Is death the end of everything that we toil under the sun? King Solomon in his book of Ecclesiastes says “Everything is meaningless, a chasing after the wind”. Seemingly a picture of despair! If this is real why struggle and work too hard in life only to join the dead and leave all the things that we have toiled under the sun whether to a wise man or a fool?
Ecclesiastes chapters 8 and 9 tell us the unfairness of life. A lot of good people don’t get what they deserve. Some upright individuals suffer while the wicked prosper.
Moreover King Solomon expresses in Chapter 5:18 that “it is good and proper for man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him for this is his lot”. Although he admits that such good things are gifts from God, he also admits that they have temporary value and nothing can give ultimate satisfaction.
The book of Ecclesiastes conveys a message of hope to despair, unfairness and meaninglessness of life because death is not the end of everything. King Solomon said in Chapter 3:11 “that God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men… “ On the issue of life’s unfairness, New Testament authors strongly believe in life after death and they are in no doubt that God will definitely judge all people with fairness.
I could remember my former fellow worker would always say “life is not fair” every time we encounter unfavorable situation in our workplace, but I did not take it seriously. However as I face the very difficult times in my life I would say that indeed life is not fair, that everything that I have worked for are all in vain. But having the blessed thought that God is at hand and one day he will bring me home to heaven drives me to hold on and be still even in my deepest moment. He knows everything about me – my thoughts, the words that I say, the frown or smile on my face, the worry that lines my face, and the dull care and despair. He is near, He is my hope, my comfort and my HELPER. He has promised “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee“.
King Solomon became great for his unparalleled wisdom in human history, yet he surrendered to the truth that some things are beyond human comprehension. He wrapped up by saying “As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things (Chapter 11:5)”. In his failure to fathom life he gave a simple counsel ‘to fear God and obey him regardless what situation we are in”. He summed up in two lines the very lesson of Ecclesiastes by saying “Fear God and his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil (Chapter 12:13-14)”. In simple term he teaches that we live a life of faith.
Receiving Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior allows us to experience the joy of salvation for He alone is the ultimate source of satisfaction. It is true that life is not an easy journey, who says it is? But it can be a meaningful and happy journey towards the afterlife if traveled together with our maker and savior. Proverbs 11:28 says “A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree.”
God is the very reason of our existence. Apart from Him and without Him we are nothing. Living a life for others and above all for God and with God makes everything that we toil under the sun “MEANINGFUL, not a chasing after the wind.”