Take Pleasure in the Things of God 4 .8.18

April 8, 2018


Ecclesiastes, what a book!  If you have never had the pleasure of reading it, the entire book can be summed up in two verses from the beginning and the end of the book:

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless” (Eccles. 1:2).

“Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. Now that all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments for this is the duty of all mankind” (Eccles. 12:12-13).

The character of the “teacher” in the book, heard in the first quote, spends much of the book expounding on the concept that time and death devour all meaning from your life: “Generations come, and generations go, but the earth remains forever” (Eccles. 1:4).  No matter how much you work, you may not find purpose, and no matter how much pleasure you indulge in, you may feel empty.  The teacher also retraces Job’s path by preaching on the lack of value in worldly wisdom.  Job suffered in life even though he was “blameless and upright” (Job 1:1).  Just following God’s commands and the wisdom of your fathers is no guarantee to having a good life.  “The fate of the fool will overtake me also.  What then do I gain from being wise?... This too is meaningless” (Eccles. 2:15).

At the surface, this book seems to suggest the value of Nihilism or Absurdism, the ideas that everything is meaningless, and nothing truly matters.  Yet, we are left with an important question:  Why is this book in the Bible?  I think that this is God addressing future philosophers by addressing their thoughts head-on before their time.  God’s response to us is the same as it was to Job:  Do you claim to know how the world works?  Is your knowledge so grand, have you so great a perspective as to think that if you cannot understand the reason for something that there is no reason?  We should focus on the tasks God has for us.  We must take pleasure in the things God takes pleasure in and be confident that God does not call us to labor in vain.

Upcoming Lessons:

  • Sunday 4/8: Luke 9:21-27: What does it take to be a follower of Jesus?
  • Wednesday 4/11: Song of Songs: A power ballad for the ages!

Event Updates:

  • May 30th: Youth Cooks Wednesday Night Dinner!

Prayer Requests:

  • The Lock-In!:  Praises come showering out of all who participated in a wonderful event.  We had a great time making our own pizzas, and fellowshipping with one another, but we are especially blessed to have participated in the Stations of the Cross event as our first activity.
  • Summer Camp: It’s expensive, it’s exciting, and it comes, sooner than it seems.  We need prayer for all that comes with this wonderful endeavor.  I know that God will provide, I pray that he will help me to be open to his leading and provision.

Greg Horton
Youth Director