Been There. Done That.

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Image of Solomon, who could say, "Been there. Done that. " Yet, he wasn't satisfied.
Image credit: Richard Gunther

In today’s Bible reading* King Solomon looks back at his life and realizes it was all for nothing. Solomon could truly say, “Been there. Done that.” Solomon had everything anyone would want.

In the end, all he could say was that it was worthless.

God gave Solomon a blank check: Anything he wanted! And all he asked for was wisdom. Because of his wise request, God also gave him riches, wealth, and glory. (2 Chronicles 1:11-12) His priorities were in the right place. At least at the beginning of his reign as king.

He makes five statements about how satisfying life has been for him:

All things are wearisome, more than anyone can say. The eye is not satisfied by seeing or the ear filled with hearing.
Ecclesiastes 1:8 (CSB)

There is a person without a companion, without even a son or brother, and though there is no end to all his struggles, his eyes are still not content with riches. “Who am I struggling for,” he asks, “and depriving myself of good things?” This too is futile and a miserable task.
Ecclesiastes 4:8 (CSB)

The one who loves silver is never satisfied with silver, and whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with income. This too is futile.
Ecclesiastes 5:10 (CSB)

A man may father a hundred children and live many years. No matter how long he lives, if he is not satisfied by good things and does not even have a proper burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he.
Ecclesiastes 6:3 (CSB)

All of a person’s labor is for his stomach, yet the appetite is never satisfied.
Ecclesiastes 6:7 (CSB)

The man who had it all: wisdom, riches, wealth, and glory, said it was all meaningless. Had Solomon gone mad? What about all that he said in the Book of Proverbs about purpose in life? It seems that Solomon forgot what he said from yesterday’s reading, “Without revelation people run wild, but one who follows divine instruction will be happy.” Proverbs 29:18 (CSB)

Application

Solomon had one thousand women at his disposal. He had lots of stuff. We was famous. Everyone looked up to him. But something was missing. Nothing satisfied.

He had seven hundred wives who were princesses and three hundred who were concubines, and they turned his heart away. When Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away to follow other gods. He was not wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord his God, as his father David had been.
1 Kings 11:3–4 (CSB)

Having so many wives was his downfall. Instead of bringing them to His God, he embraced theirs. And that was the one thing that God warned him about. God said that he would always have a descendant on the throne, so long as he (and they) followed David’s example of being completely committed to Him. (2 Chronicles 7:17–22)

What are you doing to stay true in your walk with God? What can you do to walk closer to God? What distractions do you need to remove from your life so that you can better keep your focus on God? How can you improve your relationship with Him? How can I help?

* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
Ecclesiastes 1
Ecclesiastes 2
Ecclesiastes 3
Ecclesiastes 4
Ecclesiastes 5
Ecclesiastes 6


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