Christian Devotions

To What Purpose

Focus verses: Ecclesiastes 2:1-11

Solomon talks about pleasure and work in this passage. In verses 1-3 he talks about giving himself over to pleasure. He give himself over to laughter, wine, and folly — all the while assuring himself of his wisdom. But this pleasure and his mortal wisdom were not sufficient.

Then he talks of his achievements: the buildings he constructed, the fields he filled, the people he acquired as slaves, musicians, and harem. He tells that he became greater than anyone in Jerusalem. And it was all fluff and feathers – or as he puts it “chasing after the wind.”

Living in Kansas, we know about the wind. Sometimes it’s still, but more often it is a moving force. It dries out sodden fields or tears up buildings and trees. It caresses or destroys. It makes the golden wheat ripen faster or makes it impossible to drive a semi on an east-west highway.

It is random and purposeless. If it does something helpful, it was purely by accident. If it destroys a city, it is just a happenstance. This is the kind of randomness Solomon saw in all his activities.

Nothing was accomplished. Nothing had meaning. It was all just nothing.

Notice that not once did he mention God in this passage. None of this was accomplished with God’s direction. Nothing had any meaning in the plans of God, because Solomon did not consult God when he did all these things.

Without God’s direction, all activity is purposeless — a chasing the wind. Lord, deliver us from that kind of futility.

Father, God,

Help us to remember to consult You at all times. Give us the wisdom to ask what You would have us do, how You would have us spend our days, what You would have us accomplish under Your direction.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

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