Pondering Pleasures - Ecclesiastes 2:1
January 9, 2023, 9:19 AM


1. I thought in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good." But that also proved to be meaningless.


Lucy: "Do you think life has any meaning?”

Charlie Brown: "I I...”

Lucy: "I mean, do you think life has any meaning after you failed 9 spelling tests in a row and your teacher hates you?"

Charlie Brown "That's a different question."

Solomon was also asking "What is the meaning of life? What's it all about?" The wisest man was so caught up in his own pursuits that his relationship with God became strained. Finally, judgment fell verbally on Solomon and his family. It was like failing nine exams and having his teacher mad at him. Then “Does life have meaning?” That is a different question and Solomon answers, "No".

What gives us pleasure? Do you feel like you are missing out whereas others are enjoying life? What if you had enough money that you didn’t need to deny yourself anything you wanted to do or have? That was Solomon’s situation.

I remember thinking as a teen "This is supposed to be the most exciting time of my whole life and adults look back and say you're only young once." Then I'd look at my life and ask, "Am I really enjoying all of life to the fullest?" I was a virgin and I wonder what it would be like to have sexual intercourse. So many other kids were doing it? I wondered about drinking and partying, and smoking, and going to places that my folks would never allow. So many other kids were saying it's really a blast. I'd wonder if the other world, the world of the non-Christian was really having fun.

I enjoyed some of the things that our church and church youth group was doing, but I had to admit some of it was really boring. I enjoyed church, but I also didn't want to go sometimes. I went anyway. I wondered, what if I got through my teenage and college years and then discovered that I really did miss out on the good times. Would it be too late? Youth are no different today.

These thoughts are not limited to young people. Men in middle age wonder if there is more to life than being tied to family responsibilities. Many are lured into the gambling casinos for the promise of a better life than they have now. Pornography promises thrills to the sexually hungry. More games are being offered than ever before. Pleasure spending has increased almost 20% in the past 10 years. Americans are among the few cultures that really work at their play and too often play at their work.

I can assure you, however, there is not one person who could match the pleasure seeking of king Solomon. No American can hold a candle to this pleasure seeker.

Application: What gives you pleasure now in your stage of life? What do you think you might be missing out on? These are the questions for our thoughts this week.

Prayer: Lord, thank you that even when we fall into these temptations of self seeking pleasure, You forgive us. Help me to do today what pleases You.