by Dave Gustavsen

This content is part of a series.

Chasing Success (4 of 11)
Series: The Pursuit of Happiness
Dave Gustavsen
Ecclesiastes 2:18-26

Good morning. We're taking the summer to walk through the book of Ecclesiastes. At the very beginning of the book, the author identifies himself as ''the son of David, King in Jerusalem,'' so you take that, and you put it together with some of the other things he says about himself, and it leads to the logical conclusion that this was written by King Solomon. Powerful king; he ruled about 950BC; he was known for his great wisdom. But he was writing about a time in his life when he was feeling lost and empty, and he was searching for meaning and happiness.

We do have a mascot for this sermon series-this is Solomon the goldfish. And for Solomon the fish, his entire existence is limited to what's inside this bowl. So he lives a closed system; there's no larger reality that he views himself as part of; it's just him and the water in his bowl. So what does this have to do with Ecclesiastes? Well, 29 times in this book, Solomon uses the phrase…everybody? Under the sun. Under the sun. Which means that in his quest for meaning, Solomon chose to rule out any supernatural element. So just like today, more and more people are saying, ''I reject the concept of faith; I reject the concept of God,'' that was basically Solomon's approach. So for whatever reason-whether he got so proud he thought he didn't need God, or he was deeply doubting God-he tried to make life work with God excluded from the picture.

And in today's passage, he talks about another angle he took to try to find meaning. So let's read the passage-Ecclesiastes 2, verses 18 through 26.

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 that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. 20 S ...

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