“Is this all there is?”
This is the question we find ourselves asking when we achieve a goal, thinking it will have given us our heart’s desire. But whether we strive for popularity, power, possessions, or prestige, we will find that the things of this world cannot satisfy us. Instead, they will leave us just as empty as we were before.
Ecclesiastes is a book about a man who tried everything to find satisfaction. King Solomon had everything in excess—but it was never enough. In the same way, we too can lose sight of what really matters if we look only to this world for answers.
The Paradoxes of Living Wisely
A common temptation involves presenting our wishlists before God in prayer and expecting Him to answer with blessings in exactly the way we want. But true wisdom involves surrendering our plans to Him and dying to self daily. This is a way of life requiring humility, and it is the opposite of what the world expects.
Christianity teaches us the paradoxes of living wisely:
- The one who dies will live (John 11:25).
- The last will be first (Matthew 20:16).
- Those who are empty will be full (Luke 1:53).
Jesus modeled these truths for us, showing us that the path of surrender is the one that leads to enduring wealth. The wealth of this world will only leave us wondering, “Is this all there is?” But the riches we have in Christ will last, because in Him alone do we find satisfaction.
The Quest for Relevance
One of the problems many churches face is the quest for relevance. Instead of clinging to Christ and the timeless truths in Him, they capitulate to culture and actually lose their relevance.
We need to learn to treat things according to their true value. If we seek for satisfaction in temporal things, we will be unsatisfied, suffering only loss. We can only be relevant if we hold to what is eternal rather than what will pass away.
The book of Ecclesiastes exemplifies this truth. Solomon had all the worldly wealth and wisdom anyone could ever ask for. He was certainly relevant—everyone came to him for answers. Yet he had put his hope in all the wrong things. Ultimately, all is vanity unless we put our hope in Christ.
Watch more of Ken Boa’s Friday morning study videos here.
Learn more about the book of Ecclesiastes in Ken Boa’s Talk Thru Ecclesiastes presentation.