving into in my daily reading.

Admittedly when I get to these books, I tend to power read through them as quickly as I can. But not this year. Every one of these 66 books is inspired by God:

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

So if I truly believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, all 39 books of the Old Testament and all 27 books of the New Testament, why in the world am I power reading through the books that are hard, rather than slowing down and digging into them!

"Ecclesiastes" is a transliterated word that means "Teacher" or "Preacher" in Hebrew. It's a writing of King Solomon in which he is trying to warn us that we need to stop and ask some questions about our life:

  • Does my life have meaning?

  • Where can I find happiness?

Solomon starts out painfully pessimistic saying that everything is meaningless:

Ecclesiastes 2:11 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.

But in this seemingly pessimistic rant, Solomon is actually giving us a wise warning that we will be blessed by, if we take the time to understand and pay attention to it.

Solomon is telling us that even if we attain the greatest wealth, the highest position, the best food, every relationship our heart craves, and every possession money can buy, we still won't be satisfied. Our thirst will still never be quenched by any of these things.

So 38 times through this book, Solomon uses the word "meaningless" or "vanity" depending on your translation, to warn us that power, position, and possessions will never provide happiness or meaning to our lives.

So then what will provide that happiness we crave? Does life even have meaning?

Dear Lord, Thank you for smacking me in the back of the head this morning and reminding me to slow down rather than power read through Ecclesiastes because all 66 books of Your Holy Bible are God-breathed and something I will be blessed by when I take the time to pay attention to them. So I'm now excited to spend time in Ecclesiastes in the coming days to receive the teaching You provided for us, 3,000 years ago, through your servant, King Solomon. Thank you, Lord, for the daily blessings and teachings You give me through Your Word. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Stay tuned as we learn what is meaningful in life in the coming days in Ecclesiastes.

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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