The book of Ecclesiastes is a very interesting book. We can learn much from Solomon’s twelve-chapter sermon that he preached as he sought to discover the meaning of life.
Ecclesiastes 1:13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven:
Solomon was searching for answers to life’s greatest questions, and he had enough wealth, wisdom, position, and power that he could experiment with life and find his purpose. He went down so many avenues seeking satisfaction. But sadly, this book is the ultimate “Don’t make the same mistakes in life that I have made” kind of testimony.
If we are going to find true purpose and meaning in life, we must first:
1. Forget Ourselves.
Solomon needed to learn that life was not all about him! By the way, life is not all about you or me, either. You see, Solomon had an “I” problem. He referred to himself well over sixty times in the first twenty verses of chapter two, eight of those references being found in just verse ten!
Ecclesiastes 2:10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.
Solomon reminds me here of the seagulls in the Disney cartoon Finding Nemo—“Mine, mine, mine.” Selfish living always leads to a miserable life! Solomon had focused on himself and his selfish endeavors, and he had forgotten all about God!
Ecclesiastes 2:17 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
As God’s people, we know that we should not live our lives focused on ourselves. We are to live selfless lives, willing to sacrifice for the cause of Christ.
Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Is your life all about you today? Are the priorities of your life centered around you?
If we are going to find true purpose and meaning in life, we must not only forget ourselves and realize life is not all about us; but secondly, we must—
2. Focus on the Lord.
Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
Solomon went through a description of the body as it ages in chapter twelve. He was saying that we need to remember the Lord every day of our lives and honor Him, starting at an early age. If we do not, we will become old and cranky! Just as a bride would never forget her dress on her wedding day, God is baffled by His people who go days without ever acknowledging Him.
Jeremiah 2:32 Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.
How can we remember the Lord and stay focused on Him? Solomon addressed this in chapter eleven before his warning in chapter twelve, verse one.
Ecclesiastes 11:5 As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.
The joy of holding your own child right after birth is a miracle I will never forget. There is pain beyond words that women go through to bring new life into this world. Just as we cannot visibly see a baby being fashioned in its mother’s womb, we cannot see how the hand of God is shaping our lives and preparing us for a miraculous future. Yes, it can be very painful at times, but we should never lose hope as we, by faith, believe there is great joy and new life coming down the road in the near future. We must learn to express faith in Him when we cannot visibly see what God is doing behind the scenes!
If we are going to find true purpose and meaning in life, we must not only forget ourselves and realize that life is not all about us, but we must also focus on the Lord, remembering Him every day as we by faith believing He will make all things beautiful in His time. Thirdly, we must—
3. Fear the Lord.
This is a clear command from God throughout the Scriptures. However, as Solomon finished his sermon, he brought everything to the conclusion that we MUST fear God.
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
Why is a holy fear of God so important? The only other option aside from fearing God is fearing man; and when we fear man instead of God, we must then fear everyone and everything. However, when we choose to live in the fear of God, we do not have to fear anyone or anything else.
Proverbs 29:25-26 The fear of man bringeth a snare: But whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe. 26 Many seek the ruler’s favour; But every man’s judgment cometh from the Lord.
Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
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In June 2000, after graduating from Golden State Baptist College, John Evertson answered the call to pastor West Valley Baptist Church in Woodland, California. After 19 years, God moved Pastor and Mrs. Evertson to Santa Clara. Pastor Evertson is instrumental in the church and serves as the Campus Pastor for Golden State Baptist College to help guide the future servants of God. Pastor & Mrs. Evertson have four children — Josiah, Jeremiah, Joy, and Joshua.