"To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness ..." (v. 26)

For Reading and Meditation:     Ecclesiastes 2:24-26

Oswald Chambers said: "No Christian makes much progress in the Christian life until he realizes that life is more chaotic and tragic than orderly." In other words, life in a fallen world can be tough! The sooner we face that fact and allow it to silence us, the fewer expectations we will have of the world, and the more eagerly we will turn to God. In the section we are looking at now, suddenly we see a small chink of light shining through Solomon's pessimism and gloom. The passage begins with what might appear to be a contradiction: "A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God" (v. 24). The point he is making is this: if life's ultimate meaning can't be found in activities like eating, drinking, and working, it is not to be found in rejecting them either. Things in themselves are not bad; what makes them bad is the wrong values we attach to them. As soon as God is brought into Solomon's musings, notice the change. Enjoyment, he says, is God's personal gift (v. 25). Satisfaction in things is found only when they are seen as being behind God and not in front of Him. When God is not first, then everything around which we wrap our affections is an idol. We can choose either to find life in God and enjoy the provision of His hands; or to find life in things, and turn our back on God. The latter is "meaningless," says Solomon, "a chasing after the wind."

Father, I see that when You step into my world, then I step out into a new world. Everything looks and appears different. Help me to put nothing in front of You - not even my closest earthly relationship. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.