Unli-everything(unlimited everything): all the “good things”, wine, great sums of silver and gold, seven hundred wives, three hundred concubines, everything a man could desire—King Solomon could, so he did. Why not? He was king. Does a man in power feel entitled to whatever he could afford and regard himself above the law? Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning (Ecc 4:13). Advancement of people is good but it comes with the danger that when the goals have been reached, a person becomes proud and will act foolishly by not being accountable for his actions. Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall (Prov 16:18).
“A fool learns from his own mistakes, a wise person from the mistakes of others” goes a saying. Let’s hear it from the king who has been there and done that in pursuing worldly pleasures to see what we can learn from his mistakes.
1 I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless… 3 After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world…8 I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire!… 10 Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. 11 But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere (from Ecc 1:1-11)… 18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless.
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong (Ecc 5:1) The man who fears God will avoid all extremes (Ecc 7:18b). Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand (Ecc 5:16). Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom (Ecc 9:10) Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment. (Ecc 11:9b)
What did King Solomon say after his livin’ la vida loca? In Ecclesiastes 12 :13, he says Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. If all the “unli-” women, wine, and gold were so fulfilling, why did his conclusion not include them? Perhaps, like what most people find out too late, he saw that what matter most in the greater scheme of things are not the temporal pleasures but the things of God that will outlive the seventy year (approximate) life span.
SONG: I WILL BOW TO YOU