Living Life on Purpose.

Solomon's exhortation to "eat, drink, and be merry" does not mean we should live in excess, but simply that we must keep living however difficult our circumstances. God wants us to enjoy every area of life within His parameters (1 Thessalonians 4:1-2).

Wisdom for living comes from God. 2 Peter 1:3 and 3:10 teach that God's Word has answers to every spiritual issue. Unlike Solomon, today we enjoy having the completed Word of God in written form.

Solomon's life shows that even privileged children can drift away from the Lord. He experienced great success and great failure. God gave him a special name meaning "beloved of the Lord" (2 Samuel 12:24-25), and he was promised mercy and adoption by God (2 Samuel 7:14-15). His failure came when he was distracted by otherwise good things from doing the will of God that he knew. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that we are all not as wicked as we could be. Solomon would teach us that a life that fears God results in less regret.

Many rich people seem to have everything materially, but their lives are in shambles. The desires of humanity can never be satisfied with material things (Proverbs 27:20). A.W. Tozer said, "Secularism, materialism, and the intrusive presence of things have put out the light in our souls and turned us into a generation of zombies."

Though we will never fully comprehend Him, in Christ we are able to grow in our understanding of God and to live according to His Word. In his book Knowledge of the Holy, Tozer wrote this prayer: "Teach us to know what we cannot know, for the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Let faith support us where reason fails, and we shall think because we believe, not in order that we may believe."

Solomon does not use the name Yahweh in the book of Ecclesiastes; but he uses Elohim 28 times. He has a lot to teach us about God. The categories we will examine come from Dr. Michael Barrett.

Powerful Creator

God is revealed as every person's powerful Creator. Therefore, He owns everything and all of us. Ecclesiastes 3:11 and 11:5 use comprehensive language to show that God made everything by and for Himself (Colossians 1:16). Dr. Michael Barrett wrote, "To believe that everything that exists is a creation of an all-wise, powerful Creator gives the foundation of reason and logic to all that is, even when the reason for things remains hidden from us. Faith knows there is a reason because there is a Creator."

Humanity's place in creation is by the design of God, not the struggling of the species. Solomon sorrows over the sinful state of humanity but echoes the reality of Genesis that we were created upright (Ecclesiastes 7:25-29). We look elsewhere for happiness, but we can never be satisfied by temporal things. We are unable to walk uprightly without help from our Creator.

The further we are removed from Christ, the more desperate our situation becomes. Bill Gates believes that life is getting better with every technological advancement, but is it? Are people happier? They are still searching for something to fill their emptiness. King Solomon's advice at the end of his life is to remember the accountability we have to our Creator as we make our life choices (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

Wise Sovereign

Most of us wonder if God has made a mistake at some time in our lives. Whether due to life circumstances, our own decisions, or the actions of others, we can temporarily get stuck in this thinking. Remembering God's wise sovereignty will keep us from becoming paralyzed.

Dr. Barrett says, "Providence, this ability for God not just to know the future but direct your personal future, is the constant and ordinary work of God whereby He preserves and governs His creation to the designed end of His own glory. Included in that glory is the ultimate good of God's people. Belief in the sovereign providence of God is the very opposite of fatalism."

The works of the righteous and unrighteous as well as the affairs of life are in God's hand. His purposes are secure and perfect (Ecclesiastes 9:1). Trusting His providence even when we can't understand will help us navigate life more wisely and happily.

Application Points

  • Because we are finite people, it is impossible to live with no regret. But if we follow God and keep His commandments, we can live life with the least amount of regret as possible.
  • Everything our eyes can behold and that which they can't is made by God. Since God made us, He owns us, and we are accountable to Him. How does this change your lifestyle?
  • Do you recognize a void in your life? It can only be filled by your Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ.
  • Do you wonder if God has made a mistake in your life? Be assured that God's purposes are secure and perfect even when we don't understand.

Hymns to Encourage

All of the hymns selected for the morning service were very appropriate to our study. You can review their texts at these links:

Praise Ye Jehovah

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Fairest Lord Jesus

I Am Not Skilled to Understand

Jesus, The Son of God

Jesus is the Son of God, the Lord of all,
the chosen One, the Son of Man,
The King of kings who gave His life for me
this Jesus, the Great "I AM"!

We bow down before Him who is worthy of worship,
Worthy of worship and praise.
We bow down before and humbly adore,
this Jesus, the Son of God.

Jesus is the Lamb of God, the Righteous One,
the Sacrifice who bore my sin,
The Prince of Life who lives and reigns on high
this Jesus, He's coming again!