Well, friends, today’s blog is the final of three posts from my sweet friend Mackenzie Ness. This summer, she committed to writing a three-part series through the book of Ecclesiastes. A recent high school graduate, world traveler, and one of Moody Bible Institute’s newest freshman this year, Mackenzie has brought so much joy to my life, and I know her words below will bless you as they have blessed me. Enjoy!
Even with all of King Solomon’s grandiose adventures and elaborate achievements, he always seemed to feel unfulfilled. Throughout Ecclesiastes, we see how the pursuit of wealth and materials had left him feeling empty. Even hard work wasn’t rewarding because someday he knew that he would die just like everyone else and someone would replace him. But after being an utter cynic and telling the world that it basically sucks, he sheds some much needed light.
While Solomon has no trouble sharing how meaningless life is—how wisdom, folly, money, and work hold little importance—he reveals that there is redemption. That redemption is a relationship with God. Following, serving, and being obedient to the Creator of this world.
“Fear God and keep his commandments.” (12:13b).
The fear that Solomon speaks of isn’t a “shaking in my boots” because of “hell, fire, and damnation,” but rather a respect and reverence for such a powerful, awesome Deity. Plus, by being so overwhelmed with God’s unfailing love and authority, he invites us to want to follow in God’s ways because His ways are wise.
This gives us that extra dose of courage and strength to wake up in the morning. If life did not have any meaning and we were just here for “the fun of it,” depression would be rampant and suicide would seem like an attractive alternative. We were designed with the desire to achieve and be successful. We find value in the work of our hands. But why would we want to work hard or be dedicated when there is no ultimate achievement? Solomon clarifies that when God is not present, life is meaningless. Life only has meaning when in pursuit of God.
I am so fond of the saying “Blessed to bless others.” We have been given His truth and His redemption which inadvertently calls us to go out and bless the people around us with it.
We were created to serve God, and since a large way in serving God is to serve others, we were created to be selfless and act with a generous heart. And generosity isn’t just about money, but time, effort, and assistance as well. There are so many ways that we can serve. While we are called to serve, God also desires us to be joyful.
“Let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.” (Ecclesiastes 11:9).
With all of the things that we do, whether with our talents, career, or daily endeavors, we should do all with a servant’s heart. When I smile at others and spark conversations, I do it for God. When I help my sister with her math homework, I do it for God. Even when I sing in my car with the windows down, I do it for God. All for God = Life with meaning.