The Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes is a difficult one to understand. Most scholars believe that King Solomon is the author. King Solomon writes the Song of Songs as a young adult, which is a great read for married couples. He writes the bulk of Proverbs as a middle-aged adult, and it is so full of wisdom from God.
And King Solomon writes the book of Ecclesiastes as an old man who is about to die. It’s important to know that Solomon had lost his faith and fallen away from God. He had lost his eternal perspective, so as he writes Ecclesiastes, he views everything “under the sun”. And he says, “Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless, a chasing after the wind (Ecclesiastes 1:14).”
Everything is meaningless if our existence ends with this life. But we know that God did not create us simply for this life. We were created for all eternity. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “God has set eternity into the hearts of men.” God has created every one of us with a desire to live forever. And the only thing that can fill this desire is eternal life through faith in Jesus.
Pascal said, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” Our entire lives we try and fill this void with the things of the world, but we are left empty and unfulfilled. As a teenager, I tried to fill this God-shaped void with many things. By the world’s standards, I was fairly successful. I made good grades. I was one of the best athletes in my small town. I was a popular kid and partied with the “cool crowd” on Friday and Saturday nights. I dated the best-looking girls in our school. I lived in a nice house, wore clothes with the right labels and had my own car. I even went to Sun-day School and church every Sunday. But there was still something missing in my life. I felt empty and unfulfilled.
Saint Augustine said, “You have made us for Yourself and our hearts are restless until they find rest in You.” God has made us for Himself, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in Him. God is the only one who can satisfy our souls. There will always be something missing in our lives until we receive eternal life through faith in Jesus.
John 17:3 says, “Now this is eternal life; that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
We receive eternal life when we come to know Jesus personally. Jesus is the only one who can fill the God-shaped void in your lives. Life is meaningless without Jesus. Jesus came that we might have life and have it to the full (John 10:10b). Jesus came to fill the void in our lives. He came to give us eternal life. He came to satisfy our souls. Jesus is the well that does not run dry. Jesus came to make us full, so we do not have to try and fill our lives with the things of the world.
Once Jesus fills the void in our lives, we do not have to look to people or things to fill the void to make us happy. When we are full or complete in Christ, we can then look to meet other’s needs. We realize that our lives are not about ourselves. Life is so much bigger than ourselves.
Once we find eternal peace in God, we can begin to live our lives for God and the things that last for all eternity. Then, we find real meaning in life and can live our lives with a clear purpose and direction. We can live our lives for God’s purposes and invest our time, talents and treasures into the things that will last for all eternity. Let me encourage us not live our lives for the temporary things of this world, but to live for the things that will last for all eternity. It is in the eternal things that we find real meaning and purpose in life.
Jonathan Howes has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from Jacksonville State University and a Master in Divinity Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the lead pastor for Graystone Church. Locations include the Ozora Campus: 1551 Ozora Road Loganville, GA 30052, the Walton Campus: 723 N Broad St Monroe, GA 30655 and the Oconee Campus: 1275 Lenru Road Bogart, GA 30622.
Phone: (770) 466-3159