Solomon’s Quandary

What’s your definition of blessing?

To my natural understanding, blessing in general would be a long and happy life rich with deep relationships, abundant in pleasure, buoyed by good fortune, and with the legacy of a meaningful life’s work.

King Solomon, whom the Bible calls the wisest man ever, had all this and more. This section of verses illuminate his manner of life:

Ecclesiastes 2:3-10
3 I searched with my heart how to cheer my flesh with wine while my heart guided me with wisdom, and how to take hold of  folly, until I could see what good there is for the children of men to do under the heavens the few days of their lives.
4 I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself; I planted vineyards for myself;
5 I made gardens and parks for myself, and planted in them trees of every kind of fruit.
6 I made water ponds for myself from which to water a forest of growing trees.
7 I bought male and female servants, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of herds and flocks, more than all that had been before me in Jerusalem.
8 I gathered also silver and gold for myself and the treasures of kings and provinces; I got for myself male singers and female singers and the delights of the children of men, concubine after concubine.
9 And I became great and increased more than all who had been before me in Jerusalem; also my wisdom remained with me.
10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them; I did not keep my heart from any pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my labor, and this was my portion from all my labor.

In any dictionary he would be considered blessed, and he rightly was, for his wisdom and riches were from God. But his autobiographical Ecclesiastes does not carry themes of blessing, thankfulness, or satisfaction. Rather it betrays an eternal “missing” amidst all earthly blessedness, which so pervades and corrupts earthly attainment that the sum total of human life, in Solomon’s own words, is vanity of vanities (Eccl 1:2).

Ecclesiastes Tag Cloud
This tag cloud from the book of Ecclesiastes shows themes of dissatisfaction and despair rather than what we might expect from a king:

The vanity of everything not eternal

If the above paragraph summarized my life I would seek something more. The deep longing to have an eternal existence can only be met in an eternally existing personal God – Jesus Christ.

I first watched the video below about a year ago, and consider it right to bring it up here since there may be many who haven’t seen it.

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