King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the world in riches and in wisdom and he did not hold back on living life fully. And like those in the Garden of Eden, he loved the good God gave, but sadly he felt it was not enough. He wrote about many of life’s experiences in a book called Ecclesiastes and captures the attention of many with his opening statement: everything is meaningless, vanity, absolutely futile. Toward the end of the book Solomon makes a proverb-like comment: Blessed is the land whose king is of noble birth and whose princes eat at a proper time—for strength and not for drunkenness. I think this is an interesting thing for King Solomon to write. Was he reflecting on the present situation, or simply stating something that is true in principle? Generally when leaders make wise choices those living under their leadership also reap the benefits. We will see that the reverse is also true and those in Solomon’s kingdom will reap the consequences that came from him following idols and foreign gods.
After a careful evaluation of all he had experienced, Solomon concluded Ecclesiastes with hope. Are we searching for more than vanity and futility? Do we want a life of meaning? A very good starting point is to realize that life is a gift from God; so eat, drink, enjoy your labor, but in all you do, keep a proper perspective. Instead of being self-seeking as one only living “under the sun”, remember the One who is over the sun and above all else. Solomon asked a good question, “What is the whole duty of man?” The answer: to fear God and keep His commandments. When we learn this and really live by it, the more meaningful our lives become.