“Is Life One Big ‘Merry-Go-Round’? Ecclesiastes

I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how secular humanist man can not hope to find a lasting meaning to his life in a closed system without bringing God back into the picture. This is the same exact case with Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Three thousand years ago, Solomon took a look at life “under the sun” in his book of Ecclesiastes. Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.”

Let me show you some inescapable conclusions if you choose to live without God in the picture. Solomon came to these same conclusions when he looked at life “under the sun.”

  1. Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)
  2. Chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13)
  3. Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1)
  4. Nothing in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), ladies and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20).

You can only find a lasting meaning to your life by looking above the sun and bring God back into the picture.

Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

Is Life One Big ‘Merry-Go-Round’?

What would life be like if God had not revealed Himself to mankind, if Jesus Christ had never come to earth? Life would be one big merry-go-round of futility, despair, cynicism and sorrow! There are many today who are trying to live life without God–and even though all may appear fine on the surface for them, reality shows that their lives are ‘coming apart at the seams’. “Life is not what it is ‘cooked up to be”, is sometimes heard by these cynics. Many of these alienated people are saying, if not in actual words at least by their actions, “Futility of futilities, all is futile! Life is like chasing after the wind”! The utopian dreams of many modern- day secular philosophers have gone up in smoke, and talk of utopia has become now talk of oblivion! Listen to some of our modern-day philosophers:

“Brief and powerless is man’s life. On him all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark. Blind to good and evil, reckless of destruction, omnipotent matter rolls on its relentless way.” (Bertrand Russell) “Current indications are that the world is bent on going to hell in a hand cart, and that is probably what it will do.” (Gordon Rattray Taylor) “You are the orphans in an age of no tomorrows.” (Joan Baez) “Today even the survival of humanity is a utopian hope.” (Norman O. Brown)

These words are modern-day commentary on the ancient book of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes, perhaps the strangest book of the Bible, describes what life is like without belief in divine revelation. Not all, but most of the book of Ecclesiastes, describes the philosophy or viewpoints of the cynic, skeptic, and pessimist. ‘Futility of life without God’–this theme is ably carried out in the book of Ecclesiastes. A man who looks at life without the eyes of faith is likely to come to many of the same conclusions as the writer of this book.

The only relief we get in our heavy spirits as we listen to the pessimistic conclusions regarding life which the author describes, is the occasional flash of faith which he occasionally affirms in God whose inscrutable purposes will eventually prevail in spite of the inexplicable mysteries of life which he observes!

Have you ever travelled on a mountain road that was broad, beautiful and surrounded by evergreen trees, with the sparkling sunlight dancing all around you, but as you continued to travel, the road narrowed and became rocky, the sun became obscured from view as the clouds darkened and finally you came to the end of the mountain trail? The road, you discovered, was a dead-end road. All you could do was to turn around and go back from where you began!

“O God (if there is a God!), I have travelled many roads in life, most of which appeared to be broad, beautiful and full of pleasure, but the longer I have travelled these roads, the narrower they have become; and the less enjoyable they are. I have discovered by experience that these roads are dead-end roads! If there is an open-ended road which leads to increasing happiness and meaning, lead me to that road!”

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: Amidst all the dead-end roads of life, there surely must be one road which, while it may appear narrow at first, increasingly becomes broad, expansive, more beautiful and full of purpose and destiny!

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