As I am reading through the book of Ecclesiastes I find myself reflecting on how much it says about people without Christ – especially influential or successful people who in effect have the means to do whatever they want to do. Obviously the writer, apparently King Solomon himself, was a man of great wealth and power. While his final conclusion is simply , “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl. 12: 13b), along the way his most often reached conclusion is simply to eat, drink and be satisfied with your toil (Eccl. 2:24; 3:12,13; 5:18;8:15,16) – and even though God gives us the capacity to do that, it is ultimately all meaningless.
As we seek to share the love of God with people of means and influence – whether in Europe or in our neighborhood – it’s good to remember that their lives aren’t necessarily miserable. In fact, Eccl. 5:19,20 puts it this way, “Moreover when God gives any man wealth and possessions , and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in is work – that is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.”
So, as Solomon makes clear, life can be meaningless but that doesn’t mean it’s miserable. Sure, wealth and it’s attendant challenges can create misery. But there are also lots of very happy pagans out there – enjoying life as a gift of God, and not even realizing that He is their source. BUT the one thing we can count on as we seek to approach such people with the love of Christ, is that there is an ultimate sense of meaningless to their lives.
Our ministry to help reach people of means and influence in our world begins with cultivating close relationships with them and continues with a readiness to address the meaningfulness of life in Christ. Eccl. 5:20 doesn’t say they will never reflect on life, just that the moments when they do reflect will be seldom. As part of our contribution to reaching Europe with the love of Christ we want to be there alongside influential leaders in those “seldom moments”, when the trappings of their wealth or influence leave them feeling empty, and their hearts become open to the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Praise God that our staff team in Europe is encountering more and more “seldom moments” and men and women are finding new meaning and purpose for their lives as they come to acknowledge Jesus as their Saviour. What a joy!
(photo courtesy of kiitsak/FreeDeigitalPhotos.net)