Francis Schaffer said that the popular music of our generation will reveal the climate and nature and wisdom of each generation. As I’ve been studying through Ecclesiastes, I’ve been relating the truths written by Solomon over 17 the best3000 years ago to songs I remember in my own generation. It seems there are plenty of songs that attempt to do what Solomon did, find meaning and purpose in life, but come up with the same answer; vanity of vanities. It’s useless and under the sun there is no true meaning and purpose from the purely human perspective. Every evaluation in every generation of man’s purpose in life always leads to the same conclusion:

“The Answer my friend is blowing in the wind…” Peter, Paul & Mary.
“You may as well try to catch the wind…” Donovan
“It’s dust in the wind; everything is dust in the wind…” Kansas

In Ecclesiastes 2:17 Solomon wrote: “Everything is meaningless, like chasing the wind.” (New Living) “I had been chasing the wind.” (Good News) “…Everything here on earth is useless, like chasing the wind.” (New Century) “When I looked, I saw nothing but smoke, smoke and spitting into the wind. There was nothing to any of it, nothing” (The Message). From man’s perspective that’s absolutely true. But God has a plan and a purpose for all life! The conclusion of it all is one must trust God. In a trusting relationship with Him, it will all come together. Man will never understand the puzzle of life outside of a personal relationship with God. Further, man will never really find fulfillment in life outside of a relationship with God. So in Ecclesiastes 2:24-26, Solomon concludes with several observations. “So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that this pleasure is from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?” Even in the middle of much despair, confusion, and disillusionment we can find joy.

There was an old cartoon in which a publisher tried to convince Charles Dickens to change the opening sentence in one of his most famous novels, “A tale of two cities.” “Mr. Dickens, either it was the best of times or it was the worst of times. It can’t be both.” Phil Ryken says, “But of course it can be both, and often is. We live in a world that is cursed by sin (see Genesis 3:17–19), but it is also a world that God created essentially good (see Genesis 1–2) and that he has visited in the flesh and is working to redeem through the life, death, and resurrection of his Son. Thus we experience joy as well as sorrow, especially if we know God in a personal and saving way.”