In the Bible, we see a man who did it all. A man with great riches, great houses, great women and great wisdom…but in the end he questioned its meaning. Solomon was both wealthy and famous. In Ecclesiastes 1:2-3 (NIV), he writes, “‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’ What does a man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?”
     Solomon claimed at least four areas were “utterly meaningless.” First, wisdom is meaningless. In 1:13, Solomon says “I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven…all of them are meaningless.” Wisdom (by itself) is meaningless.
     Secondly, pleasure is meaningless. He tried to find meaning in everything from fine wine to laughter, from large homes to sex (having 700 wives and 300 concubines). Solomon said, “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure…everything was meaningless” (2:10-11).{mosimage}
     Third, work is meaningless. He poured his efforts into hard labor. Even as king, he did not find meaning and purpose in life. Solomon said, “a man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work…but this too is meaningless.” (2:26).
     Fourth, money is meaningless. He turns to earning the almighty dollar. Solomon said, “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income,” only to say, “This too is meaningless” (5:10).
     Will you be known for your wealth, wisdom or wishes? When it is all over…what will you have done for eternity? King Solomon, having tried it all, said, “Here is the conclusion of the matter; Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (12:13, emphasis added).
     A Danish fable tells of a spider which descended on a single thread from the loft of a barn. It attached the thread to a corner of the barn and there began to weave its web. The spider began to prosper as the bugs were caught in its web. Then one day, the spider looked up at that single thread leading to the unseen loft and forgot why it was there. In an instant, the spider reached up, clipped the thread, and the web came crashing down.
     There was a time in Solomon’s life, when he had a vital link with heaven. But when he was prosperous, Solomon reached up and clipped that relationship with heaven…and when he did, his whole world came crashing to the ground. In the end, Solomon finally realized that it was all meaningless apart from God.
     Solomon asks, “What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?” If all we have at the end of our life is what we did “under the sun,” we have missed it. We must decide to live for what is “above the sun.” Are you living life under the sun…or are you living life for what is above the sun…for Jesus?
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