Only One Purpose
Read Ecclesiastes Chapter 2
Ecc 2:24 A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without Him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26 To the man who pleases Him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
What is the meaning of life? At my age, that is something which often comes to mind. Have I made a difference? Is there a lasting legacy that will last throughout eternity? What are the things I have done which are wood, hay, and stubble? Has there been anything built with gold and silver, a building that will survive Judgment Day? I wish that this kind of thinking had been more on my mind in my earlier years. I pray that each person reading this will give serious thought to the words of today’s passage.
We go about life doing some tasks which are necessary. We must make a living for ourselves and for our families if we have families. We sense an obligation to use our resources to care for anyone in our family when the need arises. Most of that is okay. As long as we are not greedy and unwilling to share with others, our jobs are a large part of God’s will for our lives. The writer acknowledges that our work is from the hand of God. He gives us the ability and desire to make a living for ourselves and to share with others.
Verse 25 is powerful. “Without Him, who can eat or find enjoyment?” There is really only one purpose for living. That is to serve and please our God. He who created us has every right to expect that we will spend our lives looking to Him for instruction and direction in life. The man who fails to acknowledge God’s authority over his life will suffer greatly. It may appear that he is successful in life, and he may accumulate wealth and power and have life all under control. But all of his boasting will come to nothing in the end.
God promises to give wisdom, knowledge, and happiness to all men whose life is dedicated to his Creator. We won’t discuss what God’s definition of happiness might be, because it won’t likely fit into our own definition of happiness. Maybe we will tackle that subject at another time. Going past that, the Lord’s promise is a powerful one. Wisdom and real knowledge are much more to be desired than most of the things we hold dear on this earth. God’s wisdom and His knowledge will always lead a man toward being a powerful force for God’s kingdom. Our lives need to be focused primarily on pleasing and obeying our Lord.
The other side of that picture is clearly described in verse 24. The man who rejects or ignores God will work and toil for all his life for nothing. His life, no matter what he did in behalf of mankind, will count for nothing in eternity. There will be no rewards in Hell for the man who rejected truth. That is true even if he marched for all the right causes, gave to the poor, passed laws which benefited the poor, promoted world peace, or anything else. If God is not behind the works, it is futile. An unsaved man is wasting his time and effort no matter what he does. As stated before, there are no prizes given out it Hell.
This life has one purpose only. That is, preparation for eternity. The Christian must spend it working for the Lord. Our every move should be dedicated to Him. Those things we do which do not have His blessing will be just as worthless as all the work done by the unbeliever. Actually, the unbeliever also is spending his life preparing for eternity. He is preparing the way for his eventual destruction. All he does will do no more than pile up works which will be judged as insufficient in eternity.
We must get serious about our mission here on earth. Although our eternal destination is secure in Christ, surely we do not want to face our Savior at the end and have little or nothing to show Him. And even more sure, is that we don’t want to accumulate any more unsavory, unholy actions to our account. Of all the worthless things we will do, our same-sex sins surely will be the most embarrassing of all. We must discontinue any and all actions which are in that category.
Prayer: Father, we have wasted enough time doing things which will be of no value in eternity. Once again, we dedicate our complete selves to You, and ask that You guide all that we do, think, and say. We want to make a difference.