Solomon understood more about life than any man who walked the fleshly vale of sin. His wisdom and understanding was "exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea-shore. And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men . and there came of all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom" (1 Kings 4:29-34). In the gift given to him by Jehovah, Solomon gained great wisdom, wealth and knowledge far above all men. His wisdom is declared in three thousand proverbs and his songs were a thousand and five (1 Kings 4:32). The greatest declaration of his wisdom is set forth in the book of Ecclesiastes.
From the pen of a man who gained the fullness of knowledge, the height of fame and power and the enjoyment of every imaginable pleasure known to man; wisdom is established in the frailty of life and the certainty of the life to come. His conclusion is arresting with its simplicity and forcefulness: "This is the end of the matter; all hath been heard: fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
Life is not about wisdom, fame, power and pleasure. The essence of life's flow is bound upon the single strand of knowledge sent from the hand of God. The purpose of living is the purpose of life. All things remain the same (Ecclesiastes 1:2-11). Seeking after the alluring riches of wealth, fame and power are vain - without purpose. Delving into the deep seasons of passion are without reward. Life has a way of interrupting the best plans set forth by man. "For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace" (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).
There is a time for everything and man cannot change that. The cycle of life is constant for all men and our task is to see life in its proper understanding and respond with worship to the Creator. Solomon's conclusion is that life is not about riches as you take none with you (Ecclesiastes 2:18-23; 5:10-17). Wisdom is found in a good name and in the knowledge of death (Ecclesiastes 7). Pleasure should remain at home (Ecclesiastes 9:9). Life is not fair (Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:16). Age will happen to all men (Ecclesiastes 12). There are so many lessons in this great book of life.
What is your life at this moment? What goals are you seeking? How do you measure your life with the book of Ecclesiastes? So many men live all their lives seeking what they cannot find and losing what was so near - life eternal. The conclusion of the whole matter is Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14. What conclusion is your life? In death nothing else will matter.
By Kent Heaton
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