Ecclesiastes 2: 1-26 Let’s have a party!! And nobody can party like a king. The humanist has become a playboy in his search for happiness. Solomon turns his attention to pleasure to try to find his answer to the question, “What makes life worth living?”
Solomon puts the old saying to test which says, “If it feels good, do it!” The palace is filled with fun and games. Everywhere people are playing, telling jokes, and laughing. He is taking a look at the lighter side of life. Ecclesiastes 2:1-2.
He then begins to test wine, women, and song. He imports the finest of wine and brings the best of musicians and entertainers to the palace. It is a gourmet feast of any food your heart could desire and it seems like the party will never end. Solomon pursues every pretty woman he sees. He becomes the world’s greatest lover and because he is the richest and most powerful man alive, in the end, he has 1,000 wives. He calls them a delight. Ecclesiastes 2:8 But the next morning, when the party is over, he is back to his original question, “What does it profit?”
His conclusion: It’s like chasing the wind, there is no profit in living for pleasure.
Ecclesiastes 2: 11 He realizes sooner or later somebody must pay for the party. Parties don’t make money, they cost money.
Solomon turns his attention to building projects and begins the construction of some of the finest buildings in the world. These dazzling palaces are architectural marvels and engineering feats that are amazing. He builds a throne and a temple that leaves you breathless. I Kings 10:4, 5 He plants forests of trees and makes gardens with fountains of water. He builds lakes and becomes the world’s greatest rancher with the largest herd of cattle ever seen in Israel. Ecclesiastes 2:4-9
He adds to his riches the special treasure of kings. He is buying things that no one else has the money to buy. All of his drinking glasses are made of gold because silver has become so common in Jerusalem it is considered just another stone. II Chronicles 9:20, 27 Solomon thinks he has arrived. “I have found it,” he says. “This is what I have been looking for!” But then one day he notices some gray in his hair and it brings him back to his question, “What does it profit? What will I gain from all of this, when I die?” Ecclesiastes 2: 11
Solomon is forced to realize, “One day I am going to die and leave all this that I have built behind. Everything I have worked so hard to accomplish, everything I have done, I am going to leave to someone else, and who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? What will become of my kingdom then? What will it profit?” Solomon has become the building humanist because a life lived without God, all come to a dead-end, in a box, in the cold ground. Ecclesiastes 2:18
Death comes the same way to the rich man as to the poor, to the wise man as to the fool. Pleasure and possessions are empty, worthless pursuits unless there is something that gives meaning to life. A life lived without God is such a waste. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” I Corinthians 15: 19
The answer Solomon has been seeking cannot be found “In MAN,” so it must be found “In GOD.” He has tried everything this life can offer a man but still has come up empty. Solomon discovers that his riches and pleasures cannot give him the answer he is seeking. He discovers a life lived without God is worthless.
He discovers even the ability to enjoy life is a gift from God. Instead of people having a good time, so many parties end up in fights and the people complaining about the very food they are eating. It is only God who can give us the ability to truly enjoy life. Without God, there is no lasting happiness. Ecclesiastes 2:24
He discovers it is God who gives us wisdom, knowledge, and joy and that God gives it to those who are good in His sight. Ecclesiastes 2:26 The poor sinner is struggling, grasping for the wind, trying to get ahead in life, and will leave it all behind to the one with whom God is pleased. There will be no profit to your life, you will gain nothing if your life is not pleasing to God. Without God, life just doesn’t make sense and there is no lasting purpose.