In Search of the Meaning of Life (Part 1)

100 Days of Preaching the Gospel #38 | with Daniel Whyte III

TEXT — Ecclesiastes 2:1-11

There are so many people who go through life searching for satisfaction, fulfillment, happiness, and contentment. People pursue more money, more success, more education, and better relationships, all in an attempt to fill an emptiness that they feel inside their hearts and souls. These people are searching for meaning and purpose in life. Almost three thousand years ago, a man who we often refer to as ‘the wisest man who ever lived’, struggled with this same pursuit. His name is King Solomon, and he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes in which he documents his search for meaning in life.

Some people have said that the Book of Ecclesiastes is a very pessimistic book. But we must understand that Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes from the perspective of someone who was living under the sun, S-U-N. Anybody who lives only for this life will come to the same conclusions as Solomon did. However, if you live above the sun, S-U-N, in the Son, S-O-N (that is Jesus Christ), then you will come to the conclusion that life is very much worthwhile. In fact, Solomon gives us a glimpse of this kind of life at the end of his book when he states the following: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

Chuck Swindoll said, “Ecclesiastes presents us a naturalistic vision of life—one that sees life through distinctively human eyes—but ultimately recognizes the rule and reign of God in the world. This more humanistic quality has made the book especially popular among younger audiences today, men and women who have seen more than their fair share of pain and instability in life but who still cling to their hope in God.”

The passage we just read is a summary of the various ways in which King Solomon attempted to find that meaning in life. From this and other passages in the Bible, we can identify six paths which Solomon pursued to find what he was searching for. After searching out all of these various paths, Solomon came to the same conclusion repeatedly — they all were “vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.”

The word “vanity” is a very interesting word. The original Hebrew word is “hebel” and it means “vapour or breath”. Therefore, something that is a vanity is something that is passing or short lived.

Today, let’s look at three of the ways Solomon searched for meaning in life, and how each of these ways failed to provide what he was searching for. Many people today search for meaning in the things we will discuss as well, and sadly find that these things do not provide meaning at all.

1. First of all, Solomon found that pleasure does not bring meaning or satisfaction in life and people today find the same.

2. Secondly, Solomon found that much accomplishments and achievements did not bring meaning or satisfaction in life without God, and people today find the same.

3. Third, Solomon found that wealth and material possessions did not bring meaning or satisfaction in life and people today find the same.

+ Plus, listen to the Walter Hawkins and Family singing “Jesus Christ is the Way” and Deitrick Haddon singing “Sinner’s Prayer”


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