'Meaningless! Meaningless!' says the Teacher. 'Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.' ~Ecclesiastes 1:2

When Solomon took the throne of Israel he was very young and God gave him the opportunity to ask for a blessing. Instead of asking for riches or long life, Solomon asked God for wisdom in order to lead his people well. This unselfish request so pleased God that God granted Solomon not only wisdom but also honor and great wealth. Solomon was not just granted a little wisdom either, but God promised that Solomon would be the wisest man that had ever lived and that would ever live on this earth (1 Kings 3:7-15).

Even the wisest and most discerning heart can be led away from God if pride is allowed take foothold in our lives. Solomon's blessing led him down a dark path. On this path he determined that he would use his wisdom to discover the true purpose of life and where happiness on this earth can be found. Solomon was rich beyond compare. He had power and wealth and women. He searched for happiness and fulfillment in every kind of pleasure. He searched for it through hard work, through the building of great monuments, and through the study and pursuit of knowledge and of greater wisdom. He experienced every good thing that we today search desperately for and what he found was emptiness and folly.

We all seek that which will give us rest, fulfillment, and satisfaction. We look to our work, to our families, to our recreation, to our studies, or to our religious practices. We explore philosophy, engage in moral debate, get involved with social causes. We search in alcohol, drugs, sexual promiscuity, or general moral rebellion to find that feeling of ... whatever it is ... we'll know it when we find it ... just around the corner....

Solomon explored all these things to a degree that very few of us could and what he found was only darkness and pain. All the things we try to distract and to fill ourselves with are meaningless outside of a relationship with God. Blaise Pascal put this way:
There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing.  It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.
The only important question worth asking on this earth is do we have a personal and intimate relationship with God through Jesus Christ? If that question is not answered in the affirmative then all other philosophical, social, and moral questions and discussions are utterly meaningless. Once we have found that relationship, however, then it begins to illuminate all other aspects of our lives and by it we are able to see our world as it truly is. Our blinders are removed, the emptiness inside us is filled, and our true purpose is revealed. 

Solomon was the wisest man that has ever lived. He searched the earth for meaning apart from God and found only emptiness. Only by knowing God do we begin to know ourselves.

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. ~Ecclesiastes 12:13

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