Reading the Word
Ecclesiastes 4:7–9 (ESV)
7 Again, I saw vanity under the sun:
8 one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business.
Understanding and Applying the Word
Life “under the sun” is the topic of Ecclesiastes. What is the purpose and meaning of life from the secular perspective? In today’s reading, we are presented with the picture of a person who has no family. He has neither “son or brother”. This man works and finds financial success, but is never satisfied with his riches. Instead, he asks himself, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” Solomon concludes that, from the secular perspective, this is all meaningless and unfulfilling.
For life to have meaning we need relationships. So many people try to find joy and happiness in wealth and material possessions, but those things can never truly fulfill us. There must be more. We need others in our lives, whether they be family or close friends. And we need a relationship with our Creator, the one who created us in his own image in order that we might enjoy fellowship with him. The good news is that God wants a relationship with us, which is why we have his word that teaches us all about him. Take the time to read your Bible and establish the most important relationship you could ever desire.
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