You know I’ve heard a lot from others about reading the book of Proverbs for daily guidance, especially under the premise that you can always turn to the chapter for the current day of the month… but how often do you hear about Ecclesiastes? Maybe most of you a lot, but I haven’t. It’s odd book in the Bible; many things in there that left me scratching my head…
But not when it comes down to the overall theme it which appears to me to be that all of life is essentially futile, nothing we can strive with all of our strength and of our own accord will mean for much. All that I work for in the end will serve what purpose? what value? That doesn’t mean life as a whole is pointless however, just that reliance on ourselves alone is futile. Our life is a gift, just as is the path to God through Jesus is a gift. Others in our life – a gift. Hard to always understand why for much of it, but nevertheless… still a gift.
So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him? God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who please him.
Then I realized that it is good and proper for a 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. Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.
Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun— all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.
Like any great gift, these should be deeply cherished and enjoyed. This is hard to remember all the time, but thank God for those little reminders in life – those kicks in the rear that prevent some things from happening – that open our eyes once again that indeed, He has given us great gifts of life… Praise Him!