From prison to ReTrain: Russell’s story
Mon May 20, 2013
9 types of leaders in Scripture
Mon May 20, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
5 bits of wisdom for the professional Christian woman
Sun May 19, 2013
by Shandel Slaten
Sat May 18, 2013
by Hugh Whelchel
Resurgence roundup, 5/17/13
Fri May 17, 2013
"I Can't Get No Satisfaction"
Sin isn’t just a personal thing—it’s a cosmic thing.
While the gospel shows us that depravity is very personal, that it’s in us, the gospel also shows us that depravity affects earth’s very social fabric and systems, that it’s also out there. Of course, it is out there because it’s in here, but as Solomon’s recollections in Ecclesiastes reveal, it’s not just that we are in need of satisfaction, but that every good thing in the universe (apart from God) is too broken to satisfy. How dissatisfied does this fracture leave Solomon?
So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind. I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun, because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it.This also is vanity and a great evil. (Eccles. 2:17–21)
There is a diminishing return on the pleasure Solomon is seeking, so he starts to hate life. He has sucked all the marrow out of it, and he’s only in his 30s. He moves from being grieved to being frustrated. Notice that he’s even frustrated about what will come after him. What we know from history is that, after Solomon, the nation of Israel completely dissolved.
In this passage we catch him looking at his sons. He has been wise, he has built Israel to be wealthy and powerful, and he’s looking at his boys and thinking, “We’re in trouble. I have done nothing but manage this thing wisely, and these guys coming up behind me will destroy it.” He realizes he is powerless to control what will happen to the wealth he has accumulated. He can’t take it with him, and he can’t make sure it won’t be squandered after he’s gone. The meaninglessness begins to settle in, and he gives his heart over to despair.
God Gives All Gifts
Solomon does discover the answer. He writes, “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?” (vv. 24–25). What Solomon has just said is that lasting enjoyment experienced by the soul is a gift from Jesus.
God gives gifts to all men. Whether you believe in God or not, you are living, walking, and wearing his stuff. He gives gifts to all: food, drink, work, friends, family. He gives gifts to all, but only the children of God, only those who believe in Jesus, receive the gift of lasting enjoyment. Why? Because if we’re oriented around Jesus, our satisfaction is not tied to anything but him. We can actually enjoy God’s good gifts the way they’re designed to be enjoyed, because they are in orbit around the right sun—not our self, but our Savior.