A World that Cannot Satisfy
The goal of the book of Ecclesiastes is to make us long for more than this world can provide.
Solomon had more resources and wisdom at his disposal than almost anyone in history. Yet he says that none of it could bring him satisfaction.
He tried striving after wisdom, pleasure, great accomplishments, and hard work. All of them he found to be vain attempts at finding meaning in life. Life apart from God appeared to him to be a mere blip on a timeline between two oblivions.
Moreover, Solomon observed that we will always be disappointed with what the world provides. From the oppression of the wicked to the insufficiency of wealth and human religion to the transience of every good thing, this world leaves us unsatisfied. And that is precisely the point. Nothing in this world can satisfy us, so we must look beyond the world to the One who created it.
“Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth,” Solomon warns us, “before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, ‘I have no delight in them’” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).
Our capacity to worship will diminish if we fail to recognize that everything in life comes from our Creator because we will only be able to see this world as an end in itself. We will turn the focus of worship from God to something else—whether possessions or work or family or something else. These are good things when received as gifts from God, but they cannot bear the weight we place on them when they become our object of worship. Because of this, they will disappoint us every time, leading us into the life of vanity Solomon warns against.