The book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible was written by a son of King David who was, “a leader in the assembly.” Because of this description, many Bible scholars attribute the writings of this book to King Solomon who succeeded his father David on the throne.
Because of his high status, Solomon had everything his heart desired and this book describes his search for meaning and satisfaction in life. But, everywhere Solomon looked, nothing satisfied. “Meaningless, meaningless” he would cry. He searched for fulfillment in wealth, living in the finest houses, wearing the finest clothing, and eating the most delectable foods, but this was emptiness. He searched for meaning in physical health and beauty, but this didn’t satisfy. He searched for satisfaction in sex and relationships having 700 wives and 300 concubines, but this too did not ultimately satisfy.
He looked for meaning in building projects, creative exploits, philosophy and education, and entertainment galore, but by the end of the book (chapter twelve which is our scripture reading for today), Solomon realized that all this was futile. None of this mattered without God. So as you read the passage for today remember to honor God, your creator and He will give you the fulfillment and meaning in life that you seek. Nothing else matters except Him.
(Ecclesiastes 12) 1 Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”—2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain; 3 when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim; 4 when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades; when people rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint; 5 when people are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags itself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then people go to their eternal home and mourners go about the streets.
6 Remember him—before the silver cord is severed, and the golden bowl is broken;
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the wheel broken at the well, 7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
8 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Everything is meaningless!” 9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true. 11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd.
12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. 13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.