We saw yesterday that Solomon tried all the pleasures the world has to offer. Today, we’ll look at the Solomon’s rational for enjoying pleasure.
(Ecc 2:24) There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God. (25) For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?
(Ecc 3:12) I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. (13) And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.
(Ecc 5:18) Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. (19) Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. (20) For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.
(Ecc 8:15) Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun.
(Ecc 9:7) Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. (8) Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment. (9) Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun. (10) Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
The Fruit of Your Labors
Obviously, Solomon view pleasure as the just reward for his hard work. He didn’t see the work as an end unto itself – something in which to take joy for its own sake. Rather, it was a means to an end. Work provides the means and the justification for enjoyment.
It’s ironic, though, that the pleasure Solomon experienced didn’t satisfy. He say, in effect, “Enjoy the fruit of your labor, your pleasure is meaningless, but it’s the best you can do.” Doesn’t seem like much of a life, does it?
What About You?
- Do you justify your pursuit of pleasure by hard work?
- Have you caught on yet to the fact the the pleasure is pointless without a relationship to God?