The Pursuit of Pleasure - Ecclesiastes 2:1-3 & 10
January 10, 2023, 8:00 AM

I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2 “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” 3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives…. 10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure….”

He pursued pleasure as a means to happiness. He denied himself nothing that he saw and wanted. Pleasure is seen by many when it includes lots of laughter and having a good time with friends. I think people should laugh more. I typically enjoy comedies and telling of jokes.

I had lunch with some friends today. We told jokes that one of our former church members told. It was pleasurable to laugh. Our custodian and I would laugh often. One day I asked him where the ladder was, he answered, “Have you checked on your desk?” I admit I was guilty of an unkept desk sometimes. We would add to our bad jokes lists that our families had to endure!

Swindoll says laughter is tremendous medicine and it can be spiritual as well. Humor is a way to bring balance and sanity in life. I find it can also ease tensions in board meetings.

What does it mean to be created for God’s pleasure and purpose? We find our pleasure not only in Him but in His blessings. Eden was put there for more reasons than food for humans. They delighted in all of creation.

Solomon said he embraced folly or frivolity. Acting silly and doing foolish things can be done among those seeking pleasure. It brings out diversion from routine, but the king also said, “My mind still guided me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives."

This passage also tells us the author also sought to make himself merry with wine. Notice how much wine and booze plays such an important part with some people seeking pleasure.

One of the most popular TV shows was Cheers. The message of the program was pleasure is found when you drink a lot and pursue sex. Watch the popular comedies today and see how much sin is the focus for a good time. Bars are full of lonely people covering up emptiness inside.

We can see the type of parties Solomon had if you read I Kings 4:20-23. That party would have fed 30,000 to 40,000 people. Like all the inaugural balls, the kingdom was partying, but King Solomon realized the next day the party was over. Now what?

Application: What brings you pleasure? What do you think brings God pleasure?

Prayer: Father, give me a balance of the pleasure that you seek for us to enjoy and a heart that only seeks the vanity of this world