03 bibleIn the course of my study of the first three chapters of Ecclesiastes I’ve encountered two conclusions. Both of them include the idea of God which seems missing in all the rest of the observations. All the pleasurable pursuits in this life will never bring ultimate happiness or contentment in life. They all seem to lead to the desire for more. They are all just temporary. Thankfully all the bad times in life will come to an end, but all the good times of life will end also. But the two conclusions suggest that when God is central in our lives the joys of life like eating and sleeping and working, can result in true contentment in the here and now. The condition is that God must in all and over all. We must trust Him and contentment will follow. But how can I learn to trust God? That seems to be the question that Solomon wants to answer in the last few verses of Chapter 3.

In Ecclesiastes 3:14 Solomon tells us we should trust God because of who He is. It says, “I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.” First of all, we should trust God because what He does is permanent in direct contrast to Solomon’s understanding that nothing man does will remain. Nothing we do will last, but everything He does stands forever. Time magazine covered the Tokyo earthquake some time ago. The front page had a picture of a pile of rubble. The only thing standing is the front doorway of an antique store with a sign swinging on one chain over the empty doorway. The sign read, “Invest in the things that have lasting value.” Truly, only God’s work will have lasting value.

Another reason to trust God that we might glean from this verse is God’s work is not only permanent, but it’s complete. There is nothing to add to it! There’s nothing to take away from it! A tired farmer sat under a walnut tree in his pumpkin patch. He thought how strange it was for God to put such heavy pumpkins on such frail vines and yet put such frail walnuts on such strong trees. Just then a walnut fell the tree and struck the farmer on the head. “Good thing is wasn’t a pumpkin” he said. Truly, it is man’s understanding that’s not complete. God’s work is perfect and God’s work is permanent and God’s work is complete. I remember putting together a bicycle one Christmas. When I got the front tire on, I had to take it off to get the fender on. You have to put the horn on before the handle grips and the chain guard before the quick stand. I learned all this the hard way. I missed so many things along the way. I had to resort to reading the instructions! God never missed a thing! He wrote us a set of instructions, The Bible, (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth), and they cover how to put our lives together so they work properly now and in all eternity. We simply need to trust Him.