Chapter two starts out with Solomon’s practical experiments in the pursuit of pleasure (2:3). In the end it didn’t provide him with lasting satisfaction (2:11).
Solomon then sets his sights on wisdom. However, Solomon can’t escape the fatal statistic that ultimately is the leveler of all men: everyone dies! Wisdom in this life Has the same problem that riches, pleasure, knowledge, and a hard days work have… They have no merit or worth beyond the door of death.
Solomon stumbles on to a sobering reality… There is no getting ahead in life when you are racing to your death. We all ultimately have the same destination.
Often we judge ourselves compared to how others are doing. We imagine we are living well if we are living better than others (morally, in the way we handle money, etc.) We might be able to draw a small measure of pleasure from the fact that we are “ahead” in life. Yet when we consider the end or destination, these things really matter very little. It’s at this point that Solomon begins to point to a greater purpose in trusting God (Ecclesiastes 2:24). Though we live in a temporal and fallen world, God has not removed all pleasure. The base line for judging our lives and determining our purpose isn’t what others are doing… It comes from “the hand of God” (Ecclesiastes 2:24). We also know that the standard of goodness isn’t what I call good, but what is good in God’s sight (Ecclesiastes 2:26).
Application: Who defined “good” & “right” for you? Are you looking at others to determine where you are in life or are you truly looking to God for guidance and wisdom on what is good?
What are your thoughts on Ecclesiastes 2?