2 I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity. 2 I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” 3 I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. 4 I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. 5 I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. 6 I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. 8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the sons of man.
9 So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ec 2:1–11). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
The beauty and glory of this world is truly rich and deep! You created the pleasures and delights of this world to be enjoyed by Your creation, man. Everywhere we look, we see the wonder. Even this morning, sitting on my porch, immersed in the beauty of Your word, and the stunning red cardinal that perches on the ground just feet from me. The chipmunks that scurry, the cheeks stuffed full; the deer that prances out of the road as I drive home and then turns back to stare at me while I speak to it; the rain, the sun, the beauty of Your creation declares Your glory and worth! They speak of Your love for us that You would lavish so much upon us to enjoy!
Herein lies the danger though, Abba. We begin to worship the created thing and find our delight in that alone. This was never meant to be. Everyday we seek pleasure, comfort, and joy in this life. May these things which You have created by the means, the sign post, the catalyst to turn our attention to YOU and to YOU alone that alone provide the joy and delight that truly satisfies! The glories and pleasures of this world will never satisfy. They were not intended to. They are delightful, yes. You created them to be so. But they cannot supply that which we seek. They are merely a sign, a guide to direct us to YOU…the true satisfaction of our souls.
May we, Your body here at Hephzibah, allow these signs to direct our hearts to you to find the joy that You alone supply.
We love you!