November 14 I Sunday
“I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”
Have we ever seen someone chase after the wind? It is impossible to catch, but regardless, kids will try. They may attempt to cup a gust of wind in their hands or trap a breeze in a bottle, but as hard as they try, they can never catch the wind. Similarly, in Ecclesiastes, Solomon considers how various pursuits in life are a chasing after the wind, all of which prove to be empty and meaningless.
This seems rather out of place in the Bible. One would not expect the same Book that tells us Jesus came to give us life and life to the full (John 10:10) to tell us elsewhere that everything is meaningless. Solomon does clarify, however, that the kind of life he is describing is the life of a person who has turned away from God. He refers to it as “life lived under the sun,” which is looking at life as it appears at the end of our noses. This is purely from a humanistic perspective, driven by a materialistic worldview that only considers what we can see, hear, touch, smell, taste and feel. To find meaning to life according to this understanding, Solomon says, is like chasing after the wind. It is impossible and pointless.
Such a worldview holds that this life is all there is and that we pass out of existence after we die. To emphasize this point, philosopher and theologian William Lane Craig, asked whether we can place any importance on a human life with such a worldview. The argument that we leave behind a legacy for future generations is inconsequential given that our own great, great grandkids will likely not even remember our names.
Thankfully, God has given us an alternative to this unfortunate worldview of today. He tells us there is meaning to life, and that meaning is found in Him. We were created to be in relationship with God, and our lives find fulfillment when we seek to do His will by His power living in us. Only by believing in Him and submitting our lives to Christ can we experience life to the full.
Ecclesiastes is about exploring different worldly pleasures that Solomon thinks will satisfy him, but in the end, he acknowledges true meaning is only found in remembering our Creator, fearing God and keeping His commands (Ecclesiastes 12:1, 13). To chase after pursuits that seek to satisfy only what is at the end of our noses will not only prove fruitless, but will inevitably keep us searching. We were created by God for God, which is why Solomon very wisely concludes we cannot find true meaning and purpose to life apart from our Creator.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, true life is found only in You. Thank You for offering that life freely. May my words and actions find true meaning and purpose by loving and serving You.