The Meaning of Life
The Search for the Meaning of Life
by Pastor Mick Weltin
This week we’re beginning a new sermon series on the book of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes can simply be translated as “the preacher” or “the teacher.” It’s literal meaning in Hebrew is “one who convenes or addresses an assembly.” The book of Job focuses on wisdom on suffering, Psalms on wisdom in your relationship with God, Proverbs on wisdom on your relationships with one another and Song of Songs/Solomon on wisdom in love and marriage. Ecclesiastes is a Biblical wisdom book focusing on wisdom regarding the meaning of life.
The book of Ecclesiastes begins looking at life “under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Life “under the sun” is a life without God. A life without God is found to be ultimately meaningless. “Vanity of vanities says the Preacher, vanities of vanities, all is vanity!” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). King Solomon as the preacher explores throughout the book the main things you seek to find meaning in your life and ultimately finds they’re meaningless, a chasing after the wind if there’s no God.
Solomon pursues finding meaning “under the sun” in wisdom, wine, women, work, wealth, time, suffering, youth and more. Since death comes to all, all his pursuits are found to be vanity or meaninglessness. All things “under the sun” are but a transient breath and are forgotten, a vain chasing after the wind.
Throughout the book Solomon starts to bring in the knowledge of God and ends the book telling you to “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). He says the end of the matter is this, “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). Since there is a God, since God will judge all things, then all things really do matter! Death is not the end, God is eternal, you have an eternal soul and you have an eternal destiny. One day you’ll stand before God himself, your youth, your work, your suffering, your pleasures, your wealth and your faith will all matter.
Ravi Zacharias in his book, Can Man Live Without God summarizes four things for true meaning in life, Truth, Wonder, Love and Security. Truth without love is brutality, Wonder without truth is illusion, Love without Security is fleeting, Security without Love is empty. None of these alone can bring lasting meaning. It is Jesus Christ, God in the flesh that brings all of these together. Jesus is the truth, His word is a light that sets you free. Jesus is wonder, He is the eternal God in the flesh. Jesus is love, He gave his life for you to forgive your sin. Jesus is security, He is risen and gives eternal life to all who believe in Him. John says, “This is eternal life, that they know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you sent” (John 17:3).
Without God everything is meaningless. Thanks be to God who sent Jesus who turns everything around. With God everything is truly meaningful!