Friday, January 5, 2024

Solomon the Searcher

I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind. (Ecclesiastes 1:14 NLT)

If anyone could ever say, “Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt,” it was Solomon. He was the hedonist extraordinaire. He went after everything the world had to offer.

Solomon was highly educated, yet he went on unbelievable drinking binges. He was an architectural genius, building the most incredible structures. Yet he abandoned God in his search for meaning in life.

The irony is that Solomon knew better. He was raised in a godly home. His father was King David, and his mother was Bathsheba. While it’s true that David had a serious lapse of faith, it’s also true that he repented and got right with God.

The Bible describes David as “a man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14 NLT), and he did his best to raise Solomon, the future king, in the way of the Lord.

Shortly before his death, David gave these words of wisdom to Solomon: “And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever” (1 Chronicles 28:9 NLT).

Essentially, David was saying, “Son, you can’t live off your dad’s faith. You must get your own. You need to know the God of your father. Serve Him with an undivided heart and a willing mind, not because you have to, but because you want to. Don’t allow your heart to be divided. Set your heart completely on God.”

Initially Solomon followed his father’s advice. In fact, he did quite well in the beginning. But after a while, Solomon allowed his heart to be divided. He tried to walk with God yet dabble in sin and compromise his values. And it was only a matter of time until Solomon began to backslide and fall away.

Then one day Solomon basically said, “Forget it. I’m going to go for it.” He abandoned God, and the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes is the account of what he learned in this backslidden state.

A phrase Solomon repeatedly used in Ecclesiastes was “under the sun.” He was talking about horizontal living. It is life this side of Heaven, life without God.

Solomon also used the word “meaningless” (NLT). For example, in Ecclesiastes 1:14 he wrote, “I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind” (NLT). 

Solomon the searcher was telling us there is nothing on this earth that will satisfy us completely.

That doesn’t mean it’s wrong to love life or have possessions. In fact, no one appreciates life more than the child of God does. And the Bible tells us that God “richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17 NLT).

Solomon set out to experience what most people only dream of. And in the end, it turned out to be a nightmare.

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