If a loved one wrote to you the first words of the Book of Ecclesiastes, you’d likely react with concern.
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” (v.2) “No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.” (v. 11)
The complete hopelessness expressed at the beginning of the book is a glimpse into the futility of a life lived without knowing the Lord as savior.
On a recent Core Christianity, a listener asked the question, “What would you say to someone who feels like life is meaningless, especially when there is justification in Ecclesiastes for feeling this way?”
Mike Horton provided a wonderful answer:
One of the reasons that I love Ecclesiastes is because it is so brutally honest. Here’s a guy who had it all. He tried wisdom, he read every book he could get his hands on to find the meaning of life. He tried partying, wine, women and song. He poured himself into work, and that didn’t work. Really reminds you of the way things look from a purely secular perspective.
We got to look above the sun to God to see these things, not as ends in themselves. Work is not an end in itself, pleasure is not an end in itself, family isn’t an end in itself, even wisdom and religion, they’re not ends in themselves. God is the only end worthy of being the ultimate end of our whole existence.
We can be walking along that lonely road, thinking, “Well, God hasn’t solved my problems. Where is He now; where is Jesus for me?” And at the end of the day, really, we not only need better answers, but we also need better questions. The Bible not only gives us the answers, but it also gives us the questions. We don’t even know what to worship and what worship is. That’s one of the great things about the book of Ecclesiastes. It frames up why we need a new set of eyeglasses to look at the world differently, not just from under the sun, but from God’s perspective.
Answers like this help listeners nationwide better understand Scripture. And you can meet Mike and co-host Adriel Sanchez in person at this year’s NRB! Please plan to join us on Tuesday, March 26, for a special time of fellowship from 10-11:30 AM at the Anaheim Marriott. If you’re planning to attend, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be sure you have full details for that reception. I look forward to seeing you there!