Is that all there is? - Hope 103.2

Is that all there is?

By David ReayThursday 9 Feb 2017LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Ecclesiastes 1:1-4

1 These are the words of the Teacher, King David’s son, who ruled in Jerusalem.

2 “Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”

3 What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. (NLT)

It seems that Solomon wrote these words. Many believe he had got out of bed the wrong side in order to pen such pessimism. Yet the rest of the book does contain some words of hope and light. We best see the whole book as like a bucket of cold water poured over the glib or overly cheery outlook on life that comes from naïve ignorance of deeper issues.

Solomon is not despising life as a whole. He is rather looking at things from the viewpoint of one who is focussed merely on this life. It is a serious attack on materialism. And this from one who had considerable wealth and privilege in this life.

Any of us who expect or demand total fulfilment in this life are bound to be disappointed. We can enjoy many things, but ultimate meaning is not to be found in material things. After a lifetime spent in pursuit of here-and-now pleasures, Solomon ends up asking, “Is that all there is?”

This is not a prescription for despair. First, we can legitimately enjoy life on earth. Just don’t regard such enjoyment as the source of the deepest satisfaction. Second, we look forward to eternity with God, something he has set in the hearts of his human creation. Life here and now is to be embraced and enjoyed, but it is not all there is.

David Reay