Searching for Satisfaction in Things – Ecclesiastes 6:1-2
February 20, 2023, 9:42 AM

“I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on men: God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them, and a stranger enjoys them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.” Eccl. 6:1, 2

As we have been going through Ecclesiastes, I am reminded how often Solomon addresses the emptiness of materialism. Perhaps it is for a reason, since it has such a grip on our society.

When we used to take our kids to McDonalds, they always wanted the same thing. There were not so interested in the food as the prize. The prize in those colorful boxes was worth maybe 20 cents but for the moment getting it was all that mattered. McDonalds calls this a “Happy Meal”. You were not just buying hamburgers, fries, and a dinosaur stamp. You were buying happiness.

When they tore into the bag and ripped open their prize the happiness didn’t last very long. It was over in a matter of seconds. I thought of suing the company for false advertising. Happiness was an illusion. Not one child says, “Remember that Happy Meal? What great joy I found there.” I did the same thing when little prizes were put in cereal boxes. I told Mom how much I loved the cereal only to leave it on the shelf after the prize was obtained.

When you get older you don't get any smarter; your “Happy Meals” just get more expensive. All day long the advertising industry wants to highlight discontentment and attempt to lure us into buying their product that will change our lives and bring satisfaction. TV actors smile with renewed energy after they used the product. We seldom smile.

Last week, as we studied about wealth, the wise King concluded it does not bring satisfaction. All that people strive to accumulate in this world will eventually be taken away. We concluded chapter 5 by reminding ourselves happiness is a gift from God. All your money, as well as your ability to enjoy it, is a gift from God. In chapter 6 he reflects on five other ways people continue the treadmill of seeking satisfaction.

Solomon was in the unique position of having anything he wanted. There was nothing that his heart desired that he couldn’t get. The lure of the lottery is that one can finally be rich enough to get whatever they wanted, cars, vacations, new homes, education, sex, and clothes - then they will be satisfied.

The evil, Solomon says, is when you get all the things that you thought would make you happy, but they don't. Even though he was wise enough to know the Lord allowed him to have these things, satisfaction was not found in those things. God did not give him that.

Application: Give thanks today for what you do have

Prayer:  Lord, Keep my eyes from a lust for more. I run to You and Your Word to guide me to put all my hope, trust and joy in You.