Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Question That Rattled A King

None had experienced more than he. All his life, the king had given himself to know wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

"The Sun Also Ariseth And Goeth Down" ~ Courtesy of Faithwalk Photography

And he was rewarded. The most powerful monarch of his age, his wealth was unsurpassed, his wisdom unmeasured, his fame unrivaled. But at the end of life, he was left wanting. All he had worked for left him hollow with one haunting question to fill the void: what doth it profit?

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. 
What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
 (Ecclesiastes 1:1-3)

Though the king was the one who put words to it, this question echos in every heart. What is the point of our labor? Failing to answer this correctly slides us into a spiral of meaninglessness, discontentment and frustration - even for Christian women. How many discouraged mothers, disgruntled daughters and disheartened entrepreneurs have thrown up their hands in defeat, exclaiming, “What is the point?” What does this work, this time, money, diligence, yes, even choosing of wisdom; really profit in the grand scheme of things? We needn't let the question hang unanswered: God penned it for us through a royal hand. If our Creator thought this question was important enough to devote an entire biblical book to it, shouldn't we take time to read it?

Until very recently, Ecclesiastes was a very difficult book for me to understand. Reading it right after Proverbs gave me spiritual whiplash, as it seemed to contradict everything else the Bible praised about wisdom. But then I did a Bible word study on work and labor, which in turn opened my eyes to the message of Ecclesiastes. And you know what? I completely misjudged this book. In coming posts I'll share some of what I'm learning about this amazing treasure. Will you join me in discovering what God's big picture purpose for our lives are?

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