After my dad had a heart attack at age 64, he retired from his sales job. He picked up a new hobby — betting on horses. Yes, gambling. Why? I guess he wanted to leave a legacy for me, my mom and half-brother. Sure, he won a few times, but never as much as he lost. He threw away money for 5 more years. Also, he smoked (which, to me is another waste of money) since he was 14, till the day he died of a massive heart attack in his sleep, 3 months short of his 70th birthday. He didn’t leave much of a legacy. He spent the majority of his life striving to make more money, which inevitably led to his heart attack, only to throw away a big chunk of it.
In this next chapter, we see that Solomon is still blinded to everything heavenly — everything higher than the sun. His focus was still on earthly things, which never give the satisfaction that our hearts crave. We need to look higher. Let’s dig in….
There is another serious tragedy I have seen under the sun, and it weighs heavily on humanity. 2 God gives some people great wealth and honor and everything they could ever want, but then he doesn’t give them the chance to enjoy these things. They die, and someone else, even a stranger, ends up enjoying their wealth! This is meaningless—a sickening tragedy.
3 A man might have a hundred children and live to be very old. But if he finds no satisfaction in life and doesn’t even get a decent burial, it would have been better for him to be born dead. 4 His birth would have been meaningless, and he would have ended in darkness. He wouldn’t even have had a name, 5 and he would never have seen the sun or known of its existence. Yet he would have had more peace than in growing up to be an unhappy man. 6 He might live a thousand years twice over but still not find contentment. And since he must die like everyone else—well, what’s the use?
7 All people spend their lives scratching for food, but they never seem to have enough. 8 So are wise people really better off than fools? Do poor people gain anything by being wise and knowing how to act in front of others?
9 Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind.
The Future—Determined and Unknown
10 Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So there’s no use arguing with God about your destiny.
11 The more words you speak, the less they mean. So what good are they?
12 In the few days of our meaningless lives, who knows how our days can best be spent? Our lives are like a shadow. Who can tell what will happen on this earth after we are gone?Ecclesiastes 6 NLT
Is Your Heart’s Desire Just the Lust of Your Flesh?
No one wants to grow old, but we all do. We buy anti-aging creams that promise to reduce wrinkles. We dye our hair to look younger. That’s just how life is. We all end up dying in the end. Where we spend eternity is the choice we have to make now while we’re still alive and coherent.
While we’re on earth, we are told to strive to be better, to have more, to make more. How much is enough? Many Olympic gold medalists go into deep depression after they win the highest honors. There’s nothing left to strive for. Many pro athletes retire in their 30s and 40s with millions and go broke in a few years.
People never stop wanting more.
The problem is that they keep seeking and looking for more in the wrong place — in the world. You need to look higher — to Heaven. Direct your heart in the right direction. Our gold medal is in Heaven. Furthermore, we don’t have to work for it!
Jesus told us…
19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.Matthew 6:19-21 NLT
Don’t be like Solomon who only looked under the sun. Don’t be blind to the Good News.
12 Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away. 14 But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. 15 Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.
16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.2 Corinthians 3:12-18 NLT
God Promises Us…
25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.Ezekiel 36:25-27 NLT
Talking about Achievements, Paul wrote…
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.Philippians 3:12-14 NLT