It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and forget the purpose of life. The writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us that God isn’t “all work and no play.” He has given us wonderful gifts to enjoy and he loves seeing his people appreciating those gifts. But of all his gifts, his love is the greatest. As we go about our busy lives take a moment to reflect on God’s gifts, big and small, and thank Him for His amazing love.
Read this passage from Ecclesiastes and reflect on the note from the Every Man’s Bible.
“I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned. And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless! So I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world.
Some people work wisely with knowledge and skill, then must leave the fruit of their efforts to someone who hasn’t worked for it. This, too, is meaningless, a great tragedy. So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety? Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless.
So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him? God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who please him. This, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.”
Study Note from the Every Man’s Bible
“The alternative to over commitment to work is the enjoyment of life as God’s good gift. This includes enjoying our work while not allowing it to become the key to meaning in our lives. This is the first of the Teacher’s admonitions to take life less seriously and enjoy it more. Life is too short to waste it on the treadmill of ever- increasing professional accomplishments. We need to take the time to enjoy the gifts that God gives us.”