Philosophical Diversions that Impede Living Life on Purpose.

Human wisdom robs our joy. Left to our own thinking, life doesn't make much sense. Lived with God's wisdom, life can be enjoyed.

Last week, we learned how our vocation can be enjoyed when pursued with eternal purpose. This week, we will study 3 more potential thieves of joy.

Senseless Duplication (Ecclesiastes 1:4-7)

Solomon wrestles with the absurd reality that human lords of the earth disappear while the earth itself remains. Creation follows seemingly unending patterns of repetition. When we are not walking with God, this can make human life seem pointless.

When we are walking with God, Creation should cause us to worship with gladness the Creator who is unchangingly faithful to us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Assigning Wrong Value to Life's Experiences (Ecclesiastes 1:8)

In our fallen state, we can never be satisfied with seeing, hearing, learning, or accumulating. There is always more to experience! The same cycle of discontent repeats itself as soon as we reach a new achievement.

As humans, we have a fallen desire to live alone and be unique apart from God. His Word offers a corrective: we are the object of God's special attention and affection.

Senseless Rerun (Ecclesiastes 1:9-11)

Even in our quickly-changing world, "there is nothing new under the sun." Hollywood plans to release no less than 20 movie remakes this year. Much of technological advancement is figuring out how to do the same thing, only better than before. Human advancement is truly empty without God.

Regardless of their achievements, most people will be forgotten within a generation or two. On the treadmill of life, one author said, "we all try to outrun death with all our activity, but to no avail. The Grim Reaper is faster than all of us." Innovations only help us postpone death a little while longer. This reality will quickly steal our joy unless we have an eternal perspective.

Solomon's conclusion in Ecclesiastes 12:13 is the answer to these joy thieves: "fear God and keep His commandments." Living life this way will enable us to "eat, drink, and be merry" in our living (Eccl. 8:15).

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • Psalm 19:1-6; 104:10-14, 22-24 – the right response to Creation
  • 1 Timothy 6:6, Philippians 4:11-13 – being content with what God supplies
  • Proverbs 4:20-23 – the balance of pursuing life as God designed while not forgetting Him
A Hymn to Encourage: "Satisfied"

All my life long I had panted
For a drink from some clear spring,
That I hoped would quench the burning
Of the thirst I felt within.

Hallelujah! I have found Him
Whom my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies my longings;
Through His blood I now am saved.

Feeding on the husks around me,
Till my strength was almost gone,
Longed my soul for something better,
Only still to hunger on.

Well of water, ever springing,
Bread of life so rich and free,
Untold wealth that never faileth,
My Redeemer is to me.