Solomon was a man who knew what it was like to be consumed.
The Pursuit of Pleasure
One of Solomon’s pursuits, in his quest to find meaning in life, was pleasure. The Message Bible reads, “I said to myself, ‘Let’s go for it –experiment with pleasure, have a good time!’ There was nothing to it — nothing but smoke.” This is the paradox of pleasure: Pleasures of the flesh lose their appeal over time, requiring more intense sensations and experiences to achieve the same amount of pleasure previously enjoyed. Solomon found that even in laughter the heart may be in pain, and the end of joy (pleasure), may be grief (Proverbs 14:13, Ecclesiastes 2:3).
The Pursuit of Possessions
Solomon was consumed to explore all of life without God and pursued possessions as well as pleasures (Ecc 2:4-9). In the New American Standard Bible, Solomon uses the word “I” eleven times and “myself” six times. Solomon’s motto is “mine.” His use of words is similar to those used in Genesis describing God’s creation of the earth (see Gen 1:11-12, 29-30; Gen 2:9-10). Solomon had the wisdom, time and means to explore all of life without God. All of his pursuits gave him only a small amount of pleasure for a season. Everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind, nothing was gained under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:11).
The Pointlessness of Pursuing Pleasure or Possessions
Winston Churchill said, “I know why logs spit, I know what it’s like to be consumed.” The pleasures and possessions of the flesh will consume you and leave behind only charred remains of a once promising life.
What are you pursuing? If you are pursuing something other than Christ, then your life will be all vain and futile. Pray that the Father, by His grace, will set you on fire for Jesus Christ. With Him there is purpose, meaning, joy and happiness. Pursue Christ this week. Your reward will be peace that surpasses all understanding.