Sunday Morning Podcast August 23, 2015. Bro. Dave Goble.
TEXT: ECCLESIASTES 2:1-12
1 I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.
2 I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?
3 I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.
4 I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:
5 I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:
6 I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:
7 I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:
8 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.
9 So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.
10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.
11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
12 And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.
What is the good life? It’s probably safe to to speculate that everyone would have a different answer. In this scripture text, the writer was attempting to examine how the good life actually is defined. What is the actual foundation of a good life? Here, the writer points out his search for it in mirth, gaiety, and laughter. He gave himself to many pleasures, and human wisdom. He expanded his monetary worth in building homes, planting vineyards, orchards, gardens, and trees of all kinds of fruits. His possessions acquired, also included servants, musicians, and the profits of his labors, among other things. Yet when all was said and done, he had no lasting value and peace from all his efforts. All …was vanity.
Today we see much the same conclusions. On every hand people strive for joy in all their gains of life. Fleshly pleasures. Family, friends, education, wealth, homes, and etc. Religion also. Often those that are merely religious, “come up empty” as life’s challenges put them to the test. Frequently “Living the good life” is seen as serving self with pleasure, and good deeds. But this too is vanity. Evil is so rampant in this world. The world is so full of division, chaos, and outright selfishness. What does the bible have to say about the good life? Is it supposed to be about us, or putting others before ourselves? Romans 14:21 says, “It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is made weak.” Concern for others then, must come before our own fleshly considerations and liberties.
True goodness comes only from God. The good life, is about loving others as Christ loved us. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34 Living the good life, is to live a godly life. The Ecclesiastes writer summed this up in Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
What is the good life? Fearing God, and loving to obey Him. A heart of loving consecration, …will also be a living testimony. This offers help and direction for others to find God. This is the good life.